The city of Hyderabad in the south of India, is known for it’s fine cuisine. Cuisine is not the only attraction in this bi-religious city of Nawabs’. This city has tremendous significance, historically. Today it has evolved as an IT hub.
The city is known for it’s pearl and diamond trade, and is aptly named as City of Pearls. Hyderabad has been ruled and dominated by a self declared new dynasty called ‘Nizams’. They ruled over this city earlier princely state, from 1724 to 1948, when all princely states of India were dissolved and merged to make new provinces of independent India.
Today the city serves as a joint capital of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana states.
Keeping aside all those details, Hyderabad is a foodie’s paradise. From Biriyanis to Haleem, Khubani ka meetha to Kaddu ka kheer – the repertoire is vast and delightful. The royal kitchen has played a vital role in enriching the cuisine of Hyderabad, known as Hyderabadi Cuisine.
Baghare Baingan, a traditional vegetarian preparation with peanuts and coconut, a rich side dish originally served with Hyderabadi biriyani. Though this dish goes very well with soft, fluffy paranthas.
Baghare or Baghar means tempering or what we call ‘tadka’. The smoky flavor of the tempering will help create the actual taste of this dish.
The dish originated from Taskent, capital of Uzbekistan. The USP of this dish is the baby eggplants, which is shallow fried and then cooked in a rich and thick gravy of peanuts and coconut paste.
Here’s what I did……………
8-10 nos – baingan/ baby eggplants
3 tbsp – oil
For the gravy
1 nos – large onion, roughly chopped
1 tsp – thick tamarind paste
1 tsp – jaggery or as per taste
1/2 ” piece – ginger
5-6 flakes – garlic
1 tsp – red chili powder
1/4 tsp – garam masala
1 tbsp – peanuts
2 tsp – desiccated coconut
2 tsp – sesame /til
2 tsp – coriander seeds
1/2 tsp – cumin seeds
For the tempering
1/2 tsp – fennel/ saunf
2 nos – dry red chili
1 tsp – ginger and garlic paste
1/4 tsp – cumin seeds
Wash and pat dry the eggplants. Prepare them by making incisions from the base of the eggplant, keeping the stem end intact.
Heat oil in a pan and place the eggplants in the oil in a single layer. Stir in -between to fry all sides equally. This will take about 15 mins. Drain them on a kitchen paper.
Cover the pan and keep the heat at medium.
Meanwhile roast the peanuts for 2-3 mins. Keep aside.
Roast together desiccated coconut, sesame seeds, coriander and cumin seeds for 2 mins.
Grind the roasted ingredients along with chopped onion, jaggery, tamarind paste, red chili powder, ginger and garlic with enough water to make it into a smooth paste.
Heat the leftover oil. Crush the fennel and add it to the hot oil. Add the dry red chilies, cumin seeds and ginger- garlic paste. Fry till fragrant. Tip in the ground spices, lower the heat and cover. This will ensure the smoky flavors of the tempering.
Drop the eggplants gently into the simmering gravy. Season with salt. Add some water, if needed. Cook covered for 6-7 mins on low heat, till eggplants are cooked through and gravy is thick to your desired consistency.
Take it off fire.
Serve hot with paranthas, naan or biriyani.
Happy cooking !! 🙂
Cheers !! 😀