Saturday, 7 July 2012

Achari Baigan ( Brinjal and cucumber vegetable with pickle taste)

Achari Baigan
Baigan (Brinjal) is made to bharta, vegetable, as accompaniment with roti, Dal-chawal as main course meal.
I yet fail to understand why my friends used to call it Be-Gun (without any good property). Brinjal is rich in Vitamin A, Calcium, and potassium. It is full of nutrients and has lovely taste. I love all preparation of Brinjal but Achari Baigan is my favorite.
Do not dismiss brinjal from your kitchen but try this recipe and your family and you will love to have baigan in your vegetable basket.

Preparation Time: 15 min.
Cooking Time: 30min.
Servings: Makes 4 Medium helpings

Ingredients for making Achari Baigan:
250 gm. Brinjal
  • 250gm. Cucumber
  • 1 Medium size Potato.
  • 1 Tea spoon Cumin Seeds
  • 1 Tea spoon Mustard Seeds
  • 1 Tea spoon Fennel Seeds (Saunf)
  • 1/2Tea spoon Nigella seeds (Kalonji)
  • 1/2Tea spoon Methi seeds
  • 1/2Tea spoon Turmeric Powder
  • 1 Tea spoon Red Chili Powder
  • 2-3 Whole Red Chilies
  • 2 Tea spoon Amchur powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 30 ml. Mustard oil / or any other cooking oil.

Directions for Making Achari Baigan:
  • Wash and towel dry brinjal and cucumber.
  • Remove the stalk from brinjal and cut them to long 1/2cm. thick pieces.
Brinjal cut to long thin pieces
  • Peel the cucumber and remove the inner soft portion with seeds.
Peeled Cucumber

Inner Pulpy portion removed from Cucumber
Inner Pulpy portion not to be used in Achari Baigan
  • Take the outer non-pulpy part of cucumber and cut it to 5-6 cm. long and 2 cm. thick pieces.
Cucumber cut to long thin pieces
  • Peel wash and cut the potato to thin long pieces. 
Potato cut to long thin pieces
  • Take oil in a wok and heat on high flame till smoking hot.
  • Lower the flame and add
    • Mustard seeds,
    • Nigella seeds (Kalonji)
    • Cumin seeds
Mustard seeds, Cumin, Kalonji added to oil
  • Then after 30 sec. of cooking add
    • Fennel seeds (Saunf)
    • Methi seeds
    • Whole red chili
Fennel seeds, Whole red chili , Fenugreek seeds added to rest of the spices in oil
  • Let the seeds splutter and cook for 30sec.
  • Add potato pieces and mix nicely.
Potato pieces added to oil and spices
  • Cook for 2-3 mi with regular stirring.
  • Add brinjal and mix to mix the oil and spices nicely.
Brinjal pieces added
  • Cook for 10 min. with regular turning of the brinjal in oil and spices.
Brinjal pieces cooked for ten min. and ready for cucumber to be added
  • Add cucumber pieces and mix thoroughly.
Cucumber pieces added
  • Cook for another 10 min. with regular stirring but without covering the wok.
Cooked for ten min.  after adding cucumber without covering
  • Add turmeric powder, red chili powder, salt and amchur.
Turmeric, Red chili powder, alt and Amchur added to the vegetable mixture
  • Mix thoroughly and cover and cook for 5 min. without stirring.
  • The part of vegetable touching the wok will become reddish brown.
Vegetables cooked to brown color on one side

  • Turn the vegetable upside down in the wok.
  • Cover and cook for another 5 min. 
Other side of vegetables cooked to brown color
  • Removed the cooked Achari Baigan in a serving bowl and enjoy it with Hot chapatti or Dal chawal.
Achari Baigan
  • Those who do not use mustard oil can use olive oil or any other cooking oil, but Achari Baigan tastes best when made in mustard oil.
  • The brinjal taken should be tender and firm, without seeds in it.
Soft Baigan to be used for Achari Baigan
  • Do not put the center pulpy part in the vegetable if you do so it will make the Achari baigan lumpy.
  • Do not reduce oil amount because this preparation requires more oil, if you want you can increase the amount of oil to 40 ml.
  • Stir the vegetable but be careful it is not mashed.
Suggested Variations:
  • One or two medium size carrots (100gm) can be added to the vegetable along with cucumber while cooking.
  • Potato can be avoid if one wants to avoid potato in vegetable.
  • In the season of raw mango amchur can be replaced with peeled and thinly cut pieces of one medium size mango. the mango pieces should be added along with cucumber.
  • While cooking one teaspoon mustard powder can be added for change of taste and tangy flavor.

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