Baingan bhaja is so easy to make that this post barely qualifies as a "recipe" – and yet it is one of those dishes of which the taste belies the simplicity.
A staple side dish with meals in a typical Bihari home, a quickly made add-on to liven up a dal-chawal-chokha meal. That’s baingan bhaja for you.
- Purple eggplant – 1 medium
- Red chili powder – 1/2 teaspoon
- Salt – to taste
- Turmeric powder – 1/2 teaspoon
- Mustard oil – for deep-frying
Slit the eggplant vertically into four quarters. Then slice each quarter into 1/2 inch disks. Rub salt and turmeric powder onto the slices and keep aside for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, the eggplant slices would have given off water. Drain the water from the eggplant slices , dab dry with tissue paper.
In a round-bottomed skillet or kadhai, heat mustard oil to smoking point.
Set heat to medium-low and slide in 2-3 eggplant slices at a time. Let them sizzle and fry. Turn around till they are cooked and browned evenly. Take the fried eggplant slices out of the kadhai and place onto absorbent paper. Cook in batches this way, till all are done.
Sprinkle red chili powder and mix.
Serve hot with rice, dal and vegetables.
You could try spice variations with bhaja – amchoor powder, coriander powder, etc. sprinkled on the eggplant slices before frying.