Bagara Baingan Recipe
Bagara Baingan is the perfect partner for your Biryani! Made with tender/young eggplants, coconut, sesame seeds, peanuts, tamarind and spices, this curried dish is simply delicious, creamy and flavor-packed. Bagara Baingan is a traditional curried eggplant dish from the Hyderabadi Cuisine & is usually served with Hyderabadi Biryani. But it can also be served with any kind of Biryani, Pulao, plain steamed rice, flavored rice varieties like Bagara Rice, roti, Chapati or Plain Parathas.
About Bagara Baingan
The term “Baghare Baingan” loosely translates to “Eggplants cooked with a tempering”, where the term Baghar translates to Tempering & Baingan to Eggplants. As the name implies, Bagara Baingan is made by first tempering the whole spices like mustard & cumin.
Bagara Baingan has a lot of similarities with the Andhra & Telangana’s Gutti Vankaya, Karnataka’s Ennegayi, Maharashtra’s Bharli Vangi & Bharwa Baingan. The ingredients like peanuts, sesame and coconut and even most of the spices used are the same.
Whole Eggplants are slit with the stem intact & cooked in the gravy. But bagara baingan is not made with stuffed eggplants while the others are made by stuffing them. Surprisingly all these taste very different.
Telengana people also refer to this Bagara Baingan as Nune Vankaya, since brinjals are fried in oil before adding to the curry. This step of frying the eggplants make them tender and super soft, so they absorb the flavors well.
Imagine the flavors of fried eggplants cooking with spices, curry leaves, roasted peanuts, sesame, coconut and tamarind. Your house smells amazing and delicious!
Love Brinjals? Here are some for you to check
Ingredients & Substitutes
Eggplants/ Brinjal: Traditionally small, young and fresh eggplants are used for this. No compromises on this! Do not use large eggplants. Your dish won’t taste the same. Purple or green eggplants are also okay. If you don’t eat eggplants, okra also known as Bhindi can be used. Follow the recipe without any modifications.
Peanuts: We roast the raw peanuts, cool them & deskin optionally before grinding. You may buy pre-roasted skinned peanuts to skip this step. Add them directly to the grinder. There is no substitute to this. If you are allergic to peanuts, you may use almonds or cashews.
Sesame Seeds: White sesame seeds are used and there is no substitute for this. Black sesame seeds won’t work here.
Tamarind: You will use dry tamarind and soak it to extract the juice. You may use store bought tamarind concentrate or paste. Indian tamarind is used here & it is sour. If you use Thai tamarind, it won’t taste the same. So add some lemon juice while serving.
Coconut: Traditionally dried coconut (copra) is used. If you do not have that you may use fresh coconut or desiccated coconut.
How to Make Bagara Baingan (Stepwise Photos)
1. On a medium heat, dry roast 2 tablespoons peanuts until golden & aromatic. Turn the flame to low and add 1 tablespoon sesame seeds to the hot pan. When they begin to splutter, switch off the stove. Add 3 tablespoons coconut and stir in the hot pan. Set aside to cool.
If using fresh coconut, toast it separately (first remove the peanuts and sesame to a plate). Toast until aromatic.
2. Cool and add them to a grinder jar. If you want you may remove the skin of the peanuts before grinding. Blend them with little water till slightly coarse or smooth to suit your taste.
3. If you want a smooth curry, grind it smooth. I do it moderately coarse. Set this aside.
4. Add 2 tablespoons tamarind & ¼ cup hot water to a bowl and soak it. When it cools down, squeeze and extract the juice. For convenience you may add more water if you want. Set this aside.
5. Wash baingan under running water. Take 2 to 3 cups water in a large bowl. Add half a teaspoon of salt. Keep the stems intact on the baingan and slit them partially from the bottom, making portions. I made 4 cuts on each brinjal. Keep them immersed in the water.
6. Traditionally these are deep fried. But you can also shallow fry like the way I did. Heat 3 to 4 tablespoons oil in a small pan. When the oil is medium hot, remove the eggplants from water (one by one) and wipe them with kitchen tissue/ cloth and add them to the hot oil. Fry them on a medium heat. Choose a small pan for frying, can use less oil.
7. Fry until the skin of brinjal looks blistered completely. This means they are almost cooked but not edible. Transfer these to an plate. Set them aside.
Make Bagara Baingan
8. Retain 2 tbsp oil in the pan and transfer the rest to a bowl. Add ½ teaspoon cumin seeds and ¼ teaspoon mustard seeds.
8. When they splutter, add ¾ cup chopped onions, 1 sprig curry leaves and sprinkle ¼ teaspoon salt. Fry until the onions are lightly golden.
9. Add 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste and fry until the raw smell goes away.
10. Add ½ cup water to the pan, pour the blended peanut mixture. Add ½ to ¾ teaspoon garam masala, ½ to ¾ teaspoon coriander powder, 1/8 teaspoon turmeric and ½ to ¾ teaspoon red chili powder. Stir and cook on a low to medium flame.
11. Filter the tamarind juice or add paste. Stir and cook. Now you can add more salt, spice and more tamarind juice to suit your taste.
12. When the mixture begins to bubble up, add fried brinjals. Check the consistency and add more water if required.
13. Cover and cook till the brinjal wilts off and are completely cooked through. Add chopped coriander leaves.
Serve bagara baingan with biryani, pulao, bagara rice or phulka.
Immerse Eggplants in Salted Water: We immerse cut brinjals in salted water so they don’t turn bitter. If the eggplants are naturally bitter, it is said that the bitterness is drawn out by the salted water. Do not leave cut brinjals on the counter, they will impart bitter tones to the curry.
Taste Test: Sesame seeds in the shelf turn rancid fast due to seasonal changes and temperature variations. So always taste test before using them.
Peanuts: If your peanuts are not so good, I suggest removing the skin before grinding. They should be roasted well until golden and even the nut should turn light brown (not only the skin) else the gravy will have the raw peanut flavor.
Bagara Baingan Recipe for Biryani
For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card
Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )
To roast and blend
- 2 tablespoons peanuts
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- 3 tablespoon coconut (dried/fresh/desiccated)
- 2 tablespoons tamarind or tamarind paste as needed
- ¼ cup hot water (more if required to soak the tamarind)
- 250 to 350 grams eggplants (6 to 8 small brinjals/ baingan)
- 3 to 4 tablespoons oil
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- ¼ teaspoon mustard seeds
- ¾ to 1 cup onions chopped
- 1 sprig curry leaves
- ½ to ¾ teaspoon salt (divided)
- 1 to 1½ teaspoon ginger garlic paste
- ½ to ¾ teaspoon garam masala (adjust to taste)
- ½ to ¾ teaspoon coriander powder (adjust to taste)
- ½ to ¾ teaspoon red chili powder (adjust to taste)
- ⅛ teaspoon turmeric (haldi)
- 2 tablespoons coriander leaves fine chopped
- On a medium heat, dry roast peanuts until they begin to smell good and turn light brown.
- Reduce the heat and add sesame seeds. When they begin to splutter, turn off the heat and add coconut.
- Saute it in the hot pan till the coconut smells good. (If using fresh coconut, saute it separately until aromatic)
- Cool these and blend with little water to a coarse or smooth paste as desired. Set aside.
- To a large bowl pour 2 to 3 cups water and add half teaspoon salt. Rinse the eggplants under running water. Slit them from the base to 4 portions, keeping the stem intact. (Check the photos in the post). Add the eggplants to the water.
- Heat oil in a pan. When the oil is medium hot, take off the eggplants one at a time and wipe dry with a kitchen tissue or cloth and add to the hot oil.
- Stir and fry them until the skin looks blistered completely, meaning the brinjal is almost cooked but not completely. Remove these from oil and keep them aside.
- Transfer the hot oil to a bowl and just retain 2 tablespoons in the pan
Making hyderabadi bagara baingan
- Add cumin and mustard to the pan. When they begin to sizzle, add onions, curry leaves and sprinkle salt.
- Fry until the onions turn transparent. Next fry ginger garlic paste until the raw smell goes away.
- Pour half a cup of water to the pan.
- Add the blended peanut mixture, red chili powder, garam masala and turmeric. Stir and begin to cook on a medium flame.
- Filter the tamarind juice or paste directly to the pan and stir.
- When the gravy begins to bubble well, add the fried brinjals and stir. Add more water if needed to bring the gravy to a consistency.
- Cover and cook till the brinjal looks completely wilted or cooked through.
- Add coriander leaves. Stir and serve bagara baingan with biryani, pulao or roti.
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.
NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)
© Swasthi’s Recipes
Bagara Baingan first published in April 2015. Updated & republished in November 2022.
I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills.
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Bagara baingan tasted very good with jowar roti. Thank you
Best and most clear instructions ever💕
This bagara baingan is fantastic with your biryani rice. I have made it thrice now. So good. I also carry the leftovers to the office and friends say it smells so good when I reheat it. Thank you.
Glad to know Deepa
This seems like a super elaborate prep. I felt like trying this recipe and your recipe was the first one I decided to search :-). Looks intimidating but will try it out!
Thanks Ravi. It looks like an elaborate prep but not really. Give it a try!
It takes more than 30 mins for this recipe. Please do not mislead people into thinking they can make bagara baigan in the said time. It took me 2 hours and I got late for office 🙁
It’s not intentional at all! I had migrated my recipes from another plugin, I guess the prep time got messed up. I am working on that now and may take about 4 to 6 weeks to fix. BTW, this recipe won’t take you more than 50 minutes. I have fixed it. Thanks for trying and letting me know about the timings.
I have made this twice now. In our household, it is the favorite way to eat eggplant (which now ripening in the garden, and it is vegetarian, which is important to the husband, who is vegetarian. I have a hard time getting all the ingredients because of where I live. So, one time, I had to substitute powdered amchur. It was a bit different, but sill good.
Thank you Sunshine. Glad you all like it.
I tried the recipe and the result was a fantastic restaurant style bagara baigan. The only change I made was to add dry red chilies when grinding the coconut paste for added spice.
Glad to know Vidya
thank you so much for letting me know how it turned out.
Hi dear….as usual the recipe is too good. Can you help me with the good cookwares. I do not want to use non stick cookwares anymore. But want to replace them with something which uses less oil or no oil at all. Please help.
Look for stainless steel heavy bottom pots and pans. I have no idea about the brands in India . I use WMF Cromargan pans and pot. Hope this helps
Chicago IL USA
Great Indian receipe thx for sharing
Wow such a delicious gravy. I have tried other recipes elsewhere for similar biryani gravy and it came out tasteless despite all the rich ingredients, but this one was amazing (and easy); we were licking it from the pan 🙂 I wonder if it would also come out good with certain other vegetables like ladies finger. I will try.
Glad to know Zanna
Yes even bhindi will taste good.
Thanks for leaving a comment
I have tried out number of your recipes, very easy to follow as each one is explained in detail and they taste yummy.
I am a great fan of your cooking. Thanks a lot.
Looking forward to lot more recipes from you.
Glad to know the recipes worked well for you. Thanks for leaving a comment.
Hi, Can I use black sesame seeds?
Usually black sesame don’t go well. Instead skip them
Hi, am trying to make this into a low carb recipe.
Do you think I can do with fewer peanuts ?
Also what can I replace the tamarind with ?
Not sure how it’s going to taste with lesser peanuts. Pls check this similar recipe. It does not need peanuts, only poppy seeds are used. You can skip tamarind and squeeze some lemon juice before serving. But the taste will not be the same. Hope this helps
Easy recipe. Very yummy!! Could also add poppy seeds to the peanut mixture.
Thank you Tanya!
Love the idea of poppy seeds.
Hi, Would really like to thank you for this amazing recipe.Turned out v well.More than that extremely well explained and written in a systematic way.Thanks again
You are welcome. Glad to know it turned out well. Thanks much
The recipe was a hit! This is the first time I’ve left a comment on a food blog – I couldn’t believe I made this baingan! The family asked to please make it again even before the meal was over! Wow – Thank you ?
You are welcome! So glad to know you all loved it. Thank you so much!
I love your recipe s .the karahi paneer recipe is a hit with the family
Thank you so much Dr Ruchi
I’m an editor & I’d like to use the image of bagara baingan from your blog in a school book I’m editing. Please let me know if I have your permission to do so. I will, of course, acknowledge all sources as required by you.
Hi Gayathri, you can use it if this is not for commercial purpose.
Clear and lucid instructions! Tasty result !