Cooking vegetarian dishes particularly with a variety each day is something I find very difficult. No dish can be repeated immediately the day after because my son would raise his eyebrows and ask, “Maa, didn’t you make the same dish yesterday?” I try to innovate my veg dishes continuously to avoid facing this question.
These days you get baby eggplants with almost all the green grocers. Bought half a kilo yesterday to try a new eggplant dish hoping that my son will like it. Baby eggplants always bring to my mind ‘Gota Sedhho’ my mother used to cook on Basant Panchami, a ritual among the Bongs to cook five vegetables together with whole moong dal, works as an antidote to many diseases, mainly viral infections. On the day of the Saraswati puja each year my Maa asks me, “Kirey ‘Gota Sedhho’ korish ni (Didn’t you cook ‘Gota Sedhho’ today)?” But rarely do I manage to cook this dish only for myself nowadays as no one likes it in the family. Really miss those days in Kolkata and Maayer Haater ‘Gota Sedhho’…..
Thinking of what to do with the eggplants I came up with a recipe and named it Chatpata Baigan (Spicy Eggplants). Bought a packet of amchoor (dry green mango) powder which I thought of using in the dish for the chatpata/piquant flavour. A very simple and easy recipe as I rarely go for elaborate ones. Total cooking time is fifteen minutes and tastes awesome with paranthas, fulkas or steamed rice.
- 500 gms baby/small eggplants
- 3 onions sliced
- 4-5 cloves of garlic finely chopped
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp deghi mirch powder
- ½ tsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp amchoor (dry green mango) powder
- 2 green chillies slit
- Salt and sugar to taste
- A fistful of chopped fresh coriander leaves
- 3 tablespoons of mustard oil
Wash the eggplants and slit half way through vertically.
Heat oil in a skillet and add the chopped garlic. When golden add the onions and continue frying.
When the onions change color add the powder masalas except aamchoor powder, salt, 1/2 tsp sugar and sauté well.
Add the baigan/ eggplants and mix well with the masalas. Cover and cook on high flame for 2 minutes. Stir in between. Then cook covered on low flame for 7-8 minutes. Do not add any water.
The eggplants must be done by now. To give the dish it’s piquant taste, add the amchoor powder, slit green chillies and give a stir, turn off the heat and cover for 2 minutes giving some standing time. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot.