Bagara baingan (Eggplant curry)


It’s time for  Lina’s April challenge . This time Lina had a rather unusual challenge for us, we had to select a random number, from 1-30 , upon selecting a certain number she would reveal the dish alloted  for that particular number . I  selected the number 12.

Bagara baingan it was for me ! For those of you are not very familiar with this dish , it is a very delicious dish from Hyderabad, India. Baingan – Eggplant/ Aubergines, are mainly known as Brinjal in India. I don’t really know why I haven’t prepared this dish before, but thanks to Lina’s challenge I will be making this more often. I really love how the combination of peanuts, sesame seeds and coconut come together and impart this rich nutty flavor to the dish, making it quite unique. The eggplants are traditionally deep fried, but shallow frying works well too. The roasted eggplants are then simmered in a spiced,  tangy , nutty and creamy gravy. It not only taste delicious, but looks beautiful as well. Bagara baingan is mostly served with biryani or bagara rice. We had it with plain rice, however this would also pair well with chapatis or any other flat bread. This also makes for a really nice vegetarian party dish, your guests will love it!

I visited Washington DC last month for the cherry blossom festival , it wasn’t peak bloom , but good enough for pics though ! My then virtual friend, Soniya had invited us over , since it was spring break as well , I thought it would be a good idea meeting her.

So after chilling out a bit after arriving at her place , we headed to the grocery store , bought these baby eggplants and got to cooking!! Yes I know weird right?! But we met through a foodie group so definitely there had to be some cooking done 😛


This dish turned out so amazing , everyone loved it! It’s a fairly simple recipe to execute. I sourced this recipe from Rama Devi Vishwanatham who had shared it on our foodie group. She learnt this from her good friend Sailaja, so big thanks to you too Sailaja for your lovely recipe 🙂

Sharing some images of the beautiful cherry blossoms . I forgot to carry my camera along ( I know , sigh!! ) Hope you still enjoy the pics 🙂






The judge for this wonderful contest is Jhuls@ The not so creative cook. Let’s begin with the recipe , do try it guys , you will love it 🙂


Small eggplants -10- 12 (washed & quartered, keeping the stem intact )
2 medium tomatoes, chopped into big cubes
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon methi ( fenugreek) seeds
2 small onions, finely chopped
3-4 tablespoon tamarind paste (Adjust according to your taste)
1/2 tablespoon red chilli powder
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
1/4 cup dhania (cilantro) leaves
1/4 teaspoon Garam masala powder
Salt to taste

To be ground to a paste :

1/2 cup each Peanuts , sesame seeds & dry coconut grated


1.Dry roast the peanuts and sesame seeds separately and let them cool. Grind it together with grated coconut into a fine paste. Keep aside.

2.Heat 4 Tbsp. oil in a wide pan. Add the eggplant and cook on low heat covered for a  couple of minutes. Remove and keep them aside.

3. Add 2 more tbsp. oil to the pan, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and methi seeds.

4.Once they splutter, add chopped onions to it.

5.When the onions are almost soft & translucent, add ginger garlic paste and sauté for few seconds.

6.Next add the ground masala paste and fry for 2 minutes.

7. Add Tamarind paste, salt, turmeric and red chilli powder and fry for 2 minutes.

8. Then add about a cup of water to it.

9. Then add all the sautéed egg plants and tomato pieces, mix it well with gravy.  Reduce the heat,cover with lid and let it cook.

10. Stir whenever needed until eggplants are well cooked. (You can see oil floating on top when the gravy is cooked). Add garam masala powder and cook for a minute.

11. Turn off the heat and add chopped cilantro.

Here’s a pictorial for reference.




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Have a lovely week ahead! Thanks for stopping by!




  1. Monika says:

    Wonderful job Freda.. My husband is anti baingan.. so neither do I cook nor do I get to order these in any restaurant ?
    Lovely blossoms pics.. seems like you and Soniya had a great time together ☺

  2. Roxanne | The Lemon And Jar says:

    Freda, this looks amazing! I must try this one soon especially cause I love eggplant…and the photography? Perfection!

    I wonder, it seems like sometimes we get bitter eggplants. Do you know how to choose eggplants and distinguish between the bitter ones and the not? I’ve had some that I’ve cooked and then it made the whole dish inedible because they were so bitter! I’d love any advice 🙂

    • Freda @ Aromatic essence says:

      Hi Roxanne! Thanks so much 🙂 the baby eggplants are not really bitter and can be used as such , for the bigger ones , I usually slice or chop them depending on the dish and soak them in water, add little salt , leave it 15 minutes , then rinse and use as directed. Hope this helps:)

  3. flynthings says:

    Looks great as usual! I just cooked baby eggplant this past weekend, wish I had seen this recipe, would have been a nice change from my usual version.

    Lovely blossom photos 😉

  4. Loretta says:

    Freda, what amazing photography and styling!!! You are fantastic at putting it all together. I love those baby eggplants, but have never tried making them. I’ll have to change that sometime soon 🙂

  5. Abi S says:

    I got back to the blog after ages and the first thing I see is this mouth-watering dish! I couldn’t stop myself from making it for dinner and it turned out delicious 🙂 Thanks for sharing this amazing recipe, Freda!

  6. cynthiamvoss says:

    This is beautiful! The dish
    sounds delicious too. I have always wanted to see the cherry blossoms in Washington DC. But there are many trees around here to enjoy and photograph 🙂

  7. Antonia says:

    What a gorgeous dish Freda, and it looks absolutely delicious 😀 I really enjoy Lina’s challenges! I have never been to DC when the cherry blossoms are in bloom. They are so pretty! I need to plan this for next year 😀

  8. Jhuls says:

    I’ve been on eggplant kick lately and this is just making my cravings a little higher. 😀 I am very close to licking my monitor screen. This looks so good – so flavourful and tasty. Yum! Thank you so much for participating. 🙂

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