Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Birthday special - Dahiwale Baingan

eggplant subji

Dahiwale Baingan with chappatis

Yesterday was our little princess' "star" birthday i.e birthday according to the Indian lunar calendar. She had started a countdown to this day, about a week ago.

She woke up suitably excited, demanding that everybody be nice to her and treat her special. She is treated like this everyday, but that's another discussion!.

She did not let us forget for a minute that it was her birthday and that it was a special day for her. Her brother was strictly instructed to be nice to her and not bother her, which of course meant that he was going to push her buttons and see how far he could go before I had to be called in to negotiate!

I wanted to make her favorite things for her birthday and upon asking, she said that she wanted "payasam" and "eggplant subji" - Who knew!! I would have never guessed that eggplant was her favorite vegetable. That's the thing with kids - their tastes change and a new favorite comes up every now and then.

Anyways, I was not going to question it, or let this opportunity pass me by. Eggplant subji it was!! - served with chappati, fried cauliflower florets(another one of her favorites) and of course payasam.

Here's my recipe for the "Dahiwale Baingan" - adapted from a Sanjeev Kapoor TV program, with my modifications:

subji ingredients

Japanese eggplant, onions, green chillis, garlic, curry leaves, ginger and cilantro


4 Japanese eggplant
1 medium onion
1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
4-5 green chillis
2 tbsp sour cream (or use yogurt mixed with 1 tbsp all purpose flour)
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp jeera
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
curry leaves
cilantro for garnish

cut eggplant

sliced eggplant

fried eggplants

pan fried eggplant


Cut the eggplant lengthwise and then slice into half moons. Sprinkle eggplant with salt and mix the ginger-garlic paste. Put in a colander and leave to marinate for 1-2 hours. It helps to keep a bowl filled with water on top to weigh it down. The bitter juices will come out of the eggplant and the eggplant will fry up nicely.

Heat a little oil in a wok and pan fry the till brown and crispy. Fry in small batches to get them nice and crispy. Next time, I am going to try to bake 'em in a sheet pan.

Chop the onions and green chillis. Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan. Add the mustard seeds and jeera seeds. When they pop, add the curry leaves, green chillis and chopped onion. Fry lightly. When the onions turn translucent, add turmeric powder and salt.

Gently mix in the sour cream and heat slowly. The mixture will slowly boil. Set aside.

Mix the eggplant and gravy just before serving and garnish with chopped cilantro. The combination of turmeric and the sour cream gives it a very flourescent yellow color - quite unusual!

Dahiwale Baingan or rather Sour Creamwale Baingan!!


At Tue Mar 07, 11:44:00 AM 2006, Blogger Kitchenmate said...

SH: Different recipe. I love to try anything with sour cream. So.. going to try this:)
Again, utterly beautiful pictures and interesting way of writing:) Look forward to your upcoming recipes:)

At Tue Mar 07, 12:00:00 PM 2006, Blogger Kitchenmate said...

SH: One more question, dont the sliced brinjals turn dark, if we leave them in air? I usually drop sliced brinjal, potato in water, until they are ready to cook.

At Tue Mar 07, 01:04:00 PM 2006, Blogger Saffron said...

kitchenmate, I think it is the variety and the salt and/or ginger-garlic that is rubbed on them. They do discolor a little bit, but not significantly. This is my most favorite way of making eggplant now! let me know how it works for you.

At Tue Mar 07, 01:36:00 PM 2006, Anonymous Gini said...

That looks awesome,never tried eggplant this way. Happy b'day to yr daughter!

At Tue Mar 07, 02:25:00 PM 2006, Blogger Dumb Cook said...

Saffron Hut, I love your photographs.

Do you have special recipes for Dosai? Chai after having Dosai....hmmm..

Not a big fan of egg plant though!

At Tue Mar 07, 03:23:00 PM 2006, Blogger Saffron said...

I do have a recipe for dosai and will post it sometime. But I'm sure you will agree with me that for good dosai, a well seasoned pan, at the right temperature is more critical than the actual recipe ;-)

At Tue Mar 07, 03:47:00 PM 2006, Blogger KrishnaArjuna said...

SH, that's a great recipe with eggplants. This joins my must try list..

At Tue Mar 07, 04:38:00 PM 2006, Blogger Santhi said...

Happy birthday to ur little one. I thought u went on ablog break SH.

Baingan is not one of my fave veggies but I have learnt to eat it after coming to US and i keep trying to make it in different ways. Will have to try this one.

At Tue Mar 07, 11:39:00 PM 2006, Blogger Shalini said...

birthday wishes to u r little one... mom was a big fan of brinjals and never liked it when i was a kid... after i started to cook started(had)to like it...this one looks v interesting...ur photographs are awesome...keep up the good work...

At Wed Mar 08, 06:04:00 AM 2006, Blogger Nupur said...

Best wishes to the little princess...and the eggplants look delicious!

At Wed Mar 08, 08:13:00 AM 2006, Blogger sailu said...

Wishing the lil one a very happy belated birthday.
That's an interesting recipe with brinjals.I will try it out for sure.
And your pictures look awesome.

At Tue Mar 28, 12:19:00 PM 2006, Anonymous anjali said...


Tried this recipe and turned out delicious.....Thanx......btw u have a neat site..and a cool presentation style...keep up the great work!

At Fri Apr 21, 05:40:00 AM 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Tried this recipe by baking the brinjal pieces. Turned out good. Thanks


At Fri Apr 21, 06:17:00 PM 2006, Anonymous Aparna said...

I tried this recipe today. I didn't want to fry the baingan and didn't have the time to bake them, so I decided to saute them in less oil. It wasn't the greatest idea because the eggplant got mashed in no time. But it turned out great (my husband and I absolutely loved it) except we called it dahiwale baingan bartha :-).

Thanks, great recipe!!

At Mon Apr 24, 10:43:00 AM 2006, Blogger Saffron said...

anjali, tanuja, aparna Glad that you liked the recipe. Hey, mashed or not, it's the taste that counts, right?

At Thu May 11, 10:52:00 AM 2006, Anonymous Anuradha said...

This recipe turned out beautifully !! My husband abdsolutely loved it. This one's going to be on the menu for a long time :)

At Mon Aug 21, 11:52:00 PM 2006, Anonymous chandni said...

Put in a colander and leave to marinate for 1-2 hours. It helps to keep a bowl filled with water on top to weigh it down. The bitter juices will come out of the eggplant and the eggplant will fry up nicely.

I didnt understand this bit at all!!!

can u please explain...what exactly has to be done? :)

At Tue Sep 19, 06:56:00 AM 2006, Blogger Me & Ro said...


what is pan frying? i tried shallow frying with a lil bit of oil by turning the pieces over a couple of times until browned. i did this in batches and ended up using a whole lot of oil. i liked the recipe but wudnt want to use so much oil. did i so something wrong.
how can i bake instead?


At Tue Sep 19, 08:29:00 AM 2006, Blogger Saffron said...

Chandni you have to salt the eggplant pieces and put it in a colander so that the liquid that is generated from the salt and the eggplant will drain away. In order to sqeeze more liquid out, it helps to put a heavy object on top. I usually use a glass bowl filled with water that will fit well in the colander, so that the eggplant pieces get pressed by the heavy bowl. Once the juice is all squeezed out, the eggplant fries up nice and crispy.

Hope that helps!

bini to cut down on the oil, you can use a non-stick pan so that you won't need as much oil. You can also drain the fried eggplant on paper towels to absorb some of the excess oil. You can also oil a baking sheet and spread out the eggplant pieces on it. Spray with a little more oil if desired and broil till they get golden. Watch carefully so that they don't burn!!


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At Sat Jan 06, 09:13:00 AM 2007, Blogger Terri said...

Sh, just wanted to let you know that I made this for dinner last night, and it came out really well. I skipped marinating and I deep-fried the eggplants and added a lot more sour cream. Of course, the whole house smells, but in a good way.

This is definitely going to be on the menu for our next party. Thanks!

At Fri Jul 27, 10:27:00 AM 2007, Blogger Lubna said...

Hi Saffron,
I tried this recipe with a few variations, check it out on my blog:

Thanks again my hubby loved it :)

At Tue Oct 16, 09:37:00 AM 2007, Blogger Vanita said...

i have made this many times before but never left a comment ... we had dinner at our place last nite and i made this dish and it was a major hit ... its so qucik and easy to make and the taste is something out of the world .. v v diff from the normal...
The pics on your site are gr8 !!

At Wed Nov 14, 01:03:00 PM 2007, Blogger Vanita said...

Found this on another site... more of a copy paste job ....check it

At Wed Apr 30, 07:40:00 AM 2008, Anonymous SONAL said...

hey i tried this reciepe..i was awesome..i wanted to make it again but this time by baking/broling can anyone tell me how to bake marinanated baingan and for how much time..thanks

At Thu Jul 24, 11:20:00 AM 2008, Anonymous navami said...

Loved your recipe..Presentation is excellent..

At Wed Dec 31, 06:01:00 PM 2008, Anonymous Sairindhri said...

Hi Saffron,

Your photographs are really very well taken. Do you use a manual SLR camera? Btw, I think those aren't Japanese eggplants, they're chinese. You might want to correct that. Will definitely try this recipe. Thanks! Sairindhri

At Sun Jan 31, 07:46:00 PM 2010, Blogger Clarie said...

Nice recipe! I will definitely try it out.

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