I love eggplant. It’s my favorite vegetable, but it can be difficult to cook. My mother always breaded and fried it – mmm – but that’s not the healthiest option for eating a vegetable. Over the years, I’ve tried to roast it, saute it, etc. but it can lose its moisture very quickly without a ton of oil.
I got the recipe for Aloo Baingan (Potatoes and Eggplant) from My Dhaba, a blog about Indian home cooking. It’s a very simple recipe. Like most of the recipes I’ve made so far, it involves cooking onions, tomatoes, garlic and ginger, then adding vegetables and masala.
I was disappointed to realize that I made a mistake while working on this recipe. According to My Dhaba, you should fry your potatoes, then add a little water if needed. I felt my mixture was looking a bit dry so I added water immediately after adding the potatoes, which means I didn’t give them a chance to fry. When I added the eggplant, it too was unable to fry. In the end, everything cooked and tasted nicely, but going forward I think it’s important to brown these veggies before cooking them, as the recipe says.
I also made Gobi Mattar again to complete the dinner. Since my mother-in-law has permitted me to share her recipes, here is the recipe for Aloo Gobi that she gave me. You can make it with or without the potatoes.
One cauliflower cut into florets
5 potatoes cut into wedges
1/2 cup peas (boiled or from a can)
2 onions cut long and fine
2 tbsp ginger paste
2 tsp garlic paste
2 tomatoes, chopped small
3 tbsp oil
1 tsp sabji (vegetable) masala
Salt to taste
Cilantro to garnish
Oil 3 tablespoons
In a pan with a lid, add 1 tablespoon of oil and a little bit of salt. Add the potatoes and toss them around for 4 to 5 minutes. Lower the flame and cover with a lid for 3 more minutes. Take the potatoes out of the pan.
With one more tablespoon of oil, do the same with the cauliflower, but toss around for 2 or 3 minutes. Lower the flame and cover with a lid for 3 more minutes. Take the cauliflower out of the pan.
Add the remaining tablespoon of oil and the onions. Brown the onions slightly, then add the ginger paste, garlic paste and salt. Cook for a couple of minutes, then add the tomatoes and cook for a couple of minutes more. Add 2 tablespoons of water, and then add the potatoes and cauliflower. Toss the vegetables to mix everything together in the pan.
Put the flame on low, add the peas, cover with the lid and cook for 10 minutes. Uncover the pan and toss around again. (If the vegetables are sticking to the bottom of the pan, add two more tablespoons of water and cover for another 3-4 minutes until cooked.)
Add the sabji masala and toss again carefully. Add cilantro to garnish.