Achari Baingan ~ Eggplant/Brinjals in pickling spices

Saturday, July 27, 2013

This recipe is native to Punjabi cuisine. The word 'Achar' means Indian pickle and 'Baingan' means eggplant/aubergine. When you hear the word 'Achar' in the name of the recipe, it is quite natural for many people to think this dish is made with pickle or the other way, a pickle made with brinjal. But as the name suggests, it does not use any actual achar or pickle. The spices are used both in this recipe and a pickle are almost the same and surprisingly, the taste of this dish is quite close to a Indian achar or pickle... spicy, tangy and pungent.

 

This is one of the most delicious methods of cooking brinjal or baingan. Other variations are made with potato, Ladies Finger/Okra, Paneer or Indian cottage cheese and even with Chicken. I think, any vegetable will taste its best when cooked in this tongue tickling pickled spices. When cooking with brinjal, it is usually made with small whole brinjals, just slitted but stems intact but I chopped my brinjal in big pieces. The basic spices used here is Panch Phoron(as we call it in bengali) or Five Spice Mix. It's a mixture of five spices(mustard seed, fennel seed, cumin seed, black cumin seed & fenugreek seed) mixed in equal quantity. Tomatoes and dry mango powder gives it a tangy touch. Instead of using tomatoes, you can use curd/dahi/yogurt too to bring up the tanginess. It's upto you. So, let's check out the ingredients and method without any more delay........

You need :
Brinjal : 1, big, cut into big chunks
Onion : 1, finely chopped, you can skip onion if you want to
Ginger-garlic paste : 2 tblsp.
Green Chilli : 2, finely chopped
Tomato : 2, finely chopped
Oil : 3 tblsp.
Spices :
Panch Phoron : 1 tblsp. or mix all above mentioned five spices in equal quantity

Asofoetida/Hing : a pinch
Turmeric Powder : 1 tsp.
Coriander powder : 1 tsp.
Red chilli Powder :1 tsp. or as per taste
Amchur or Dry mango powder : 1 tblsp.
Sugar : 1 tsp.
Salt to taste
Fresh Coriander leaves for garnishing

Method :
  • Chop the brinjals in big chunks. Take them in a bowl. Add 1/2 tsp. of turmeric and red chilli powder, salt and 1 tblsp. ginger-garlic paste, mix well with brinjals, so all brinjal are nicely coated with the spices. Keep aside for 15-30 minutes. More the merrier, 30 minutes is enough.
  • Heat 2 tblsp. oil in a pan, add marinated brinjal pieces and saute in medium flame until they are light brown in color. Drain on a kitchen towel. 
  • On the same pan, add little more oil, temper with panch phoron or five spice mix. When seeds crackle(do not burn the seeds, otherwise the curry will taste bitter), add chopped green chillies and onions. Fry till onions turn brown, add 1 tblsp. ginger-garlic paste, turmeric, red chilli powder and coriander powder and chopped tomatoes. 
  • Saute till tomatoes softens and spices are nicely cooked, add fried brinjals and dry mango powder. Add sugar and salt to taste. Now add just enough water to cook the brinjals about 2/3 cup or as needed. Cover and let it cook. Be careful not to overcook the brinjals. 
  • When water evaporates and brinjals are done, remove from heat and garnish with chopped fresh coriander leaves.
  • Serve with rice or pulao or any Indian flatbreads like naan, paratha or chapathi.

Sending this recipe to Vardhini's "Dish It Out : Onions and Chillies" event, guest hosted by Krithi's Kitchen








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9 comments

  1. Baingan looks delicious. Nice flavors.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Looks delish..feel like digging into it.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Looks very tempting.. Flavorful one !

    ReplyDelete
  4. looks sooo tempting n delicious...

    ReplyDelete
  5. Very tempting , bookmarked it.

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