First, roast onion, zeera, dhaniya seeds, red whole chillies, sesame seeds, peanuts and desiccated coconut individually on a dry frying pan until they turn golden brown. Next, grind the above to a very fine paste with little water, 1 tsp of oil and 1 tablespoon of tomato paste. Apply the paste directly into the brinjals slits generously.
Then leave the brinjals aside for about 30 minutes to marinade.
Heat oil in a non-stick utensil which is wide enough, so the brinjals are not piling on top of each other.
When the oil is hot, add mustard seeds and wait for the popping noise to stop.
Next add Zeera seeds and Karepak leaves.
Carefully introduce brinjals into the utensil and stir slowly till the brinjals' colour differs.
Now pour the rest of the grinded mixture from above.
Add some water according to how thick/thin the sauce you want, stir but not too much.
Leave the cooker between medium to low for about 30 mins.
When the oil has risen to the top, the Hyderabadi bagare baigans are ready.
Bawarchi of the Week
Chitra Ramachandran is a very talented home cook who is enthusiastic about South Indian Vegetarian cooking styles.