Saturday, March 5, 2016

Baingan (Eggplant) in a Yogurt Sauce- for A Maharaja's Table

Another amazing state we visited in India in February was Orissa.  This state is located in Eastern India and is the home of traditional arts, crafts and textiles that predate many of the great empires of India.  We visited weavers and dyers in their workshops and homes- amazing!

For three nights, we stayed at the Palace Dhenkanal, home to the Raja of Dhenkanal and his family for generations.  It was a fabulous experience!  I was honoured with an informal cooking class with the palace chef.  This is what we made- so simple and so delicious.  Cooked outside over a small fire...
An amazing cooking class- outside, over a small fire.

We cooked in my favourite style- a little bit of this and a pinch of that... so the quantities are approximate.  Taste and adjust  the seasoning before serving.

Baingan in yogurt sauce

To serve four.

4 small or 2 medium     eggplant, but into quarters lengthwise (and halved if using medium eggplant)
                                      (you can use white, purple or Chinese eggplant)
1 1/2 cups                      plain yogurt
1 tsp                               cumin, ground
1 1/2 tsp                         black mustard seeds
handful of curry leaves  fresh is better, but dried can be used
1 tbsp                             mustard oil
                                       vegetable oil for frying the eggplant
Pinch of salt and pepper

Pour enough vegetable oil in a pan to fry the eggplant until it is browned all over.  Remove from the pan and set aside.

Mix the yogurt with the salt, pepper and cumin in a medium bowl.

In a small frying pan, heat the mustard oil.  Add the mustard seeds and heat until they pop.  Add the handful of curry leaves (or about 1 tbsp of dried leaves) and heat until they wilt.  Add the contents of the frying pan to the yogurt mixture.  Stir in the eggplant.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

Enjoying a fabulous meal with a fabulous group!
Great food was served at the Palace Dhenkanal!

1 comment:

  1. Tried this on Sunday - it was a great success. I found the really small Indian eggplants and curry leaves at the local Indian store. I think I should have cooked the curry leaves longer and it might have been even better with mustard oil instead of canola, but it was fairly close to the dish we had at the Prince's palace. Thanks Jo!