I could call this one of my regional favourites. Baghara Baingan is a dish every Hyderabadi will identify with, and love. I tried it with great hestitation. You see, am not an 'all-types-of-baingan' fan. I like baingan in bharta, or in fries :P or in Eggplant Parmesan or in my granny's Vaangibaath. When I first tried the notorious Hyderabadi Biryani with Mirchi Ka Salan, I drooled. I love rice, I love chillies. I just did not need anything else. I ate Hyderabadi food like this only after I started working in Hyderabad. Otherwise, during hostel days, we'd go out to eat what our moms cooked in their kitchens. Atleast, something resembling that. My house has never seen/eaten Baghara Baingan and I was hesitant to try it.
Our office was known to provide amazing food and every Friday, it was Biryani day. Yay! I loved Friday for more than the idea of weekend coming close :) One day, the caterers did not make Mirchi Ka Salan, but instead made Baghara Baingan. I was wild. But I still ate it :D You see, am not known to grudge food all that much! And then it was helping after helping of only this curry! I never once thought of trying it until I bought Baingan from the Farmer's Market to make Undhiyu. Since I did not have all the Undhiyu ingredients (I'm ALWAYS like this. I get excited, buy the main ingredient, and forget the rest!) and the baingan or the brinjal or the eggplant or the aubergine (I just realized we have non-Hindi readers!) was rotting and A was complaining, I decided to make Baghara Baingan. I scanned the Food Blog Search for some ideas since I did not know what went to it, apart from the brinjals :D Finally, I chanced upon Asha's recipe for Baghara Baingan and then I went on to add some other stuff randomly that I my hands touched in the fridge. And this is how it looked :) We had it with rice and not biryani. It still was as good as ever and rekindled culinary memories of Hyderabad. Sigh.
While I did use Asha's recipe for making this dish, I added 1/2 cup peanuts and 1/4 cup of sour cream. I added the peanuts because I've noticed that a lot of Andhra dishes add peanuts. Sour cream, I added, because I loooooooove sour cream and just wanted to use it :P At the end, just before taking it off the gas, I added a dollop of ghee, and that just made the dish perfect. The aromas tantalizing, the taste buds tingling, A and I stuffed ourselves that night :)