I can be left alone in my kitchen with an eggplant (baingan/ brinjal) any day! My neighbour was surprised when I told her that I can cook eggplant with at least 10 different recipes.. In India, we call it baingan raja (The king of vegetables). Recently a Bengali friend of mine gifted me a packet of panch phoran spice mix that I was yet to try.
Panch phoran spice is a Bengali 5 spices mix – cumin seeds, fennel seeds, mustard seeds, nigella (kalongi) seeds and fenugreek seeds – in equal measure. All of these spices are also used to make pickle seasoning in India, so I thought of trying out a variation of Achari baingan recipe (Pickled eggplant recipe).
This panch phoran baingan recipe is a tangy and spicy preparation. The different whole spices give it a lot of flavour and aroma. The yoghurt and cream base make a thick gravy that kind of envelops and locks the flavour of each eggplant piece!.
Panch phoran baingan
By Ashima Goyal Siraj
Preparation time: |Cooking time: |Serves: 2
1 big eggplant/ brinjal/ baingan cut into 1 inch cubes
3 tbsps ginger garlic paste
2 tsps kashmiri red chilli powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste
2 tbsp panch phoran spice mix (1 tsp each of cumin seeds, nigella seeds, black mustard seeds, fennel seeds and fenugreek seeds)
a pinch of asafoetida (hing)
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp amchoor (dry mango) powder
2 onions, chopped
2 green chillies, chopped
1 cup whisked yogurt
1/2 cup fresh cream
3 tbsp oil + oil for deep frying
- In a bowl, make a marinade of 2 tbsp ginger-garlic paste, 1 tsp kashmiri red chilli powder, 1/2 tsp turmeric, salt and 1 tbsp oil.
- Toss in the chopped eggplant and mix so that all pieces are coated well. Keep aside for 5 mins.
- Deep fry the marinated brinjals until they are slightly browned on all sides. Drain on an absorbent paper and keep aside.
- Heat 2 tbsp oil in another kadhai/ wok. Add asafoetida and the panch phoran spice.
- When the seeds start to sputter, add in 1 tbsp of ginger -garlic paste, chopped onions and green chilies.
- Saute for about 5 minutes.
- Add in the remaining kashmiri red chili power, turmeric powder, garam masala and amchoor powder. Mix well and cook for another couple of minutes.
- Add the whisked yogurt and cream. Mix well and keep stirring until there is a boil.
- Lower the heat, add the deep fried eggplants and cover and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
- Serve hot with chappatis.