Thursday, 22 May 2014

Baingan ka Khatta / Baby Brinjals in tangy sauce

Baingan ka Khatta is a tangy gravy made with baby eggplants / brinjals. Baingan ka Khatta is my family's favourite dish to go along with Roti or Briyani. This is my mom's recipe and she learnt it from her mother in law. This gravy is rich, tangy and spicy. It has this nutty aroma from peanuts and sesame seeds.



  • 8 small sized tender Brinjals / eggplants
  • 2 Tablespoon Sesame seed oil
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Mustard Seeds
  • 1 Teaspoon Fenugreek seeds ( I like fenugreek in all tamarind based gravies; you can just add 1/ 4 teaspoon instead of 1 teaspoon)
  • 1 Sprig of curry leaves
  • 1 Medium onion chopped finely
  • 1 tablespoon coriander powder
  • 1 and 1/2 Teaspoon Red Chili powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Turmeric powder
  • 1/4 Cup thick tamarind Extract

For Dry Roasting and Grinding

  • 2 Tablespoon Groundnuts /peanuts
  • 1 Tablespoon white sesame seeds ( do not use black sesame seeds, it turns this gravy blackish and also gives a bitter taste)

For Roasting in oil and Grinding

  • 1 Teaspoon Oil
  • 1 Medium onion chopped roughly
  • 1/4 Cup fresh coconut slices ( slice it very thinly)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cumin Seeds
  • 1 Teaspoon whole Black pepper corns


1. In a frying pan, dry roast peanuts until they are light golden. Gently rub the peanuts with your fingers and remove skin. Discard skin of the peanuts and add them to a spice grinder. set aside


2. In the same frying pan, add white sesame seeds and keep the flame high. close the pan with a lid otherwise sesame seeds splutter all over and they try to escape from the pan. Switch off the flame when the popping or sizzling noise stops. Add sesame seeds also to the spice grinder along with peanuts. cool completely


3. Once cooled, grind peanuts and sesame seeds together with 2 tablespoon water to fine paste.  Set aside


4. In the frying pan, heat 1 teaspoon oil. when the oil is hot, add cumin seeds and black pepper corns. When they splutter, add onions and coconut slices. Turn the flame to the lowest heat setting. let them get roasted on low flame until the onions are caramelized and coconut has a nice char on them. It is important to fry them on low flame until they turn crispy other this gravy will have raw smell of coconuts



5.  Switch off the flame and cool the ingredients completely. Then grind the ingredients we roasted at step number 4 in to a fine paste. Set aside. At this stage you will have 2 different pastes


6. Now start preparing the gravy. Wash eggplants and slit each egg plant into four. Discard the stem. Do not cut them into 4 pieces. Just make 2 slits

7. In a pan.. heat 2 tablespoon sesame seed oil. When the oil is hot, add mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds and let them splutter

8. Then add curry leaves and wait until they turn crispy

9. Then add chopped onions and sauté until they are soft

10. Add the onion, coconut, cumin seeds, black peppercorns paste we prepared at step number 4 and five

11. Turn the flame to low and roast the paste nicely for 5 minutes until the oil separates from the mixture. DO not rush, let the masala gets roasted nicely

12. Then add the coriander powder, red chilli powder and turmeric powder and 1 tablespoon water and sauté until the oil separates

13. Add eggplants and mix everything together.  Keep the flame low and roast until eggplants has a nice char on them

14. Then add 1 cup water and salt to taste and increase the flame to high and cook until the eggplants are almost cooked

15. Add tamarind extract and peanut sesame paste we prepared at step number 3 along with 1/2 cup water and cook for 10 minutes more. check salt and adjust gravy consistency by adding more water of required

16. Switch off the flame. Let the gravy rest for 1 hour for the flavors to develop

17. Serve with roti / biryani