Dahi Baigan ( Egg Plants in a spiced yoghurt gravy )

I thank the days I miss home food, for on days as these I get down to prepare some Oriya delicasies. And this time it was Dahi Baingan that soothed my nostalgic stomach.
Dahi Baigan is a traditional Oriya dish normally served with flavoured rice or just as a curry with white rice, but it's best served with Kanina, a sweet flavoured rice that's so typical of an Oriya platter. It's basically fried egg plants dipped in spiced yoghurt and best for the sunny afternoons when you need something light, filling and cooling to go with your main course.

3 medium sized egg plants cut in quarters length wise
1 medium sized onion
1 inch chopped ginger
2-3 pods of garlic
4 green chillies slit length wise
10-12 curry leaves
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp asofitida seeds
1 cup of yoghurt

Heat the oil in a deep pan. Add the mustard, asofitida and cumin seeds followed by the curry leaves. Let all the seeds crackle off.
Add the chopped ginger, garlic and green chillies and cook them till they give off their aroma.
Add the chopped onions and cook them till they are translucent.
Add the egg plants followed by all the powders and and give everything a good mix. Cover the pan and let the egg plant cook for 10 min.
Check if the egg plants are cooked. they should be tender but should be firm at the same time.
Put off the flame and let the egg plants cool down a bit.
Mix 1 cup of water with the yoghurt and mix them well. It should have the consistency of a batter.
Pour in the yoghurt in the cooked egg plants mixing them gently.
Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and have it with hot steaming rice :-)


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