Hyderabadi Bagara Baingan - హైదరాబాదీ బగారా బైంగన్ - A Tribute to Hyderabadi Culture


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Hyderabadi Bagara Baingan - హైదరాబాదీ బగారా బైంగన్


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Recipe Text


Ingredients:

    • Small (Oval) Brinjals – 500gms
    • Tamarind – 15gms
    • Ginger Garlic Paste – 1/2Tbsp
    • Mustard Seeds – 1tsp
    • Nigella Seeds (Kalonji) – 1/2tsp
    • Curry Leaves – Few
    • Bay Leaves – 4
    • Red Chilies – 4{Remove Stalks & Break Chilies Into Pieces}
    • Coriander Powder – 1Tbsp
    • Cumin Powder – 1tsp
    • Garam Masala Powder – 1/2tsp {Powder Of Cinnamon, Cloves & Black Cardamom Seeds In Equal Quantities}
    • Red Chili Powder – 1/2tsp
    • Turmeric Powder – 3/4tsp
    • Salt – To Taste (2tsps)
    • Water – 1 1/4Cup
    • Oil – 8Tbsps
    • Oil – For Deep Frying Brinjals
    • Chopped Coriander – For Garnishing

    Ingredients For Paste:

    • Fenugreek Seeds – 25 Seeds (Half Of 1/8tsp)
    • Cumin Seeds – 1tsp
    • Coriander Seeds – 1/2Tbsp
    • Ground Nuts – 3Tbsps
    • Sesame Seeds – 2 1/4Tbsps
    • Poppy Seeds – 3/4Tbsps
    • Grated Coconut – 1 1/2Tbsps
    • Oil – 1/2Tbsp


    (Online Conversion utility to convert Gms to Cups & Temperatures etc)

    Preparations:

    Preparing Paste:

    Heat a pan and add oil to it. When oil is hot add fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, ground nuts, sesame seeds, poppy seeds and grated coconut. Fry the ingredients stirring on low flame. Stirring ensures even frying of the ingredients. Fry stirring on low flame for 5 minutes and transfer to a plate. Cool the fried ingredients for a while and grind adding water to a smooth paste. Add water little by little and grind to a smooth and fine paste.

    Preparing Tamarind Pulp:

    Take tamarind into a microwave safe bowl and add 25ml water to it. Place this bowl in microwave oven and cook on high power for 30 seconds or till the water starts boiling. Cool the tamarind mixture and grind adding 35ml water to a smooth pulp. Pass the pulp between fingers and remove the fiber.

    Frying Brinjals:

    Take Brinjals into a bowl and add water. Wash the Brinjals well by rubbing between fingers. Place the washed Brinjals on a clean cloth.

    Place a bowl of water nearby. Take a brinjal and cut the stalk. Remove the stalk fully with fingers. Now cut the brinjal from the center three-fourths length wise. Observe that brinjal is having a cut yet intact from the other end. Now turn the brinjal upside down and cut three-fourths length wise in opposite direction to the first cut. Now observe that brinjal is cut from both ends yet it is intact. Drop this cut brinjal in water in the bowl. Similarly cut all the brinjals and drop them in water to prevent bitterness and change of color.

    Heat a pan and add sufficient oil to deep fry brinjals. Take out some brinjals from water and place them on a dry cloth. Wipe the brinjals well so that when they are added to hot oil to fry, there won’t be any splatter of oil by droplets of water in brinjals.

    Take a plate and spread paper napkin on it. After frying the brinjals when they are placed on this paper napkin it would soak excess oil.

    Now carefully drop the brinjals in hot oil. Add that many brinjals only which the oil in the pan can take. Fry the brinjals on high flame. Keep stirring the brinjals for even frying. Fry these brinjals on high flame for three minutes. Observe that the brinjals are 70% cooked---Remaining 30% gets cooked when these fried brinjals are added to the gravy. Remove the brinjals from oil using a slotted ladle and place them on paper napkin which would soak excess oil. Now take the remaining brinjals from water and place them on a dry cloth and wipe them. As mentioned earlier, fry the brinjals in hot oil stirring, for three minutes and place them on paper napkin. Like this fry all brinjals and keep them aside.

    Method:

    Heat a pan and add oil to it. When oil is hot add mustard seeds and Nigella seeds and fry till they crackle. Then add curry leaves, bay leaves and red chili pieces. Fry the seasoning well and add ginger garlic paste. Fry the paste well in oil to remove the raw flavor. Then add the ground paste and mix well. Keep stirring while frying to avoid getting burnt at the bottom. When the paste starts sticking to the pan observe that oil starts separating---fry till such time. The add red chili powder, turmeric powder, coriander power, cumin powder, garam masala powder, salt to taste and mix well. Fry the masala for a while and add water. Mix well and bring the gravy to boil. When the gravy is boiling, add the fried brinjals and mix once. Lower the flame and cook the brinjals in gravy for ten minutes. Keep stirring in between for even cooking. Then add tamarind pulp and mix gently.  Cook the curry for two more minutes and add chopped coriander. Transfer the curry to a serving bowl and serve hot with biriyani or pulao or even with plain rice.

    Points To Remember:

    Select small brinjals which are oval in shape and are of same size to the extent possible —do not take the round ones. Select brinjals which are tender and soft.

    For ginger garlic paste I have used two parts ginger to one part garlic.

    This recipe requires more quantity of oil to get that special taste. In general, any dish made with brinjal tastes good when made using more oil. Especially, this dish tastes good when oil floats on top. However if one wishes to make it with less oil then also this dish tastes good---it gives rich flavor when made using more oil.

    While frying the ingredients for the paste, fry on low flame only and keep stirring the ingredients for even frying.

    While grinding the paste add water little by little and grind to a smooth paste. When rubbed between fingers there should not be any grainy texture. The entire taste of this dish depends on how fine the paste is ground.

    If not using a microwave oven, extract thick tamarind pulp by cooking tamarind using gas stove.

    This dish can be made using brinjal slices too---but the whole brinjal shape looks good when floating in the gravy. Brinjals, when cut as shown here, and cooked the flavor reaches the inner parts of it---this gives the nice flavor and good look also.

     

    Drop the brinjals in water as cut brinjals tend to become black on oxidation and the slight bitterness which we call KANARU in Telugu would also be avoided by adding them to water till use.

    It is important to wipe the brinjals before adding to the oil as the splatter of oil caused due to the water droplets in the brinjals causes severe oil burns.

    After frying the brinjals place on paper napkin to soak excess oil---as it is we are using more oil to prepare this dish—so where ever possible avoid it.

    Frying the brinjals on high flame for just three minutes allow the brinjals to get cooked up to 70% without absorbing much oil. Remaining 30% gets cooked when we cook these fried brinjals in gravy.

    When a vegetable is cooked in gravy it absorbs water and gives a cooked flavor. When a vegetable is fried in oil it evaporates water in the vegetable and gives a fried flavor. In this recipe, when the brinjals are 70% cooked in oil and 30% in gravy they just absorb the flavor of the gravy—neither cooked flavor nor fried flavor. Also these brinjals remain intact while cooking in gravy as they are deep fried---and this gives the taste and look to the dish. Brinjals retain the natural purple color as they are fried first and then cooked in gravy---this is because they do not absorb water. As the brinjals are having cuts, the inner parts absorb the flavors from the gravy retaining the outer shiny purple color.

    Serve this rich and flavorful dish with biriyani, pulao, jeera rice or with plain rice. This dish also tastes good when served with roti, paratha or naan

    Enjoy !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    This Recipe is a tribute to HYDERABAD -  the place I was born and brought-up. It is dear to my heart and has a mixture of Hindu & Muslim cultures. Old memories are still fresh -

    Everyday early in the morning, from Chikkadapally, I used to walk to RTC X roads Chourasta to catch 137 or 139 Bus to Nampally Govt Womens' College. VST compound had two big trees, nesting hundreds of birds. In the twilight these birds would be chirping (talking to each other) and making lot of noise. Waiting for the bus early in the morning in this high decibel noisy place was a real treat to ears.

    In those early hours on my way from home to "X" Roads, Chikkadpally post office remained closed  and the next door big Irani Hotel used to be busy with people of all sorts. Under the tungsten bulb lights, the dark antique furniture in this hotel was barely visible while the Aluminium basin (turned black over the years) had a heap of Patti Onion Samosa, illuminated by a focus lamp was seen to the passersby from the road. As some hotel guests preferred to sit & chat, some preferred to stand outside sipping the Irani cut Chai

    As my college was located in Nampally, a predominantly Muslim residential area, it had many Muslim students. Notable amongst my friends were Ruhi Firdausi Alia Mahajabeen and Sasikala. While Pakistani Cricketer Imran Khan was adored by many, Kapil Dev had equal share of following in the class!!!

    How nice it would be if I can meet  Ruhi, Alia,Seeta, Jyothi and Sasikala today?

    Muslim friends used to come in colorful dresses, covered with Burkhas, which they removed and stalked them on the railing before entering the class. I still wonder how they could identify their respective Burkhas  from that heap. These Burkhas looked alike for me. I could never win a bet in identifying my friends Burkha correctly, till I completed my Intermediate from that college in 1984. Thereafter I joined Reddy college for B.Sc

    After three years, my focus shifted to the Chikkadpally Post Office, which used to carry letters between me and my fiancee during 1987.

    Now, neither the Irani Hotel nor the  Post Office is there. They remain in memories only.

    The Charminar, Tank Bund, Indira Park, Sultan Bazaar where we two went around, after our engagement, are luckily still there.

    Yes my eyes are moist and I pay tribute to this great place, by hosting Hyderabadi Bagara Baigan recipe, a dish which I first tasted in my friend - Sudha's marriage reception

    This is my 300th Recipe. Enjoy!!!

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