If you know me, you already know I am a big fan of eggplant/brinjal/aubergine. Fortunately for me, I have a number of delicious recipes that highlight this fabulously healthy vegetable. As a child I wasn’t too fond of the veg, but would eat it anyway, because preferences with vegetables were not really encouraged at home. I still remember that day when my folks enrolled me in a new school in another city. I had just come to the 6th grade. I was to stay on campus–in the boarding school. As it is, I was sad and a little upset about having to be away from home. So imagine my feelings when I found that my first meal there had a big share of brinjal on the plate. Sigh. Oh yes, I ate it anyway but that didn’t mean I had to love it. And I didn’t dislike it so much I needed to avoid it.
Growing up, I discovered that the brinjal/aubergine/eggplant had more than one avatar, and I gradually just fell in love with the vegetable. Today, my son loves it as much as I do. My husband is not a huge fan, but that doesn’t mean he’ll skip it when it is cooked. He loves bhindi (Okra) and doesn’t mind if we make it every day! Ha, ha.
So today, I am going to share one of my most favorite recipes–learned from my friend who hails from Telangana–and also, I enjoyed it for the first time in her house. Now of course, it has become a regular in ours.
I guarantee you’ll love it too!
By the way, the eggplant comes in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes. It is well documented that the anthocyanins in this veg is good for heart health, and the chemical nasunin in it boosts blood flow to the brain. You can cook it by steaming, roasting, boiling, baking and frying. It is fiber-rich and low calorie, and full of nutrition.
So let’s look at how to make sliced eggplant curry, Telangana style, shall we?
For this dish, you will need the large purple brinjal/eggplant. It is also called the bharta baingan
Let’s gather the ingredients!
Sliced Eggplant Curry Telangana style
You will need:
- Brinjal – 1
- Onions – 2 (optional)
- Curry leaves
- Mustard seeds
- Jeera (cumin seeds)
- Urad dal (split black lentils/black gram dal)
- 3 tablespoons oil (any oil you usually use)
For the marinade
- Ginger garlic paste 1 teaspoon
- Jaggery about the size of a lemon
- Salt to taste
- Chili powder half a teaspoon
- Turmeric powder half a teaspoon
- Pepper powder half a teaspoon
- Jeera powder half a teaspoon
- Coriander powder half a teaspoon
- Besan – about 1 tablespoon
- Juice of two lemons
- Water to adjust consistency of batter
How to make sliced egg plant curry, Telangana style
- In a large, wide bowl, mix all the ingredients for the marinade into a smooth consistency – should be like bajji batter.
- Slice the brinjal into 2 mm thick slices. You’ll get quite a few from one brinjal.
- Dip the brinjal slices fully in the batter and keep bowl covered for about 20-30 minutes.
- Chop a couple of onions finely (this is optional. You can skip the onions if you like, but it kind of tastes nice!)
- In a wide pan, heat 3 tbsp oil.
- Add the mustard seeds.
- When they sputter, add the urad dal.
- When the urad dal turns golden add curry leaves and jeera/cumin seeds.
- Now add the finely chopped onion and let it turn golden.
- Turn down the flame of the stove.
- Place the slices of brinjal covered by the batter on the kadai.
- Gently flip the slices over after a few seconds, when the batter latches on to the slices.
- Let the brinjal cook on the low flame.
- Cover the kadai for a couple of minutes to cook–the bharta baingan cooks very quickly.
- Now uncover the kadai and turn up the flame. Flip the slices over every few seconds to get that nice crispy edge.
- When you’re satisfied that the brinjal is cooked, turn off the stove.
- If there are too many slices to cook in one go in your pan, cook in two batches.
- The onions are entirely optional. I like to add them because, yum factor.
- You don’t have to cook the brinjal slices and onions together. You can separately saute the onions, arrange on a plate and layer the brinjal slices on the onion. Or the other way around. Be creative!
- Not a fan of urad dal in the seasoning? No problem. Skip it.
- Apparently these can be baked in an oven after brushing the cookie tray with oil. Yet to try that.
Have questions? Please ask!
Do try the recipe and let me know how you liked it!