Baby eggplants and potatoes cooked with spicy blend of aromatic spices creates the right combinations of flavors. Achari Baingan Aloo Recipe is a simple, vegetarian and a gluten-free dish!
Are you wondering the same – eggplants in winter? With summer behind us, bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables becomes scarce. But fear not, with a little planning and effort it is still possible to enjoy greens and veggies all year long.
During summer, my weekend routine is to visit our local farmers market that is bursting with the smell and sight of fresh produce. Towards the end of the summer, I start stocking up on all the veggies which are harder to find in winters. Small eggplants (to make achari baingan aloo recipe), big eggplants (to make bharta), karela (bitter gourd), Fenugreek leaves, mint leaves, just to name a few.
Today’s recipe comes from my mom’s signature dishes. This was one of her favorites and a must have in our house. Achari baingan aloo recipe is a simple and lip smacking dish. As the name suggest, small eggplants and potatoes are cooked in pickled spices.
Recipe below is shown in two steps . First step includes dry roasting of the spices. Dry roasting is important as it releases the magical oils that are trapped inside the raw seeds. Cool and coarsely grind all the seeds. Second step involves cooking and assembling of the veggies.
After all the ingredients are mixed in, recipe calls to pour in water. This dish is traditionally enjoyed in a thick semi liquid state. So, add according to taste. Garnish with cilantro leaves, adjust seasonings and enjoy! Pair it with your favorite dal and create a yummy meal tonight.
Continuing from above – how do I stock my fresh produce ? I freeze them. Here is what I do –
- Wash and thoroughly clean veggies and greens in a tub of warm water.
- Clean away all the dirt and impurities.
- Let veggies air dry completely.
- For eggplants – I cut them in halves and shallow fry until tender but not soft. Drain on paper towel and store in airtight containers or seal in plastic bags. Good for 4-5 months.
- For karela (bitter gourd) – peel the skin, and slit them lengthwise. Store in airtight containers or seal in plastic bags. Good for 4-5 months.
- For fenugreek and mint leaves – chop and seal in plastic bags. I prefer to dry some mint to use in my cooking.
- If making bharta – roast eggplants, peel and store the eggplant flesh in plastic bags. Good for 4-5 months.
It’s that easy and you can enjoy your favorite veggies all year long.
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Achari Baingan Aloo Recipe
INGREDIENTS FOR EGGPLANTS
- 6-8 small Baingan/Eggplants
- 1 medium Chopped Onion
- 2 medium Potato, peeled and chopped
- 1 teaspoon Ginger paste
- 1 teaspoon Garlic paste
- 3 tablespoon Tomato puree
- 1/2 teaspoon Hing (asofetadia)
- 1/2 teaspoon Haldi (Turmeric powder)
- 3/4 teaspoon Mango Powder (Amchur Powder )
- 1/2 teaspoon Chili powder
- 1 teaspoon Coriander powder (sukha dhaniya)
- 1/4 teaspoon Roasted cumin seeds , crushed
- 2-3 tablespoon Oil
- 3 tablespoon Chopped cilantro leaves - to garnish
- 1/2 cup Water
ACHARI/ PICKLED SPICES
- 1 teaspoon Fennel seeds (Sanuf)
- 1 teaspoon Rai (Mustard seeds)
- 1 teaspoon Methi dana (Fenugreek seeds)
- 1 teaspoon Nigella seeds (kalonji)
- 3/4 teaspoon Cumin seeds (Jeera)
- 1/2 teaspoon Crushed chili flakes
HOW TO MAKE DRY ACHARI (PICKLE) MASALA
- Assemble all the ingredients listed under pickle spices.
- In a heavy bottom pan, dry roast all the spices on a medium low flame.
- Shake and heat until a warm, nutty aroma arises.
- Allow the spices to cool completely. Add it to a grinder.
- Coarsely pound the spices. Set it aside.
HOW TO COOK EGGPLANT
- Wash and clean eggplants.
- Assemble rest of the ingredients.
- Feel free to use chopped tomatoes instead of tomato puree.
- Wash, peel and chop potatoes. Soak them in cold water to avoid discoloration.
- Assemble rest of the spices.
- Heat oil in a pan. Slice eggplants and add it to the oil.
- Cook until soft. Remove from pan and set it aside.
- To the same pan add chopped potatoes.
- Cook until soft and brown. Remove from pan and set it aside.
- To the same pan, add a tablespoon of oil and hing (asofetadia), cumin and ginger-garlic paste. Cook for a minute.
- Add chopped onions and saute until onions turn translucent in color.
- Add tomato puree, mix and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Stir in all the spices - achari masala/ pickled spices and other spices listed in the recipe. Mix and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
- Add sauteed eggplants and potatoes. Pour in 1/4 cup of water.
- Cover and cook until the veggies are soft and tender. Adjust salt according to taste.
- Feel free to leave some water in the sabzi. Garnish with chopped cilantro leaves.
- Serve with warm rotis.