Tuesday, September 13, 2011

I love learning new recipes, especially when learned from a friend.

Earlier this summer, a fellow Istanbul expat, Anjali, originally from India, taught several of us gals how to make some flavorful dishes from her native country. My mother-in-law even came with me since she was visiting us.

A few weeks ago, I made my first curry from scratch per the recipe I had learned. BTW, this does not entail dumping a can of coconut milk into a pot and either adding curry powder or curry paste to make a curried dish! No, you slowly caramelize a bunch of onions, add whole spices and five powdered spices as well as tomatoes, hot chillies and water to make your curry base. The blend of flavours is outstanding!

Another Indian dish I learned and recently recreated at home was Bharwan Baingan, which is eggplant cooked with a blend of dry spices. The eggplant is roasted after a spicy paste is slathered all over inside and outside of it. The resulting dish kind of pops in your mouth when you bite into a piece of eggplant with whole coriander seeds. From what I understand, this particular dish originates from Northern India, which also is known worldwide for its Tandoori cooking.

I’m always looking for new ways to cook patlıcan in Istanbul, and this dish certainly provides a different flavor profile I’m sure you will enjoy too! Serve the eggplant with a side of cooling raita.

Currently, the pazar stalls are full of lovely mor patlıcan, and the spices can be found at the Mısır Çarşısı in Eminönü.
Sometimes I find eggplant like these variegated ones at the pazar.
Now I only have to learn 97 more ways to cook eggplant!

Afiyet Olsun!

(Note: I am submitting this recipe for the first time for the #301 edition of  Weekend Herb Blogging, which is being hosted this week by blogger Graziana of Erbe in Cucina (Cooking with Herbs). This weekly event is coordinated by food blogger Haalo of Cook (almost) Anything At Least Once and was founded by Kalyn of Kalyn’s Kitchen. Thank you for stopping by!)

Bharwan Baingan (Eggplant stuffed with dry spices)


1 kilo fresh eggplant (Select ones that are skinny, about 5-8” in length)
Juice of 2 limes
4 T. vegetable oil (I even thinned my paste out with a bit more oil and lime juice.)
2 T. ground cumin
2 T. corriander seeds
2 T. red chili powder (I used a blend of pul biber and chili powder.)
2 tsp. salt

1. Preheat oven to 325 F/150 C.
2. Wash the eggplant, leaving the top stalks. Slit each one down the middle, lengthwise, first in half and then into quarters, making sure to stop about 1-inch before the end of the eggplant. Basically, you will cut four slits into each eggplant.
3. In a small bowl, combine the spices with the lime juice and oil. Stir together to make a paste.
You can roughly peel the eggplant too, so it looks like "pyjamas stripes."
4. Using your hands, spread the paste on the inside and a bit on the outside of each eggplant. (I tried using a pastry brush at first to spread the paste, but found my hands to be much more effective to get inside of the eggplants.
Spread the eggplant apart with your fingers and liberally apply the spice paste inside.
5. Place the eggplant into a large glass or ceramic baking dish, covered with aluminum foil. Bake the eggplant for about 45-55 minutes until tender.

Tagged: , ,


Graziana said...

Those eggplant looks like the "Listada de Gandia" ones that I'm growing (except that mine are smaller), I think I should try this recipe!
Thank you for joining WHB and welcome!

Joy said...

Merhaba Graziana! Thanks for stopping by, and am happy to be included for WHB! I hope to start participating on a regular basis. =)

Simona Carini said...

I love eggplant and I love them prepared simply, so your recipe is very appealing to my taste. I also like the variegated kind. Lovely recipe.