Dahi Baingan

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Eggplants are cooked in different ways, but I am so used to cooking it with potatoes and in a typical Punjabi style.

Recently, I was going through some menu cards and saw the dish dahi baingan, or eggplants with yogurt. The name itself made me curious, so I thought I would give it a try.

It is amazing how this dish came out even though the spices are so simple–most of the ingredient will be in your fridge! Even those who don’t like eggplants will enjoy this!

I make my own dahi, or yogurt, but you can purchase your own desi-style yogurt at a local grocery store.

(Desi style yogurt, only! A few years ago, a friend of mine was following a recipe I had given her that included yogurt, but when she tried it, the taste was off. Turns out she had bought vanilla yogurt…not the same!)

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound small eggplants (thinly sliced)
  • 3 tbs oil
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/8 tsp asafetida (hing)
  • 2 tsp finely sliced ginger
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp gram flour (besan)
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds (saunf)
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2  tsp coriander powder
  • 1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro

Recipe:

  1. Whisk the yogurt, gram flour, and cilantro together and keep it aside.  Add in some water if the yogurt is thick.
  2. Heat the pan on high flame and add oil.  When the oil gets hot, add in cumin seeds, ginger, and asafetida and stir.
  3. Add in eggplants and spread it evenly. Sprinkle the salt over the eggplants but do not mix.  Cover the pan, lower the heat to medium low, and let it cook for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Uncover the pan, turn eggplants over, and some of them will be brown in color.  Cover the lid and let them cook for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Check the eggplants as they should be tender and soft.  Add in all the remaining spices – coriander, red chili powder, turmeric, and fennel seeds.  Stir it so the eggplants are coated with spices.
  6. Add in the yogurt, stir gently and cover the lid and let it cook for 2-3 minutes.
  7. Enjoy it hot with rice, rotis or paranthas

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Serves: 4 people

Note: The gram flour is added to the yogurt to prevent it from curdling while also thickening the gravy.

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