Born This Way Baingan Masala
I love eating ice-cream most when it rains, don't really rate beaches, think that it's a treat to eat cold fried chicken and have strong tendencies to deviate from conventional recipes when I cook. Even when I compare a few recipes and decide on one I think may work, I'd still modify it, even if I know that it is a tried and true recipe, I'd still poke at it and tweak it because I'm born this way 😃. Ironic, because I share my recipes here.
Besides being an avid home cook, I love discovering food joints and I'm not shy to admit that I adore a good buffet.
I discovered Baingan Masala as I was opening and closing lids expectantly at the buffet line in Majestic Hotel, Kuala Lumpur. When I tasted the curried brinjal, I loved it so much that I had three more helpings.
This recipe was inspired by yummytummyaarthi with a few modifications.
Heat mustard seeds until they begin to sputter.
Quickly add cumin seeds and curry leaves.
Add sliced young ginger and let the heat and oil work through it for a while.
Next, add green chillies, some say use one but I like to use two because spicy addicts like us do not back down.
Enter the shallots. They cook and burn fast so they come later in the succession. When they are turning translucent, add cherry tomatoes or normal tomatoes.
I know cherry tomatoes are a bit extra, not to mention more expensive, but I feel I have more control of the taste when I can add them in smaller portions.
Just add mixed powders like a bit of cumin, coriander, garlic, turmeric and paprika, but for me, I use cayenne pepper.
At times, I do not like to use ginger garlic paste because I don't agree with the fixed ratio. So in this case, I feel only a tiny amount of garlic is needed and using the powdered form gives me the flexibility to add in more later if it's required.
I'm cooking the curry first to ensure the taste fully develops before adding brinjals.
Look at that lone cherry tomato. I decided to admit one more member from the clan because the taste begs it.
This is when the brinjal slices go in. All ready to soak up the delicious curry.
I had an idea to add a few cracks of black pepper, just like a good Bloody Mary.
After this, adjust with salt and sugar and cook until the brinjal becomes soft.
At some point of the dish, you may feel like the curry is not coming through so a bit of balancing is needed.
Here are some key ingredients to achieve balance:
1. Tomato (add bit by bit and keep tasting)
2. Once small tomato cubes are added, adjust with sugar and taste again. For this portion you see here, I have added 3 tsp of sugar. Now add little pinches of salt to balance the sugar.
I really enjoyed biting into the cooked slices of young ginger because it has been properly cooked through and infused with the curry that it's not offensively jarring.
Please let me know if you like this deviant recipe and please come back to check in occasionally because heaven knows I have more up my sleeves.
Recipe serves 2
Prep time: 7-10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
2 small brinjals or 1 large brinjal
1 tbsp (or palmful) mustard seeds
1 pinch cumin seeds
5 sprigs of curry leaves 1 medium tomato or 8-9 cherry tomatoes 3 shallots 10 sliced ginger pieces (2" ginger) 2 green chillies 1 tbsp (or palmful) of mustard seeds 1/2 tsp turmeric powder 3 tsp coriander powder 1 tsp cumin powder 3/4 tsp garlic powder 1 tsp paprika
A few cracks of black pepper
3 tsp sugar
Salt to taste
1. In a wok, heat about 2 tsp of oil in high heat. As soon as the wok begins to feel hot, turn the heat down slightly and add mustard seeds. As they start to sputter, add cumin seeds followed by curry leaves.
2. As the curry leaves begin to turn dark green, add sliced ginger and turn up the heat. Let the heat release the oils and aroma. After a minute or so, add green chillies followed by all the powders.
3. Add water to the hot wok, watch it sizzle and add diced tomato or cherry tomatoes. Wait for the tomato to wilt and taste the curry if balancing is needed. Once balancing is completed add in the brinjals and finish off with a few cracks of black pepper.
4. Stir and coat the brinjal in curry, add a little bit of water if the curry is too thick and put the lid on the wok for 15-20 minutes but check on it occasionally.