‘Doi begun’ (‘dahi baigan’ in Hindi) or ‘fried eggplant in yoghurt sauce’, is one of the simplest but delicious dishes that one can prepare for a meal. If you like aubergine or eggplant – then this dish can be the one for you. And yes, this dish falls into “anybody can cook” category; yet, it is different from the usual curry.
Cut an eggplant in half-an-inch thick roundels, fry them; saute spices in about a couple of tablespoons of oil, mix with the beaten yoghurt which is then spooned over the fried eggplants. That’s all; yes, it’s that simple.
It can go well with jeera rice, peas pulao, parantha or plain chapati (roti). And if you don’t like to have additional carbs, just have it without them.
Now, the recipe:
Eggplant – 1 big size (not the small ones)
Youghurt – about 300 gms
Mustard oil – 3 tablespoon
Turmeric powder – 1 tablespoon
Mustard seed – 1 tablespoon
Dry red chilli – 3 pieces
Curry leaves – 10-12 (approximately)
Sugar – 1 tablespoon
Salt – according to taste
Cut the eggplant into half-an-inch thick roundels.
Marinade the eggplant roundels with a teaspoon of salt, sugar, turmeric powder and 1 tablespoon of mustard oil, for about 10 minutes.
Fry the cut pieces in a pan. No need to use too much of oil; just one tablespoon of oil is good enough to fry the eggplant pieces in a non-stick or a grill-pan. All along – fry it on low-medium heat turning the sides. Instead of deep frying, if you fry it in a pan on low-medium heat it will take longer time to fry but, you can fry them in lesser oil.
Meanwhile, while the eggplants are cooking, prepare the yoghurt.
Beat the yoghurt with a spoon or a whisker adding half teaspoon of salt and one tablespoon of sugar. Beat it to make it smooth. Do not use electric mixer/blender as that will make the consistency too runny (like a lassi), but we don’t want that; here we need to have a thicker consistency.
Once the eggplant pieces turn golden brown on both sides, arrange them in a serving bowl and keep it aside.
Now, in a small pan heat about 1 tablespoon of oil, add three dry red chillies and mustard seeds. Once the mustard seeds start spluttering, add the curry leaves. Adding the curry leaves later will ensure that the leaves will not burn but the concoction will get the desired aroma. Saute for about 30 seconds and pour it over the beaten yoghurt. Mix everything well.
Please note – the yoghurt will not go into the pan to meet the spices, rather the sauted spices from the pan will be poured on the beaten yoghurt.
Now, dole out the spiced up yoghurt in dollops and evenly spread over the fried eggplant pieces with a spoon.
Now, it is ready to be served.
You can have this dish at room temperature or even slightly cold. Personally, I like it a little cold (not chilled though), especially during the Indian summer. Hence, I keep it in refrigerator for about 15 mins before serving. However, not everyone will like it that way. So, go absolutely according to your taste buds.
After properly spreading over the spicy yoghurt mix on the fried pieces (of eggplant) if you still have it (yoghurt) in excess, just have it separately, you will enjoy it in the hot and humid summer days.