Side Dishes for Rotis/Dosas/ Naan.

Bihari Aloo Baingan (Potatoes and Eggplant in a Garlic Chilli sauce)

Baby potatoes are always a pleasure to cook with as they are cute and tiny and cook so fast and most importantly they dont have to be peeled and they hold their own ground. They dont get too mushy unless you dont treat them properly. I enjoy so many recipes with baby potatoes some of my most favourite being, Aloo Dum, Baby Potatoes in Tomato Gravy and of course this Bihari Aloo Baingan. I love combining such contrasting veggies, as I feel they compliment each other…Plantains and long bean Mezhukkuvaratti is of course another favourite but we shall keep that speciality for another post. This is is inspired by one of my favourite chefs – Raghavan Iyer…I love his cook book andd the little anecdotes that he adds to the story behind his learning the recipe and its roots….

INGREDIENTS:

1 Pound Baby Potatoes.

1 Japanese Eggplant.

4 Large Cloves Garlic.

3 Red chillies.

1 Tsp Jeera.

1 Tbsp Ginger thinly sliced.

1 Medium Onion sliced lengthwise thinly.

2  Tsbp Canola Oil.

1/2 Cup Firmly Packed Cilantro Leaves.

PREPARATION:

  • Wash the potatoes and the eggplants. Pop them in the rice cooker, add salt  and cook them until they are half done. Alternatively use the microwave or stove or you need not cook them now but you can finish up the entire cooking of the potatoes and the egplant in the gravy itself.
  • In the little mixer jar combine cilantro, red chillies, ginger  and  garlic and pulse until they are well ground. Do not add water. Set aside.
  • In a pan or kadai, add a spoon of oil and when the oil is hot enough, add the cumin seeds. They will splutter and sizzle for a couple seconds. Imediately add the sliced onions and fry them until they turnn in t a dull brown colour and they carmelize. This should take about 4-5 minutes.
  • Add the pulsed cilantro garlic blend and saute for a couple more seconds until the raw smell is gone. This should be in about 45 seconds. Do not let the pulsed mix burn in the pan. Keep mixing and marinating them in.
  • Toss in the potatoes and the eggplant and mix with the rest of the ingredients.Now add a cup of water and scrape the pan to deglaze the bits of spices sticking to hte base of the pan.
  • Stir in another cup of water and add salt to the pan. Now bring the heat down to medium low and allow to reduce for a about 15 – 20 minutes until the veggies are well cooked and the gravy comes together.
  • Serve hot Bihari Baingan with soft phulkas or Peas Prathas…