Thursday, December 16, 2010

Eggplant or Brinjal Stew

Have I mentioned that I also have Iranian blood?  I was born and brought up in India, but my dad is from Iran.  Similarly my husband's mom is also from Iran.  I still have aunts and cousins living in Iran and also have picked up the Persian language and some of the foods.  It is nice when you can pick the best of every culture and create a culture of your own - a culture you are comfortable with. One thing Iranians love is their food.  Unlike Indian food, it is not spicy, but still full of flavour.  Of course my version of Iranian food always contains Indian spices.

I was talking to one of my Nigerian colleagues about culture and how some cultures are more open or more sociable than others.  For example we were sitting in the cafeteria, and this dude comes over and starts talking about his family and New Year party and life in Belgium.  Of course he was not from Belgium - he was Colombian.  Now we have several Belgian colleagues too, and no offence to them, but they cannot be open and just start up conversations.  Again, it is not that this is bad and that is good - but it is just culture.  Indians can also be very open and hospitable people and will always say "yes" to everything.  Iranians on the other hand can also be sociable and hospitable, but tend to be more like "birds of a feather flock together".  These are again deductions based on my interactions with only small parts of certain cultures and in no way could we generalize.
Onions & dried lemons

Preparation Time:  1 hour
Serves 6


1 kilo Eggplants
½ kilo meat
2 onions, chopped
1 cup tomato purée
2 dried lemon
1 cup Bengal gram dal
Pinch of asafetida
½ teaspoon red chilli powder
½ teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon garam masala
1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
8 tablespoons sunflower oil for frying
2 tablespoons sunflower oil for cooking


  1. Soak the bengal gram dal in water for 30 minutes.  
  2. Peel the eggplants and cut in rings and spread them on a tray.  Sprinkle salt on it and let it stay for 30 minutes.  Wipe the eggplants with paper towels.  
  3. Heat oil in a pan and brown the eggplants lightly on both sides and keep aside.  
  4. Heat 1 tbsp oil in another vessel and when it is hot, add the asafetida.  
  5. Now add the onions and when brown, add the ginger-garlic paste.  
  6. After frying for 3 minutes, add the chilli powder, turmeric and coriander powder and garam masala.  Fry for a further 2 minutes.  
  7. Now add the meat and let it brown on all sides.  
  8. Add the tomato purée and the Bengal gram dal along with one cup water.  Cook on a low flame till the dal and meat is done.   I put it all in a pressure cooker and cook for 10 minutes. 
  9. Once done, add the eggplants to the stew and the dried lemons.  Let it cook on a low flame for a further 15 minutes.  Serve hot with rice.


  1. yummy!
    next you should share your secret recipe for pav bhaaji!

  2. This mixing of cultures and different flavors makes life more interesting don't you think? It is true some people from specific countries tend to be more social than others. Climate and culture play a very important role.

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