Dahi Baingan: Eggplant in Yogurt
3 slim long purple eggplants [ the first one's from this summer from our garden:-)]
2 long green chilli peppers
2 hot green chillies [ optional]
2 dried red chillies
1 tsp Cummin seeds
1/2 tsp Saunf/ Aniseeds
2 cups of thick yogurt, beaten well
1/2 tsp of finely grated fresh ginger
Optional: use 1/4 tsp dried ginger powder instead of fresh ginger
Vegetable Oil, for pan frying the eggplants
1/8 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp red chilli powder [optional]
1/4 tsp Kashmiri red chilli powder [ for colour and flavour, can substitute paprika powder]
Slice the eggplants into roundels about 1/4 inch thick
Heat oil in a pan,
Pan fry the eggplants until golden brown on each side.
Season with turmeric powder, chilli powders and saute for a couple of minutes, adding oil as needed.
Drain and keep aside.
Meanwhile beat 2 Cups of yogurt.
Add salt and ginger paste and mix well.
Add the eggplants to the beaten curd mix,
[ Layer it on the top of the beaten curd]
Do not stir in the eggplants,
Heat 1 tbsp of oil and temper the cummin seeds and aniseeds,
Add the green chillies and saute for a couple of minutes.
Pour the tempered spices over the eggplants and serve.
Garnish with 1 tbsp of finely chopped coriander leaves.
This recipe has been adapted from Mankani, Bulbul, The Bollywood Cookbook [Kyle books, 2007].
A surprisingly good collection of recipes favoured by Bollywood film stars. It has a very interesting foreword by Shyam Benegal who describes a feast held for Shabana Azmi: a traditional goat cooked on dum in a clay oven, stuffed with chicken, eggs and layers of Hyderabadi Biryani.
The book mirrors the Bollywood ethos in many ways: the colours, the prints and the layout the book itself. The paper and photographs are of a better quality but still retain that particular stroke of gaudy Bollywood colour and filmy kitsch: The impossibly clean, carefully made-up faces, the clothes going just past elegance into 'theatre', the bleached and the blow-dried with a garishness that looks strangely appropriate to the subjects and to those of us who have grown up seeing Indian movies. And even in a recipe book, many a Bollywood ego manages to comes through.
It is always entertaining to see who selected what! There are some which are simple but others where one can pick out the actors with their choice of roles: character, not mainstream and as some would say, 'arty' and not flashy and immediately understand their choice of food.
Nandita Das is a favourite for many reasons and her contribution has the same quality she personifies in her roles. Dahi Baigan was perfect for this weather! Nandita's version is more colourful with fresh red chillies and a tempering of mustard seeds and curry leaves: more Bengali and East Indian influences. I have used a tempering of cummin and aniseed, a dash of ginger in the yogurt and a garnish of chopped coriander.