Bhagara Baigan (slow cooked Eggplants with Peanut and Sesame paste) is a traditional & authentic ‘Hyderabadi’ recipe that goes well with Parathas, Rotis (Indian flatbread) or steamed plain Rice.
What is Hyderabadi Cuisine?
Hyderabad is a metropolitan city in the South of India. It’s a capital city of an Indian state of Telangana.
An old Indian city, that was for a long time ruled by Qutub Shahi dynasty, Mughal Dynasty and lastly the Nizam dynasty.
Hence, the food here has Turkish, Mughal and Arabic influences. This is in combination with the regional influences of ‘Telugu’ and ‘Marathi’ cuisines.
Other Hyderabadi Recipes: Baigan Masale Dar, Hyderabadi Vegetable Biryani, Hyderabadi Lukhmi, Hyderabadi Kheema Pulao, Dahi Ki Chutney, Hyderabadi Chicken Biryani
Goodness of Eggplants
This small, round, purple berry is often considered a vegetable! It’s also know by different names: ‘Aubergine’, ‘Eggplant’ or ‘Brinjal’ and vary in size, shape and color (from purple to white).
Eggplants are considered to have originated in India and have been cultivated there and in China for more than 1,500 years.
It’s mainly known for its high antioxidant content, which provides a wide variety of health benefits. Eggplants have high dietary fiber, essential for gastrointestinal health and balanced diet. It also contains negligible amounts of fats and cholesterol.
So what are Bhagara Baigan?
Bhagara Baigan is almost as famous as the “Hyderabadi Biryani” and its history isn’t that clear.
Every region in India has its own recipe for eggplants (or as we call “Bhaigan” in Hindi) but in terms of flavor and technique, Bhagara Bhaigan steals the show 🙂
Toasted peanuts, sesame seeds, caramelized onions and tamarind pulp are made into a paste and stuffed into slit eggplants. These are then slowly cooked on low heat with other spices until eggplants are cooked. Your Bhagara Bhaigan is ready!
As I always believe, traditional recipes need to be made with patience and attention to detail. Rest all is a cake walk!
If you like the recipe or make “Bhagara Baigan” (slow cooked Eggplants with Peanut and Sesame paste), please be sure to leave a comment. Above all, I love hearing from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe and decide to post, please be sure to tag me on Instagram or Facebook!
Bhagara Baigan (slow cooked Eggplants with Peanut and Sesame paste)
For the paste
- 1 lbs small, round, purple eggplants or 1/2 kg eggplants (available in Indian grocery stores)
- 1 medium sized Red Onion sliced
- 2 tbsp Peanuts
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds or 'til'
- 1 tbsp poppy seeds or 'khus khus' (optional)
- 1 tsp Ginger garlic paste
- 1/2 tsp Turmeric
- 1 1/2 tsp Red chilli powder or according to your taste
- 5-6 nos Green chili or Thai green chilis, slit. You can adjust the number according to your preference
- 8-9 nos curry leaves Available in Indian grocery stores or 'Wholefoods' grocery stores
- 1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
- 1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
- 1/4 tsp Fenugreek seeds
- 1/4 tsp Nigella seeds or 'Kalonji'
- 2 tbsp Cilantro chopped for garnish
- 2 tbsp cooking oil
- Salt For soaking slit eggplants
- Salt to taste For the paste
- water For soaking slit eggplants and for paste
- 1 1/2 tbsp oil/ ghee or butter For caramelizing onions
- Wash eggplants and trim the stalks.
- Now slit them into 4 without cutting till the tip. Soak them in salted water for 20-30 minutes.
Making the paste
- Heat oil/ ghee or butter in a frying pan. Caramelize the sliced onions.
- Strain them out and dab out extra oil by placing them on an absorbent tissue.
- In a separate sauce pan roast peanuts, sesame seeds and poppy seeds (optional).
- In a blender/ food processor add the fried onions, tamarind pulp, peanuts, sesame seeds, poppy seeds (optional), red chili powder, turmeric powder, ginger garlic paste and salt to taste. Add a little water if required and obtain a smooth paste.
Stuffing and cooking eggplants
- Drain eggplants and dab them on an absorbent tissue.
- Fill each eggplant with the above paste and keep them aside. Retain left over paste.
- Heat oil in a non stick pot. Add Nigella seeds, Fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, curry leaves and slit green chilis. Let them fry for a minute.
- Now add the stuffed eggplants and the remaining paste.
- Let it cook on low heat covered until the eggplants are cooked.
- Stir in between.
- Once cooked and oil separates, transfer it to a serving dish and garnish with chopped cilantro.
- Enjoy with Parathas, Rotis (Indian flatbread) or plain steamed Rice.