Prep 30 mins
Cook 30 mins
This aubergine bhaji recipe has won rave reviews from my South Indian in-laws, who have very discerning palates when it comes to authentic currys. This dish can either be used as a side dish, or as a vegetarian main dish. It's easy, delicious and a great way to introduce different veggies to your kids.
- 0.66 lb eggplants (aka aubergine)
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 3 tablespoons rice bran oil (or other healthy-option oil)
- 1 teaspoon whole mustard seeds
- 1 cup sliced onion (slice each half-onion thinly, making half-moon shapes)
- 1 teaspoon ginger paste
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped finely
- 1⁄4-1⁄2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (depending on taste)
- 3⁄4 teaspoon turmeric
- 3⁄4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1⁄4 teaspoon garam masala
- 1⁄2 cup water
- 2 teaspoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- Cut the eggplants into 1-inch pieces- preferably keeping at least one side of each piece with the skin on.
- Put the eggplant pieces into a strainer and sprinkle liberally with salt. Place a small plate on top of the eggplant, and a weight on top of the plate- this process draws the excess water out of the eggplant, and it won't be overly salty. Leave for at least 30 minutes.
- Heat 1 1/2 tbsp oil in a heavy pan. When hot, add mustard seeds- they will start to pop in a few seconds. When they begin to pop, add the sliced onions, garlic and ginger. Turn the heat to medium, and cook until mixture is nicely browned.
- Add cayenne pepper, tumeric, garam masala and cumin to the onion mixture. Cook spices for a few minutes, then add water and tomato paste, and reduce heat to low. Let the sauce cook gently, but don't allow it to become dry.
- In a large skillet, heat 1 1/2 tbsp oil over moderate heat. Add eggplant pieces to the pan, and arrange in a single layer. Saute until all sides are brown and crisp.
- Once all eggplant pieces are browned, incorporate them into the sauce pan, making sure to cover all pieces with the sauce. Add lemon juice and salt.
- Cook gently until eggplant is cooked through (about 15-20 minutes). Stir occasionally (and very gently) and serve.
Yummy, yummy! I made this pretty much as written - except I used fresh chillies instead of cayenne, and to cut down on washing up I browned the aubergine in the same pan that I later used to make the sauce.
This was so very good, the addition of the mustard seeds really added to the overall flavour. I used fresh hot peppers in lieu of the cayenne, and also threw in some tomatoes.
Have made this several times now. I cook with fry light instead of oil. Really easy and quick to make too.