Baingan Ka Salan is a popular dish from Hydrarabad, India. Baby eggplant is cooked in midly spiced peanut flavored gravy. The tasty is sublime and flavor bang. Paired with rice or paratha, it is a hearty comforting meal.
Baingan Ka Salan
To break down the name, Baingan means eggplant and Salan refers to creamy coconut with peanut flavored gravy.
The first time I tasted Baingan Ka Salan was several years back at my work place. One of my colleague’s Mom was in town for a few weeks and during that time, his lunch box was the best in the group.
After sharing with the gluttonous team, he used to barely get a few bites.
Soon, his Mom started packing a little extra for us and we shamelessly didn’t even bother to stop her. We were just so very thankful to eat such delicious home cooked food.
The soggy eggplant in curry was never appealing for my taste buds. But when I saw how everyone was licking their fingers and going crazy on the taste, I just had to take a bite.
I instantly fell in love with this delciious Hydrabadi eggplant curry - Baigan ka salan
Ingredients for Baigan ka Salan:
The base of the creamy curry is peanuts and coconut.
I have definitely detoured a little bit by using cashews instead of peanuts.
The cashews combined with nutty sesame and coconut makes the gravy so very luscious!
Cashews (use peanut for authentic flavor and taste)
Desiccated grated coconut
Fresh curry leaves
Steps to prepare the Eggplant Curry
To avoid eggplant from soaking up too much oil, leave it seasoned with salt for 30 minutes. It relases the moisture and makes the eggplant soft. As a result it doesn't act like a sponge when droped in hot oil to fry.
So, start by sliting the baby eggplants in the center without cutting it all the way. Then add some salt and leave aside.
Once the eggplants are soft, fry with little oil.
Then prepare a paste using toasted coconut, toasted cashew or peanuts and toasted sesane seeds.
Next few steps are just by sauteing the onion in whole spices and curry leaves, then add this coconut paste you made earlier, add water to prepare the gravy.
Finaly drop the eggplants and simmer for a while.
It's a simple curry and based on your taste you can feel free to make it more spicy or creamy.
I personally like Baingan Ka Salan with rice but it tastes equally good with plain paratha or kerela paratha.
Baingan Ka Salan (Baby Eggplant In Coconut Cashew Gravy)
- 5 to 6 baby eggplants
- 1 medium onion (finely chopped)
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- ¼ cup cashews
- ¼ cup desiccated grated coconut
- ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- few fresh curry leaves
- extra cashews for garnish
- Slit the baby eggplants in the center without cutting it all the way through. Rub some salt in the slits and allow it to rest for at least 30 minutes.
- In a small pan, dry roast the grated coconut, sesame seeds and cashews. Once done, blend them into a paste. Add a little water, if required.
- Heat enough oil in a pan or a wok to shallow fry the eggplants. Keep the eggplant aside once fried. Alternatively, you can roast the eggplants in the oven.
- Now, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a separate pan and scatter mustard seeds, cumin seeds and curry leaves. Once it sizzles, drop the onion and season with salt. Add turmeric and give it a stir. Cook until mild golden in color.
- Add the cashew, coconut and sesame paste, sprinkle some salt and give it a stir. Allow it to cook for a couple of minutes and then, add enough water to form thick gravy. Drop the fried eggplants, lower the heat and allow it to simmer for about 5 minutes.
- In a separate pan, add a little oil and drop some curry leaves along with some cashews. Once it sizzles, turn off the heat and pour it on top of the egg plant curry. Serve it warm with your choice of bread or rice.