This is a “must have” while serving biryani of any form, be it chicken, lamb, shrimp or vegetable. Biryani no doubt, is satisfying by itself. But when accompanied with Baingan Masaledar you enter a whole new world that you never want to leave.
Baingan Masaledar- Eggplant Masala
- 900 g eggplant (small round/oval ones, try getting the seedless kind they are perfect for this dish)
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon / ground cloves spice mix
- ½ cup peanuts
- 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
- 4 large tomatoes, diced into small pieces
- 1 large onion, chopped finely julienne style
- ½ teaspoon chilli powder, or to taste
- 1 tablespoon grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon finely diced garlic
- ½ teaspoon cumin powder
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- 3- 4 whole peppercorns
- vegetable oil
- salt, to taste
- Cut off only the green stalk of the eggplants letting the green ring on the top remain (this will help hold the individual eggplant together even after it is cooked), make four slits at the bottom keeping the eggplant still intact as a whole.
- Heat about 2 to 3 teaspoons of oil in a wide flat bottomed pan
- Place the eggplants in the pan so that every eggplant touches the base of the pan. Set the flame high for about 3 –4 minutes or until one side of the eggplant is caramelised, then turn them over to the other side repeat the procedure. If there isn’t enough space in the pan, do them in batches.
- Sprinkle a little salt on top of the eggplant after the two sides are caramelised, close the pan and cook in low flame for 4 -5 minutes or until the eggplants are almost (not completely) cooked.
- Dry roast the peanuts and sesame seeds (each separately)
- Grind them into a smooth powder together after roasting
- Heat a table spoon refined oil, add cumin and whole pepper corns and sauté for a minute.
- Add in the chopped onions, sauté till golden brown
- Crush ginger and garlic, add to the pan and sauté for another few minutes till the oil comes clear.
- Add in the tomatoes, the ground mixture, cinnamon clove spice mix, turmeric and chilli powder and continue sautéing till the tomatoes form a mush and the oil separates.
- Add in the almost cooked eggplants and cook for few more minutes till the eggplants are fully cooked, add in hot water if the consistency of the gravy is too thick.
- Add salt to taste.
- Serve with Indian breads or biryani.