I had Aloo Baingan for the first time at The Palace of Asia in Lawrenceville, NJ a couple of years ago. It became one of my favorite foods that night. The chef at The Palace that night worked magic. I am sure the ghee is what made the dish dance on my taste buds. If you have ghee or are willing to make it, use that instead of the canola oil for a more authentic and rich taste. Because well, butter always makes everything taste better.
Serve this with a dal and Indian bread. Recipes coming soon.
Adapted from The Turmeric Trail: Recipes and Memories from an Indian Childhood by Raghavan Iyer. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2002.
2 Tbsp. canola oil
1 tsp. fennel seed
1 tsp. cumin seed
2 dried Thai chilies
3 medium potatoes (1 pound), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 Tbsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. ground turmeric
1 eggplant (about 1 pound) cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup canned diced tomatoes or 1 fresh tomato diced
2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh cilantro
In a wok or large skillet, heat oil over med-high heat. Add the first 4 spices and stir-fry until the seeds darken and become fragrant (10-15 seconds).
Reduce the heat and add the potatoes, coriander, salt, cayenne and turmeric. Cook, covered until potatoes cook partially (about 15 minutes). Stir occasionally.
Stir in eggplant and water. Simmer, covered, until eggplant and potatoes are cooked (about 15 minutes).
Add tomatoes and cilantro, cover and cook about 5 minutes until warmed through.