Birthday special - Dahiwale Baingan
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:
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
cilantro for garnish
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!!