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The Gastronomic Traveller

Chef Christine Manfield is one of Australia’s most popular chefs. She travels extensively all over the world to gather and share cooking experiences, food ideas and exotic recipes. Her motto is “Think global, eat local”. In fact, many of her fans in Australia see her as a global culinary ambassador for the country.

Chef Manfield’s travels have also brought her to India where she spent a lot of her time collecting family recipes – treasured recipes passed down across generations, much like family heirlooms. In today’s post, we will explore one such ancient recipe that Chef Manfield came across in Uttar Pradesh – Eggplant in Mustard Gravy. In India, we call is Baingan Sarson.

Here are the ingredients that you will require for this recipe.

Ingredients:

  1. Eggplant (Baingan): 1 kilogram

  2. Curd (Dahi): 300 grams

  3. Mustard Oil: 500 millilitres

  4. Mustard Seeds (Rai): 4 tablespoons

  5. Lemon: 1

  6. Dried Red Chillies: 12

  7. Salt: to taste

The quantities mentioned above are for six servings. Adjust the quantities proportionately to suit the number of servings you require.

For the eggplant, it is best to use small or medium ones for this recipe. Avoid very large eggplants. Chef Manfield says they would not be suitable for recreating the traditional flavour of this dish.

Preparation:

Wash and cut the eggplant into bite-sized cubes. Soak the pieces in water for around 10 minutes. Then drain the water and dry the eggplant pieces using paper towels. You don’t need to dry them completely – a little moisture is okay.

Soak the dried red chillies in water for around 30 minutes. Then drain the water and keep the red chillies aside.

Grind the mustard seeds using a mortar and pestle. Place the ground mustard seeds in a blender and add the red chillies along with around 100 millilitres of water. Blend to make a thick and smooth paste.

Extract the juice from the lemon.

Method:

Heat the Mustard Oil in a pan on a Medium flame. When the oil reaches its smoking point and emits whiffs of aromatic white smoke, reduce the flame to Low.

Deep-fry the eggplant pieces till they become soft. Once the eggplant is done, remove the pieces from the oil and keep aside.

Use a ladle to carefully remove the mustard oil from the pan till you are left with around 100 millilitres of oil. The oil that you just removed is ideal for cooking some other dish since it has already been “smoked” and is, therefore, ready. However, don’t store it and use it later.

Now add the mustard seed-red chilli paste and cook for a minute or so.

Then add the curd, slowly and carefully stirring it in. Add the lemon juice and salt, and cook for a couple of minutes.

Finally, add the fried eggplant pieces and cook for around 10 minutes, stirring the mixture at regular intervals.

Your Baingan Sarson is now ready. Serve it hot. It is best eaten with steaming hot rice. This dish with its rich and dominant flavours created quite a stir when Chef Manfield served it at her restaurant in Sydney.

You can find more recipes at :  https://www.purioilmills.com/recipes-in-english/


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