Authentic Hyderabadi Bagare Baingan Recipe is thick, smooth, spicy and tangy gravy based vegetarian (vegan) curry. Eggplants are sautéed and added to thick and nutty tamarind based gravy. Serve this as a side-dish with steamed white rice or biryani or pulao.
About This Recipe
My mom makes the best bagara baingan. This is an old family recipe, from my mom to yours. There are many ways of making this Hyderabadi delicacy. The recipe I am sharing with you is simple and flavourful.
Baingan (Baigan) is Hindi word for Eggplant. Also called as Brinjal. Long an slender brinjals are used to cook Bagare baingan.
When I was small, it was rare to find purple and round brinjals in Guntur, which is my hometown. Though, round ones are easily available these days, my mom use purple long brinjals only. If you find purple long brinjals, do use them in making this recipe.
What is Bagara Baingan?
Bagara Baingan is thick, spicy and flavoursome Indian vegan curry. This is made by sautéing brinjals in oil and later adding them to thick and spicy tamarind gravy.
Bagar means tempering (tadka). Masalas are fried in oil and then tamarind juice is added to it. This will bring robust flavour in the curry.
Hydearbadi Bagara Baingan is a classic and age-old recipe, which is still served in weddings along with biryani. Many hotels in Andhra and Telangana, still serve bagare baingan as a side dish with pulao and biryani.
Other Names of Bagare Baingan
Bagare Baingan is also called as,
Sare Baingan – Sare means whole and baingan means brinjal (eggplant). Whole brinjal is cooked in masala-based tamarind gravy and hence the name sare baingan.
Masala Baingan – Bunch of aromatic spices and masalas go into making this recipe. Hence the name masala baingan.
Vankaya Masala – In Andhra, bagara baingan is called as vankaya masala. Vanakaya is Telugu word for brinjal.
Nune Vankaya Kura – Nune maeans oil, vankaya means brinjal and kura means curry.
This is also called as Brinjal Masala Curry or Spicy Eggplant Gravy.
Eggplant | Brinjal: My mom use purple, slender and long brinjals. You can use any variety depending on the availability. Green or purple, long or round, plain or striped brinjals too taste best in making this recipe. Baby brinjals add appealing look to this dish.
Peanuts | Phalli: You can either roast or fry peanuts. I prefer roasted peanuts. By roasting peanuts, you can reduce the oil in the recipe. Peanuts add taste and texture to the gravy.
Sesame Seeds | Til: Use white sesame seeds. Like peanuts, you can either roast or fry sesame seeds. I prefer roasted sesame seeds, as this will help in reducing the use of oil. Sesame seeds add nutty taste and flavour to the gravy.
Dry Coconut | Khopra: Adding dry coconut is purely option. You can add dry coconut powder or finely sliced dry coconut pieces. If using sliced dry coconut pieces, then dry roasted before grinding them to fine powder. Dry coconut brings aroma, taste and thickness in gravy.
Fried Onion: Sauté finely sliced onion in oil till they turn light brown and then grind to make smooth paste. This will give bagara taste to the recipe.
Garlic: Add few garlic cloves while grinding the masala. Garlic cloves bring flavour in the masala.
Cloves: These bring aroma and unique taste in the recipe.
Tamarind | Imli: Mostly used to bring tangy (sour) taste in the curry. You can use tamarind paste or pulp or tamarind water. Tamarind paste is easily available in market. You can even make this at home. Here is an easy recipe for Homemade Tamarind Paste.
Homemade Tamarind Paste Recipe
- Wash and soak tamarind pulp in hot water. Add enough hot water to submerge tamarind. Leave this for 15-20 minutes.
- Squeezing gently with your fingers, remove the seeds. Pass this over a sieve and collect the mixture.
- Use the backside of the spoon and press the mixture till all the pulp is strained. Scrape from the bottom of the sieve and gently stir the collected water. The consistency should be thick like sauce or ketchup.
- You can use this in any recipe, which calls for tamarind paste.
- Store in a clean and dry moisture free airtight jar. Stays fresh for a month.
Tamarind Water Recipe:
Tamarind paste is thick and tamarind water is thin in consistency. Add 1 cup of water to 3 tbsp. of tamarind paste to get tamarind water.
Best Indian Vegetarian Curries
Tips To Make The Best Bagare Baingan Recipe
- Always choose brinjals of same size and shape. This will help in cooking them uniformly.
- Roast peanuts and sesame seeds separately. Peanuts take more time to roast, whereas sesame seeds take less time.
- Roasting them separately will give perfectly roasted peanuts and sesame seeds.
- Remember to roast peanuts and sesame on low flame only. Stir to evenly roast peanuts and sesame seeds.
- Use the leftover oil from frying onions to fry brinjals. This will bring taste in brinjals.
- Instead of dry coconut, you can add poppy seeds (khus khus). If using khus khus, soak them in water for 15 minutes and then grind. Soaking poppy seeds will help in grinding them to smooth.
Variations In Bagara Baingan:
Bagare baingan is a versatile recipe. Instead of brinjals, you can add green chillies or baby tomatoes or small green capsicum or baby potatoes or bitter gourd.
My mom adds hard boiled eggs to bagara baingan. Adding boiled eggs takes this curry to next level. Do give this a try.
How To Cut Brinjals For Bagara Baingan:
Take a bowl, add water and pinch of salt to it.
If using long purple, green or stiped brinjals, then make a cross on the brinjals. (By slitting the brinjals from bottom until the base, the stem part).
If using small and round brinjals then make 4-6 slits with stem intact.
The slit on the brinjals should be of equal size. This will help in even cooking of brinjals.
Add cut brinjals to the salt water. Gently press with your fingers to immerse the brinjals completely in salt water. Cover with lid and set aside till use.
Soaking cut brinjals in salt water helps in keeping them fresh and not turning brown.
Cooking Brinjals For Bagara Baingan:
There are four ways of cooking brinjals for making bagara baingan.
Sauteing: Add 1 tbsp. oil to a pan and add slit brinjals. Stir till the skin of brinjals start to change color. Add 4-5 tbsp. of water and place the lid. Cook till brinjals turn soft. Keep stirring in between to cook brinjals evenly on all sides.
Steaming: Steam the brinjals in IP by using Steam Mode or you can microwave them till soft. You can keep them in Idli cooker, by greasing the plates with oil.
Stir-Frying: Add 3-4 tbsp. of oil and stir-fry the brinjals on low flame till they are completely soft.
Roasting: You can roast brinjals stove-top (open flame) or in oven.
How Do You Know When An Eggplant Is Cooked?
Upon cooking, eggplant (brinjal) will turn tender, soft and mushy. If you insert knife or skewer, it goes through smoothly.
- ½ Kg. Brinjals
- 3-4 Green chillies make a small slit
- 1½ tbsp. Red chili powder
- ¼ tbsp. Turmeric powder
- 1 Onion, finely sliced
- 1 tbsp. roasted Coriander | Dhaniya powder
- ¼ tbsp. roasted Cumin | Jeera powder
- ½ cup Peanuts
- ½ cup thick Tamarind extract
- 4 tbsp. Dry Coconut powder
- 2 tbsp. Sesame seeds
- 2 twigs fresh Coriander leaves
- 3 tbsp. minced Coriander leaves
- 10 Fried Cashew Nuts
Step By Step Recipe Of Bagara Baingan
Step 1: Making Masala Powder
In a pan, dry roast peanuts, sesame seeds and dry coconut pieces (powder) separately.
If you do not have roasted coriander powder and roasted cumin powder,
then roast them in this step.
Leave this to cool and grind to smooth. Do not add water.
Step 2: Frying Onions, Green Chilies & Brinjals
In a pan, add oil and stir-fry finely sliced onions. Fry till onions start to turn light brown.
Turn off the flame and remove the onions from oil.
In the same oil, add slit brinjals, slit green chilies and stir-fry till they turn soft. Frying brinjals in onion fried oil brings nice aroma and taste in the recipe.
When the brinjals turn soft, turn off the flame and remove them from oil. Set aside.
Step 3: Grinding Masalas
Add fried onions to above ground masala (from Step 1) and to this add garlic and cloves.
Add 4-5 tbsp. of water and grind to smooth paste.
Step 4: Tamarind Extract
Soak lemon size tamarind in warm water. For 10-15 minutes, gently squeeze the tamarind and extract the water.
Strain and set aside.
Read the post for more details on tamarind extract and water.
Step 5: Frying Masalas
Use the same pan, in which we fried brinjals. Add 2 tbsp. of oil and when it heats up add above ground masala (from step 3).
To this add red chili powder, turmeric powder, salt, roasted coriander powder and roasted cumin powder.
Stir and fry on low flame, till masalas change color and start to leave oil from side of the pan.
Step 6: Adding Brinjals & Green Chillies
Now add stir fried brinjals and green chillies. Using a spoon, gently try to stuff the masala into the brinjals.
Stir for 2 minutes and add tamarind water. Stir and add 2 cups of water.
Bring to boil and check for salt. If needed, add salt and reduce the flame.
Step 7: Cooking Bagara Baingan
Place the lid and cook on low flame, till gravy thickens and oil starts to leave the side of the pan.
Add chopped coriander leaves and turn off the flame.
My mom adds fried cashews to the gravy before serving. This adds additional taste and gives appealing look to the recipe.
Step 8: Serving
Serve bagara baingan with plain steamed white rice, biryani, pulao or naan.
Add love to make this Bagare Baingan taste ‘Yummy’.
Hyderabadi bagare Biangan is example of make ahead recipe. You can make this a day ahead and leave in fridge. Warm it in microwave or on stove top before serving.
Tastes best the next day.
Lubna's Serving Suggestions:
Bagare Baingan is often served with biryani, pulao, bagara khana, ghee rice or jeera rice.
Taste best with naan or phulka or kulcha.
Quick & Easy Meal Plan With Bagare Baingan
Ghee Rice + Bagare Baingan + Onion Raita + Dalcha + Double ka Meetha
Party Meal Plan With Bagare Baingan
Mutton Biryani + Bagare Baingan + Kaddu ka Dalcha + Raita + Chicken Korma + Gulab Jamun + Baby Corn Cigars
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 194Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 222mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 5gSugar: 9gProtein: 5g