Aloo Baingan

This past week has been really grey, cold and rainy so I decided to spice things up a little. Lats night I lit Nag Champa incense and flooded the entire floor of our building with the smell of Indian goodness. Cloves, cinnamon, cumin, cardamom, coriander... All the amazing spices starting with a "c". Oh and chili, of course. I don't cook anything that doesn't involve chili peppers. Ever. Maybe that's why I don't bake. I love Indian food for its blend of flavors (not as much as I love Thai food, of course). It's a combination of all my favorite spices and herbs. It's like a crazy keg party for my taste buds.

I've made Kashmiri Dum Aloo  (baby potatoes in a spicy yogurt gravy) and Gobi Masala (cauliflower curry) before and they turned out great. I love how Indian recipes turn boring vegetables into something so excitingly flavorful. So when I came across the recipe for Aloo Baingan (aloo - potatoes, baingan - eggplant) I thought that I definitely had to give it a try. I am the greatest carnivore there is, however, so I added a couple of chicken thighs that I had left over. Tasted great. We ate it on its own since we're sort of light eaters (or trying to be) but it can be served with rice or naan. 

Aloo Baingan in a Tomato Yogurt Gravy

recipe adapted from kirantarun

Ingredients :
3 medium potatoes, cubed bite size
6-7 small eggplants, cubed bite size
4 tbsp cooking oil
1/2 tsp crushed cumin seeds
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
1/2 tsp minced ginger 
1/2 tsp garlic paste
2 heaping tbsp tomato paste
2 bay leaves
4-5 heaping tbsp non-fat yogurt
1/2 cup of water
salt to taste
fresh coriander leaves for garnish

Spice mix:

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp red chili powder
1/2 tsp ground fennel
Or if you are feeling lazy you can just use garam masala mix available at any grocery store. It has all the same ingredients except for fennel, and instead of red chili powder uses black pepper. 

  1. Heat a non-stick skillet to medium high. Add 2 tbsp cooking oil, fry potatoes and eggplants for some color. This should take no more than 5 minutes.
  2. Remove potatoes and eggplant from the skillet.
  3. Add remaining cooking oil to the skillet and sprinkle in some crushed cumin seeds. Fry for a few seconds.
  4. Throw in chopped onions, ginger and garlic paste. Fry till fragrant. This should take about 10 minutes.
  5. Add tomato paste and spice mix. Stir to combine and continue to cook for a few minutes.
  6. Return potatoes and eggplant into the skillet.
  7. Once oil begins separating to the sides, add non-fat yogurt, bay leaves, water and salt to taste.
  8. Cover skillet and simmer on low heat for 20 minutes until vegetables are fully cooked and tender.
  9. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves & serve hot with steamed rice or naan.

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