Thursday, August 27, 2009

Badal Jaam - Spiced and baked eggplant (Brinjal)

I did not know such an Indian side dish existed until I saw the episode of "Rachael Ray's vacation" on Food network in which she visits San Francisco. She eats Badal Jaam in an Indian restaurant in Berkley and also gives a glimpse on its preparation. I searched food network site for this recipe and found that it involved shallow frying. Instead, I tried to broil in my oven to reduce the amount of oil used. I served it up with good old Jeera-saffron rice and chunky cucumber raita and it tasted wonderful. Here is how I prepared it.

Eggplant - 2 medium sized
onion - 2 medium sized, finely chopped
green bell pepper - 1 diced
tomato - 2 medium sized, finely chopped
green chillies - 4 or to taste, finely chopped
red chilly powder - 1/4 tsp
turmeric - 1/8 tsp or a couple of pinches
ginger paste - 3/4 tsp
garlic paste - 3/4 tsp
coriander - 1 tbsp finely chopped (save some for garnish)
cumin (jeera) powder - 1/2 tsp
lemon juice - 1 tsp
garam masala - 1 tsp
salt to taste
mango powder and/or chaat masala for garnish (optional)

Cut eggplant into 3/4 inches thick slices. Rub both sides with salt and let it sit for 10 minutes. This will make the eggplant lose some water. Pat the slices dry with a paper towel. Line a baking pan with foil and smear oil on it. brush little oil on both sides of the eggplant slices and smear garam masala. Preheat the broiler at high heat and broil the slices 8 inches under the source of heat for 7-8 minutes (Broiler times vary, so keep an eye. It can burn food very quickly). Turn the slices over and broil for another 6-7 minutes and set aside.

Preheat the oven at 400 F. In the mean time, saute the onion, green chillies, ginger paste and garlic paste in a tbsp of oil. You can a little salt at this stage to bring out the sweetness of the onion. when the onions are slightly brown, add tomatoes and bell peppers. Saute for another 2-3 minutes. Now add the remaining salt, turmeric powder, cumin powder and red chilly powder, and 1/2 cup of water. Mix well, cover and let it cook for 5-7 minutes. Then remove the lid and stir until all the water evaporates. Turn the heat off and then add lemon juice and coriander and mix well.

Divide the vegetable mix equally among the eggplant slices and spread evenly on each one. Now cover the baking pan with foil. close the ends tightly and bake for about 20-25 minutes (Baking times vary). Let it stand for 3-4 minutes before removing the foil. Garnish the slices with a dollop of yogurt, chopped tomatoes, coriander and dry mango powder and serve.

Note: If your yogurt is not very thick, hang it in a muslin cloth to remove excess whey water.

1 comment:

  1. Amongst other things, I can definitely vouch for the appeal, flavour and taste of this dish - after all I was the intended customer for the dish :D.

    I generally find oily food to be not so appetizing. But it is so ironical that oily foods are tastier (atleast that's what I have been told). This dish definitely disproves the theory.

    I was not so sure about how it would taste, looking at the piece of brinjal (eggplant) with all the colours on it. But cut a piece and pop it into your mouth, and you can feel the flavours dancing in your mouth.