Bhagara Baingan
I have said it before. Hyderabadi's know to eat well! Their food reeks of delicious aromatic smells and appetizing rich plates. After the Biryani and bread pudding, the next thing I love about their cuisine is Bhagara Baingan. The Indian eggplants (small variety), stuffed with aromatic spices and immersed in a rich gravy is my kind of having fun while eating! I love my mom's version which has pretty simple south Indian ingredients - but I also love Tarla Dalal's version which has more of North Indian spices. Since I couldn't decide between them, I made my own version which has a mix of these! Talk about hybridization! Choosing very small brinjals will help to reduce the amount of oil, used for cooking since they cook faster and need less oil. I choose the smallest ones, I can find among them. I know they look quite big in the picture, but they are not. :)
  • Cook time:
  • Prep time:
  • Serves: 4 people
  • About 10-15 small brinjals, slit into 4 with edges still attached
  • Spice Mix for stuffing
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp Urad Dal (split black gram)
  • 1 tbsp Bengal gram (channa dal)
  • 1/2 tbsp coriander seeds (daniya)
  • 2-3 dried red chillies(or as per taste)
  • 2 tbsp grated coconut (dried coconut works perfectly too)
  • 1/4 cup peanuts
  • 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • about 1/4 pinch of salt
  • For Gravy
  • 1 onion, chopped finely
  • 1/4 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp tamarind paste (or as per taste)
  • salt to taste
  • few sprigs of cilantro to garnish
1. Dry roast the ingredients for the Spice mix in low heat until aromatic.
2. Grind it into powder and stuff them inside the brinjals as shown in the picture. If the spice mix is left over, dont worry - it will be used for the gravy
3. In a pan, add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan and once hot, place the brinjals inside on their sides. Close the lid and let it cook for 5-10 minutes.
4. Gently turn them on the other side and let them cook for another 5-10 minutes. The smaller the brinjals, faster these get done. Turn them gently until they are soft and done. Set aside.
5. In the same pan, add mustard seeds and cumin. Once they splutter, add the onions, ginger garlic paste along with tamarind. Let it cook for 2-3 minutes.
6. Add about 2 cups water and let it come to a boil Add salt. Take care with the salt since you have already some in the stuffing. Let it come to a boil and then add the remaining spice mixture. Usually this will help to thicken up the gravy.
7. About 10 minutes before serving, drop the eggplants in the gravy. Be gentle, else the eggplants will break apart.
8. Garnish with cilnatro and serve along with some phulkas/roti

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By jyothipriya on Nov 11, 2010


    Great recipe. I used black sesame seeds, as I did not have white ones handy. Still tasted good, with a slight change in color.




By Preeti Panattu on Jun 4, 2012

Hi, you have mentioned the ginger garlic paste in the spice mix for stuffing list. It is not mentioned in the list for gravy and yet you have mentioned it being added in the gravy preparation. Kindly clarify......thank you

By swati on Aug 25, 2010

lovely recipe, earlier i used to add tamarind paste but my hubby isnt too fond of the taste, so i substituted it with amchoor (mango powder), goes equally well, but then i need to add a tsp of sugar for that tinge of sweetness :) i let the vegetable cook at low flame all covered. came out so good. tks chef :)

By Caroline on Apr 25, 2010

Hooray! I just got all the ingredients and am very anxious to try this one out. The only downside was that I had to make do with regular eggplant since I couldn't find the gorgeous little ones you used. I LOVE Indian recipes so I'm so grateful for this site. It's so exciting. Thanks so much for posting this!

By karuna on Feb 12, 2009

this would taste so great with plain rice. nice gravy.

By Madhu on Feb 12, 2009

Yumm..Wanna have this for lunch now..Bhagara Baingan looks so adorable..

By DK on Feb 11, 2009

Thanks noodle :) I am so glad u liked it :)Appreciate your comment a lot.Its funny how your husband said the same thing as mine ;-)

By Noodlehead on Feb 11, 2009

Looks good. Stopped by to thank you for another recipe though :) The eggless blueberry coffee cake. it was AWESOME. i made it for my husband's birthday and he said it was the best thing ever! thanks for helping me make his day that much more special! Hugs.

By Vanamala on Feb 11, 2009

This is something similar mirchi ka salan ingredients rght!!!.. But will try your method...

By DK on Feb 11, 2009

Thank u girls :) you all are a dear

@foodierunner - I have personally never tried and this recipe highlights is on using this (small)eggplant. The dish is delicious with them. I have personally not seen anyone try the same with the large one...If I do try sometime, will surely let u know how it worked out...meanwhile if you make a breakthrough, pls do lemme know! Will do the same at my end :) :)

By Trupti on Feb 11, 2009

I love bagara baingan. Yours looks very delicious & very nice photos

By DEESHA on Feb 11, 2009

this is one dish Iam yet to try .. kinda similar to Yennegai .. looks absolutely delicious

By Anushruti on Feb 11, 2009

I completely agree with you. Hyderabadis have perfected the art of eating well indeed.

By foodierunner on Feb 11, 2009

I love this idea. It is really hard to get small aubergines here in Bristol UK, so I'll have to try it with a couple of large ones and possibly bake them for a while in the you think that would work OK? It'll be a great recipe for my training diet, eaten with some basmati rice.

By MeetaK on Feb 11, 2009

i adore eggplant and love finding full flavored recipes with them. this is truly d'lish looking!

By Kitchen Flavours on Feb 10, 2009

Wow delsih....

By Ashwini on Feb 10, 2009

that looks yummo..We too do the same them..

By sriharivatsan on Feb 10, 2009

DK, this looks delicious and flavorful..I can imagine the taste..

By veggie belly on Feb 10, 2009

Nice hybridization! This will be great for entertaining.

By Pavani on Feb 10, 2009

Love baingan cooked anyway, but bagara baingan does have a special place. I don't stuff the eggplants; saute them a little bit and add the gravy. Your version sounds yummy.. will try next time.

By Asha on Feb 10, 2009

I would love a pure south Indian Baingan. looks delicious. I don't get round eggplants unless I visit Indian store but do get Japanese one, very expensive.

I will try your way when I get those little ones. (IT is coming home tomorrow, will post a photo when I make my first baby soft Idlis! :D)