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  • Baingan Aloo
    Eggplant and Potatoes

    YIELD: 4 CUPS / 950 ML
    TOOLS: You’ll need a heavy-bottomed 4-quart / 4-L sauté pan with a lid.

    This is the very first Indian recipe I learned how to make. It was taught to me by my Babaji (paternal grandfather) who was visiting us in America from his tiny Punjabi village. You could say this is where my love of cooking started. Try this recipe as is or substitute a sweet potato for the regular kind.

    • 2 tablespoons ghee or vegetable oil
    • ½ teaspoon hing (asafetida)
    • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
    • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
    • 1 (1-inch / 3-cm) piece ginger, peeled and cut into matchsticks ½ inch / 1 cm long
    • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
    • 1 medium russet potato, peeled and roughly chopped, and submerged in water to avoid browning
    • 1 medium yellow or red onion, roughly chopped
    • 1–2 fresh Thai, serrano, or cayenne chiles, stems removed and finely sliced
    • 1 medium tomato, roughly chopped
    • 2 medium eggplants with skin, roughly chopped
    • 2 teaspoons salt
    • 2 teaspoons Garam Masala
    • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
    • 1 teaspoon red chile powder or cayenne pepper
    • 2 tablespoons water
    • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
    • Brown or white basmati rice, Roti, or Naan, for serving
    1. In a heavy-bottomed, 4-quart / 4-L sauté pan over medium–high heat, warm the ghee. Add the hing, cumin seeds, and turmeric and cook for 40 seconds, until the cumin seeds sizzle and turn reddish-brown. Add the ginger and garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds. Both will brown and slightly caramelize.
    2. Add the drained potato to the sauté pan and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Add the onion and fresh chiles and cook for 2 minutes, until they are slightly browned. Add the tomato and cook for 2 minutes. At this point, you’ll have created a base for the dish.
    3. Add the eggplant, salt, Garam Masala, coriander, and red chile powder to the sauté pan and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes.
    4. Reduce the heat to low, partially cover the pan, and cook for 13 minutes. About halfway through the cooking time, add the water to help the ingredients pull together and to avoid sticking. Stir well. Remove from the heat, cover, and set aside for 5 minutes, to allow the flavors to blend completely.
    5. Transfer to a serving bowl, garnish with the cilantro, and serve immediately with the Roti or Naan.

Indian For Everyone by Anupy Singla. Copyright © 2014 Anupy Singla. Published by Agate Publishing. All rights reserved.

© 2016 Alta Editions LLC.