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Dahi Baingan - Eggplant with Yogurt - Pan Fried Eggplant in Seasoned Yogurt

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I was seriously impressed when I first ate this very simple, yet delicious dish in my Aunt's home. In fact, I actually made a bit of a piggie of myself... I had 4 servings of it! Needless to say, I didn't get around to eating much else. Dahi Baingan can be eaten by itself, with plain, fragrant boiled rice and even with Chapatis.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large eggplant, cut into 1/3" thick slices and soaked in water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable/ sunflower/ canola cooking oil
  • 1 cup fresh, thick unsweetened yogurt (full fat, whole, skim, low-fat - as preferred)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 dry red chilli broken into small pieces
  • 6-8 curry leaves
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh green coriander leaves to garnish

Preparation:

  • Heat a few tbsps of cooking oil in a pan or griddle on medium heat. Shallow fry the eggplant slices in this oil 2-at-1-time, till golden. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels for a minute. Then lay in your serving dish to form a layer to cover the bottom of the dish. Do this till you have fried all the eggplant slices, using as much oil as required.
  • In a mixing bowl, add the yogurt, sugar, salt and pepper. Mix well to blend all ingredients. Pour over the fried eggplant.
  • Heat the remaining oil in a small pan (there should be about 2-3 tbsps of oil for this to work) on medium heat. When hot, add the mustard seeds, dry red chilli pieces and curry leaves. Fry till the sputtering stops and the spices are aromatic. Take care as they might splash. Now add the oil with spices to the eggplant-yogurt dish, taking care to pour it evenly all over the surface of the yogurt.
  • Garnish with chopped green coriander and serve.
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