Baghara Baingan Eggplant in Peanut Gravy

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Ingredients (use vegan versions):


  • 1 large eggplant
  • 1 cup peanuts
  • 2 tablespoon sesame seeds (optional)
  • 4 jalapeno peppers, quartered(optional)
  • 1/4 size piece tamarind or 1 teaspoon paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric (optional)
  • 2 tablespoon grated coconut
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 5 tablespoon oil

Directions:


This is a South Indian (Hyderabadi) recipe that you rarely,
if ever, see in Indian restaurants.


Tamarind is a kind of sour dried fruit that you can get at
an Indian grocery store in the form of a slab, or in the
form of paste. Turmeric is also available in Indian stores.


Soak tamarind in water for an hour, or alternately, add
water and microwave for a minute (If it is tamarind paste,
omit this step. You can add it as is). Let cool.


Cut eggplant into large chunks (make sure all the chunks
have some skin on them). Add to a pan with 4 tbs of oil,
cover and cook on low for a few minutes until they are
browned on one side. Turn over and cover and cook again,
until they are tender.


Remove seeds and hard parts from the softened tamarind.
Lightly toast peanuts and sesame seeds in a pan. Blend
peanuts, sesame seeds, coconut,and tamarind with water. Add
enough water so that the consistency is that of a thick
sauce.


Remove the eggplant from the pan it has been cooked in. Add
a tbsp of oil if the pan is dry, and add bay leaves, and
the blended sauce. Cook the sauce for a couple of minutes,
stirring all the while. Add the jalapeno peppers, salt, and
turmeric. Add eggplant, cover tightly, and cook on a very
low flame for ten minutes.


Best served with rice. Serve hot, but save some for the
next day, when it tastes best.

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