Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Baigan ka Raita (Eggplant made in Yogurt)

Baigan ka Raita (Eggplant made in Yogurt) is a dish I recently learned from my mother-in-law.  She is visiting now and so I have several recipes that need to be posted.  Unfortunately, there are more photos of recipes than I have time to write up.  However, because this was so great, I am skipping some others that were planned and going straight to this.  It's really a perfect recipe for achi bivis, new and old.  In fact, I've already made it twice in 7 days...  It has a bit of a baba ghanoush taste to it because of the eggplant -- the main differences being that this is made with yogurt and Indian/Pakistani spices, instead of straight eggplant and tahini.  It is great as a side dish, but some people can enjoy it as a main dish.  It is also completely meatless!  A new family favorite here.

Begin with a large eggplant, cut into tiny cubes.

Put everything in a large pot.

Chop up 6 cloves of garlic and throw it in your pot.

Fill pot with enough water to cover the eggplant (it really does not take very much, just until the eggplant floats).

Bring to a boil and cook for 30 minutes on medium-high heat, uncovered.

Stir your eggplant and cook until most/all of the water has evaporated (pictured above).

Remove from pot and mash with a fork.

Finely chop 1 small onion (or half a medium sized onion) and put in a large pan with 3 Tablespoons of vegetable oil.

Cook on high heat until onions are golden brown.

When onions are golden, add 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon cumin seed powder, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper powder, 1 & 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and eggplant from your bowl.

Fry for 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and let cool.  At this point, you can measure how much you have or if you have good estimation skills, you can eyeball this part.

Look at your eggplant.  Take that amount, plus half of that amount in yogurt and put in a separate bowl (pictured above).  Add 1/2 teaspoon cumin seed powder and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper powder.  Mix well together.

Next, pour your eggplant mixture into the yogurt mixture and slowly combine it together by hand.

Lastly, for my favorite part, the baghar!  If you don't remember how to do a baghar, check it out under the Masoor ki Daal recipe.  Basically, just take a small pan, 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil, 4 round whole red chilis, and 1/2 teaspoon cumin seed, and cook on high heat until brown.  Then quickly pour it on top of your dish, yelling "Baghar!!  Baghar!!!"  Stir.

Garnish with 1/4 cup of cilantro leaves and 1-2 chopped green chilis.  Serve cold  or at room temperature with naan.

Enjoy! :)


  • 1 large eggplant
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1 small onion (or 1/2 medium onion)
  • 4 Tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seed powder, divided
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper powder, divided
  • 1 & 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 whole red chilis
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1-2 green chilis


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