Hyderabadi bagara baingan is a rich and luscious eggplant curry made using small purple eggplants, which are also popular as Indian eggplant or brinjal. Bagara (or bhagaar/bhagara) means tempering or seasoning, and baigan means eggplant.
Also popularly known as Hyderabadi khatta baingan or baingan ka salan, this curry has a burst of flavors - sweet, tangy, spicy, nutty! My easy version of the authentic Indian eggplant curry recipe is ready in less than 30 minutes.
Why you will love this recipe
- Bagara baingan is a flavorful and rich curry with a delightful blend of spices, tamarind, and coconut. It offers a perfect balance of tangy and spicy flavors.
- Making bagara baingan in an
Instant Potreduces the cooking time. It's a convenient way to prepare this traditional dish with consistent results.
- This baingan ka salan can be served with various side dishes like roti, naan, or rice. This versatile eggplant dish is a favorite choice to pair with vegetable biryani for special occasions and gatherings.
Eggplant: Small purple eggplants are the main ingredient of this dish.
Masala paste: A fresh masala paste is made using peanuts, coconut, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, and whole spices (coriander, cumin, cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom).
Tamarind: Soaked in water and juice extracted. You may replace it with store-bought tamarind pulp.
See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
Use small purple eggplants to make this brinjal curry. You can easily buy them in Indian or Asian grocery stores/markets.
Measure the water used to grind the masala paste. For this curry, I am using a total of three cups of water - one cup to soak the tamarind, ½ cup to make masala paste, and 1½ cups of water added to the IP.
I am using roasted peanuts in the masala paste. If you are using raw peanuts, make sure to dry roast them before using them. You may also replace it with two tablespoons of peanut butter.
You can make and store masala paste. It can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. The paste also freezes well for up to six months.
Click here for my collection of Instant Pot Indian curries.
What to serve with bagara baingan?
You can store this curry in the refrigerator for up to four days. You can also freeze it for up to three months. The masala paste freezes well and can be stored in a freezer-safe container for up to six months.
Ideally, we need to use a small purple variety of eggplant. It is popularly known as Indian eggplant or brinjal and is available at Indian and Asian stores. However, if you do not have access to them, you may use regular eggplants and cut them into even-sized cubes.
Gutti vankaya is a popular Telugu dish which is made using baby eggplants. The masala base for both these curries is almost similar, with very subtle differences. However, the key difference is that in gutti vankaya, the masala paste is very dry and is stuffed in the eggplant. Here, the masala is cooked separately, and then the eggplants are simmered in it.
More eggplant recipes
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Bagara Baingan (South Indian Eggplant Curry)
For the curry
- 10-12 baby eggplant (500 grams)
- 3 tablespoon oil
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- ½ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
- 10 curry leaves
- 1 large onion finely chopped
- 1 inch ginger finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 1-2 green chili finely chopped
- ¼ cup tamarind
- 1 tablespoon jaggery
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- Salt to taste
- 1 tablespoon coriander leaves (cilantro)
- 2½ cups water
- Soak the tamarind in one cup of water for 8-10 minutes. Extract the tamarind juice and discard the pulp.
- Grind the ingredients under masala paste into a smooth paste using ½ cup of water.
- Make two slits on the eggplant taking care not to cut them apart (the slits should form a ‘+’ sign) and keeping the stem intact. Set them aside.
Making the curry:
- Set the Instant Pot in saute mode (high) and add 2 tablespoons of oil.
- Add the eggplant and saute for 4-5 minutes until they begin to shrink and are charred (see step-by-step image). Set them aside.
- Next, add one tablespoon of oil and add mustard seeds.
- Once they splutter, add fenugreek seeds, curry leaves, onion, ginger, and garlic. Saute for 3-4 minutes.
- Add the ground masala paste, tamarind extract, jaggery, turmeric powder, and salt.
- Mix well and let it cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the fried eggplant and 1½ cup water. Mix well.
- Secure the IP lid and set it to pressure cook mode for 6 minutes.
- Do a natural release of pressure for 10 minutes, then do a quick release.
- Mix well and top with cilantro.
- Serve hot with biryani or roti.