Dahi Baingan is basically aubergine/ eggplant curry cooked in spicy yoghurt. It’s comfortingly delicious to enjoy with naan bread, roti/ chapati or plain white Basmati rice.
The aubergine/ eggplant has a smoky and bittersweet aroma that marries well with the tangy and spicy yoghurt.
The first time I made this Dahi Baingan was because of my husband’s craving. He fancied having aubergine the way his mom made. I think he was missing his late mom at the time. But the problem was I never had this dish before. So it was such a mission for me to cook it the way my husband’s mom’s made the dish.
If I think about it again, it was so funny. Because even though my sister in law taught me how she cooks aubergine, hubby says it’s not quite the same as his mom’s.
So he tried to find recipes on YouTube that look the way his mom made. Recipe videos by Manjula’s Kitchen and Hebbars Kitchen caught our attention. But when I went through the ingredient details, I realized that their recipes won’t be the same as my late mother-in-law’s. Because both recipes use Hing (Asafoetida) which is often used in Indian dishes but NOT in Pakistani foods.
In the end, I recreated and developed my own recipe. After a few trials, my husband approved that the recipe I’m sharing here is the one that reminds him of his mom’s Dahi Baingan. Mission accomplished.
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The Items You Need To Make Aubergine In Spicy Yoghurt
Needless to say that aubergine or eggplant is the most important item for this dish. When it comes to choosing good aubergine, make sure the fruit is firm when you hold it. You can tell if it’s not good by touching the skin. If it feels soft, it means it’s overripe.
A good aubergine will have firm flesh when you cut it and it doesn’t have many seeds inside. Any seeds that have grown inside its flesh will be very tiny that you can hardly notice. That’s the best eggplant.
As for other ingredients you need plain natural yoghurt, gram flour, ginger, garlic, dried fenugreek leaves (methi), coriander leaves, some ground spices and whole spices.
One thing to note is that apart from the regular whole cumin seeds I also use Panch Puran/ Panch Phoron. It’s a mix of five whole spices i.e. whole cumin/ jeera, Nigella sativa/ black seeds, fenugreek seeds/ methi, black mustard seeds, and fennel seeds/ Saunf.
When it comes to yoghurt, please choose natural yoghurt. Preferably the yoghurt from Asian/ Pakistani shops. And make sure you don’t use Greek-style yoghurt. Not only will the taste be different, but the texture will be so creamy that it breaks easily. And when you whisk the yoghurt with all the spices and gram flour, ensure that it’s really smooth and has turned at room temperature before you use it.
How To Make Dahi Baingan
Did you know that eggplant releases sap that gives a bit of bitterness to your dish? So after you cut it, sprinkle some salt all over the eggplant pieces and let it rest for 5 minutes. You then will see the sweat on your eggplant. That’s the sap.
Rinse the aubergine with fresh water and squeeze it lightly. Your aubergine is ready to cook.
Now you have the aubergine ready, heat a little oil on a large frying pan. Fry and steam the aubergine until it’s fully cooked and softened. It will also have some brownish spots that give a nice smoky aroma. You can put the lid on the pan in between so the aubergine cooks faster.
At the same time, get your yoghurt mixture ready by mixing it with gram flour, cumin powder, ground coriander, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, and salt. Whisk it until you get very smooth with no lump mixture.
Then you heat a little oil on the same frying pan that used for frying aubergine. Fry the chopped onion in the oil together with whole cumin seeds and Panch Puran. When the onion becomes translucent and all becomes fragrant, add in the ginger-garlic paste. Fry further for a minute or two until ginger garlic releases aroma.
You now pour in the yoghurt mixture into the onions. Give it a stir and leave it to cook with the lid on at moderately low heat.
When the yoghurt is bubbling, add in the aubergine and stir well. You can put fresh green chillies if you like. Continue cooking your Dahi Baingan to cook for about 5 minutes to let the aubergine absorb the spiced yoghurt and the flavour.
Lastly, sprinkle some dried-fenugreek leaves and freshly chopped coriander leaves.
Ways To Enjoy Dahi Baingan
Thank you for reading the post. I hope you’re now wanting to try the recipe. When you do, can you share what you think about it in the comments below (leave a reply)? It will be awesome.
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Before you go, check out my other recipes that you may need.
- Aubergine curry (the curry with tomato-based sauce).
- Aloo Gosht: potato and meat curry.
- Kitchari: rice and mung bean congee.
- Khaman Dhokla.
- Gajar Ka Halwa.
- Besan Ladoo.
Thank you and all the best.