Deep frying is an art that I am almost ashamed to admit, I love. It is like falling in love with the rascal that the whole world warns you about. You know it is bad for you; you know your body will suffer, your heart will ache, and your stomach will be destroyed, but the sight of something being fried, the smell, and the sounds is all a bit hard to resist.
While I may not be the role model on how to exercise self-control, I can truthfully admit that I stay away from this artery choking, waist expanding temptation as much as I can. But a girl has her moments when the lure of eating something that is drowned in hot oil is just too difficult to control, and you just give in.
And on days like this when insanity takes over sanity when temptation becomes the reason to survive, I succumb by frying the two vegetables that I love the most, Potatoes and Eggplants. The action of frying has complete opposite effect on both the vegetables. While one becomes crispy and crunchy, the other becomes soft and luscious, melting in your mouth. But added to a gravy, they become such a fantastic treat that all sins can be forgotten for just the moment your fingers holding the morsel touch your lips.
This “Baingan Aloo masala” (Eggplants & Potatoes Masala) has to be the best thing that I do with both my favorite vegetables. The tangy Tomatoes do their best to make spruce up the already exotic dish. I love serving it with Naan bread or Rotis. Trust me you will not regret making this, no matter how much you avoid fried food.
Baingan Aloo masala – Cooking time 30 minutes (Serves 4)
8-10 Baby Eggplants
2-3 medium sized Potatoes
Three medium ripe Tomatoes
Two green chillies
One tsp fresh Ginger paste
Two cloves Garlic finely chopped
1/2 cup Curd at room temperature mixed with two tsp water Freshly chopped Coriander
One tsp Cumin seeds
Vegetable oil for frying
Salt to taste
One tsp Turmeric powder
One tsp Red chilli powder
One tsp Coriander powder
A pinch of Asafoetida
Wash the Eggplants and wipe them with a kitchen towel so that they are completely dry. Slit them without chopping into pieces and sprinkle a pinch of Salt.
Cut the Potatoes into two pieces each and make crisscross incisions on them.
Heat vegetable oil in a pan and add the Eggplants a few at a time and deep-fry for a few minutes till they have softened. Add, the potatoes and cook till they are done. Drain on a paper towel and keep aside.
Blanche the tomatoes in hot water and cool them completely. Add the tomatoes, curd, green chillies, Ginger and Garlic in a grinder and grind to a smooth paste. If the tomatoes are hot, and the curd is cold, it will Split. So ensure both are at room temperature.
Heat a little oil in a pan and add cumin seeds and Asafoetida. Carefully add the Tomato sauce, cover and cook for a few minutes till the oil starts to separate.
Add all the dry masalas and saute for 2 – 3 minutes. Add ½ cup of hot water to the dish and bring to a boil and then add the Potatoes and Eggplants. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, sprinkle fresh Coriander and serve hot with Rotis or Naan.