Learn how to make Aloo Baingan ~ Potatoes and Aubergine cooked in peanut and coconut gravy
~Warning: long whiny rant. So skip it if you are here for just the recipe part! ~ Summer is officially over in my part of the world, but for me it never started this year! With few days of sunshine and then days after days of rain and dip in temperature, we were left wondering is it really summer season?! Although we did enjoy a week or two of good weather with plenty of sunshine and clear blue skies, it was snatched away from our hands before we could actually enjoy it completely.
But I shouldn’t be complaining really as the pleasant weather these days are making up for the entire summer season that just slipped from our grip before we could blink our eyes! But I am a clingy person who hates when something that I really love is snatched from me! K says I am possessive! Well, I cringe a little and then agree because he is right! I am over possessive when it comes letting go of little things in my life that means so much to me! The people, who know me, know this nature of mine!
I may be possessive but I am far from being a materialistic! Yes I love little pricy things here and there. But the things that I consider very special and dear ones don’t come with a pricy tag. My friends and family mean a lot to me and there are times when the usually quiet person sporting a halo on her head transforms into a feisty tigress with a knife like claws and sharp pointed fangs for added measure. The little mouse who keeps to herself for most the time is replaced with a fire breathing dragon who can burn the opponent with her acid like words! Yes, you can walk all over me for many times and I will forgive you. But mess with my loved ones is not something that is good for your health!
Classic combination of potatoes and eggplants ~ Aloo Baingan
And then there are other things that I find difficult to let it go, like the first hundred rupees note that I got from my dad for scoring well in my 10th finals, the sweater that my mother knitted for me when I was a little girl, the dried flowers that once were in the shade of crimsons I lovingly preserved as the first gift from K, the teeny-tiny little booties and mittens of Lil Dumpling, the first ever and only piece of clothing, the white woolly cap, that he wore when he was in special care which still smells of that precious baby smell, the first thing we brought together for our home, the much used and torn red leather bag that my best friends gifted me for my wedding, a silver earring with missing pair that my sister gifted me, the ugly yellow ball that my brother lovingly gifted me for Rakhi, the empty pearlpet jar that once stored the very special pickle my MIL made exclusively made for me, and few more things like that!
So it was no wonder I felt great tug of pain when we sold our car last year. To start with it was not a brand new car. It was actually well looked after 4 year old Honda Civic that had changed hands twice before we brought it. After walking everywhere for one full year with heavy grocery bags to travelling in public transport for near and far places in England, we finally decided to buy a car. It was just little over a year since we got married and I moved to UK, we were more focused on saving every hard earned penny for our love for wanderlust. So this second hand (or is it third hand?!) car was well within our budget and need. Within a year of purchasing the car, we had travelled to nearby and far distant lands with no particular destination in mind. All we loved is to go for a long drive on some scenic route with windows rolled down even on coldest day and our favourite music playing in the background. We discovered new places that were far from anything touristy, we got lost in the moor lands and countryside with no human in sight for hundreds of miles, and we had all sort of adventures without any accidents (TG!)!
Some days all we need is a simple, comfort food ~ Aloo Baingan
Soon our Lajjo Rani became important part of our life. She had witnessed many emotions of our life from happiness to sad, few tears and tantrums, many laughs and fights, and most importantly she got all three of us home after 2 painful weeks at the hospital since Lil Dumpling came into our life! And that’s what made her more of a family! Call me crazy, but I get attached to things like that have very little to do with monetary benefits and materialistic things. Lajjo was never come under the category of luxury but she was a very important part of our family after being with us for 4 years! I cried like a small girl on the day when we sold her to some stranger and brought back home the new sleek car that had every cool gadget to make some car crazy person to jump with joy! And for HD, well he too was mighty upset to leave behind his first car that he bought with our well earned money! The black leather heated seats of the new luxury sedan also couldn’t spread the warmth in our heart that we felt for our old family car!
But with passing time we have started love and appreciate our new car, our Champa Kali :) She is not timid and simple like Lajjo Rani but classy and showy drawing admiration whenever she whizzes past, but in the last year she was the part of creating new fond memories with three of us as a family! One day she too will meet the fate that Lajjo met and I will be sitting in one corner brooding and crying my lungs out! I am really bad when it comes to giving away things that are really dear to me! I am really trying to work on coming over my possessive nature but so far I am failing miserably! But there is hope…and it is this hope that keeps me going…
Goodness of peanuts and coconut ~ Aloo Baingan
One thing that I freely share with everyone is the food I cooked and the recipes that turned a huge success among everyone who had tasted it! See, I am not all that selfish and possessive after all! :) One such recipe that has become a firm favourite in our family is this Aloo Baingan. This is not the usual onion-tomato based gravy or dry Aloo Baingan. This Aloo Baingan is the product of my laziness! I had bought home a bag of baby eggplants and had plans to make another batch of Stuffed Eggplants. But the laziness to stuff them took over after I finished roasting the spices and I decided to drop the whole idea of stuffing and go ahead with chopped vegetables. Thanks to my laziness, the Aloo Baingan turned out really delicious. The peanut and coconut used in the gravy gave this simple dish a creamy twist and made this Aloo Baingan recipe a keeper! I can go on and on about how good it tasted! But you will definitely not know it unless you try it for yourself! So next time when you have a couple of eggplants and potatoes and wonder what to cook with them, try my recipe for Aloo Baingan! And yes, don’t forget to come and tell me how you like it :)
Potatoes and Baby Eggplants for Aloo Baingan
Roasted spices, desiccated coconut and peanuts for the gravy
Potatoes, baby eggplants and roasted spices
Potato and baby eggplants cooked in creamy peanut and coconut gravy ~ Aloo Baingan
Aloo Baingan (Potatoes and Aubergine cooked in peanut and coconut gravy)
Prep Time: 5-10 mins
Cooking Time: 20 mins
Recipe Level: Easy/Beginner
Spice Level: Low to Medium
Serves: 5-6 People
Shelf Life: Best served fresh but can be refrigerated for up to 3 days
Serving Suggestion: With any Indian flat breads (Whole Wheat Naan or Butter Naan or with any stuffed parathas) or plain/flavoured Basmati rice
8-10 Baby Eggplants/1-1½ large Eggplant/Aubergine/Brinjal, cut into 1 inch pieces and placed in a bowl of water
2 medium Potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
½ inch Ginger, peeled and grated
½ cup Coriander Leaves, finely chopped
Salt to taste
For Peanut-Coconut Powder:
½ cup Roasted Peanut
¼ cup Desiccated Coconut
1 tsp Poppy Seeds (Optional)
1 tbsp Dhania/Coriander Seeds
1 tsp Jeera/Cumin Seeds
½ tsp Saunf/Fennel Seeds (Optional)
4-5 Dry Red Chillies (Byadagi/Kashmiri or any mild variety. Adjust acc to taste)
¼ tsp Haldi/Turmeric Powder
¼ tsp Amchur/Dry Mango Powder (Adjust acc to taste)
1 tsp Jeera/Cumin Seeds
A pinch of Hing/Asafoetida
A sprig or two of Curry Leaves
2 tbsp Oil
It is quick to make too ~ Aloo Baingain
- Dry roast coriander seeds, dried red chillies, fennel seeds and cumin seeds on low heat till fragrant, about 2-3 mins. Transfer to the plate. In a same pan, dry roast desiccated coconut till it turns golden brown, about 2 mins. Transfer it to the clean, dry plate and let them cool completely.
- Combine roasted spices, roasted coconut, poppy seeds and roasted peanut and grind them to fine powder.
- Next heat oil in a pan and add all the ingredients listed under tadka, cumin, hing and curry leaves.
- When cumin seeds sizzles and changes colour, add cubed potatoes and grated ginger. Stir fry them on medium flame for about 5-6 minutes or until potatoes start to turn light golden.
- Mix in turmeric powder, dry mango powder and salt to taste and give it a good stir.
- Next add cut eggplant pieces and stir fry them for 2-3 minutes.
- Add roasted and ground peanut-coconut powder, finely chopped coriander leaves and mix them well. Add about 3-3½ cups of hot boiling water (helps to speed up the cooking process) and cover the pan with lid. Let it cook undisturbed for 5-6 minutes on medium flame.
- Open the lid and gently toss the vegetables. Add about a cup of water if you find the gravy too thick and let it cook for another 8-10 mins or until the vegetables are cooked through.
- Switch off the gas and let this delicious, creamy Aloo Baingan curry rest for 5 minutes before serving it with any Indian flat breads (Whole Wheat Naan or Butter Naan or with any stuffed parathas) or plain/flavoured Basmati rice. Enjoy!
Simple and delicious ~ Aloo Baingan
- Place the eggplant pieces in a bowl of water, with a tsp of salt dissolved in it, after chopping them to prevent from decolourisation and also to remove the bitter taste.
- You can use the large eggplant/aubergine in place of baby eggplants.
- It is recommended to use hot boiling water for cooking the vegetables as it helps in reducing the cooking time.
- The left-over creamy and earthy Aloo Baingan Curry tastes even better and can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.
- You can also use pressure cooker for cooking which will reduce the cooking time to half!