Zhatpat Baingan

Following is a funny folk tale that my father used to tell us when we were kids especially when my Mom made brinjals:

One day a king, delighted with his brinjal fry, praised it lavishly. “It is the king of all vegetables,” his minister agreed loyally. “That is why god has given it a crown on top of its head.” The king then had it cooked every day for each meal, till he grew sick of it. “I can’t eat it anymore,” he thundered. The minister didn’t miss a step. “Yes sir, it is the worst vegetable! That is why god has driven a nail into its head,” he put in promptly.   

I came across really plump and fresh looking eggplants at the local farmers market today and it immediately Mom’s recipe of tawa fry baingan crossed my mind. Crispy and tangy, they are easy and quick to prepare, and go with any kind of dal. My daughter loves to hold the eggplants with their stems and bites on them like a snack. I sprinkle chaat masala on the top for extra tang and flavor.   
Preparation and cooking time: 10+20 minutes
  • 8-10 small eggplants with stems
  • 1tsp Salt
  • 1tsp Chat masala
  • 1tsp Garam masala
  • ½ tsp Red pepper powder
  • ½ tsp Turmeric power
  • ½ tsp Coriander powder
  • ½ tsp Cumin powder
  • 3tsp oil

  • Wash and dry eggplants. Make crosswise slits in eggplants.
  • Mix all the dry masalas together and stuff the eggplants. Let them marinate for 5-10 minutes.
  • Heat 3tbsp oil in a flat cooking pan and add the eggplants. Cover them for 10 minutes till cooked halfway. Open the cover and turn the sides of eggplants to cook them evenly on both sides.
  • Sprinkle a pinch of chaat masala and serve immediately as a side dish.