Bagara Baingan

When my younger daughter took off to university during the first year of the pandemic, it wasn’t long before she was back home again for much of the remaining year. When she eventually returned for her last semester it was the home cooked meals she missed the most. She was armed with my cooking kits and blended spices to make things as easy as possible for her to create her own meals, but there are some dishes which need a little bit more of a tender touch 😉 Here’s one such recipe which I took down to her campus residence during one of my short visits to accompany her favourite homemade Biriyani 😊


  • 6 small aubergines
  • Oil for drizzling + 1/4 cup more
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 5-6 curry leaves
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1/2 roasted ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp desiccated coconut
  • 1 – 2 tbsp tamarind paste
  • salt to taste
  • fresh coriander leaves for garnishing


  1. Preheat oven to gas mark 6.
  2. Meanwhile, make several slits lengthwise across each aubergine. Place into an oven proof dish and drizzle with enough oil, turning them over to cover evenly. Cover and cook for 30 mins.
  3. Grind together the sesame seeds and grated coconut. Mix with a little water to form a paste.
  4. Remove the aubergines from the oven and set aside.
  5. In a wok or karahi, gently heat the oil and add the onions. Cook until soft and golden. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
  6. Stir in the curry leaves and then add the prepared paste, mixing it in well.
  7. Add the cumin, coriander, turmeric, chilli and salt. Stir in well. Cover and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  8. Mix in the tamarind paste and then add 1/4 cup water. Stir, bring to boil and simmer for 5 mins.
  9. Add the aubergines, gently spooning the gravy over each one.
  10. Cover and cook on a low flame for another 5 mins.

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