Dahi Baingan is basically aubergine/ eggplant curry cooked in spicy yogurt. It’s comfortingly delicious to enjoy with naan bread, roti/ chapati, or plain white Basmati rice.
The aubergine/ eggplant has a smoky and bittersweet aroma that marries well with the tangy and spicy yogurt.
The first time I made this Dahi Baingan was because of my husband’s craving. He fancied having aubergine the way his mom made it. I think he was missing his late mom at the time. But the problem was I never had this dish before. So it was such a mission for me to cook it the way my husband’s mom made the dish.
If I think about it again, it was so funny. Because even though my sister-in-law taught me how she cooks aubergine, hubby says it’s not quite the same as his mom’s.
So he tried to find recipes on YouTube that looked the way his mom made them. Recipe videos by Manjula’s Kitchen and Hebbars Kitchen caught our attention. But when I went through the ingredient details, I realized that their recipes wouldn’t be the same as my late mother-in-law’s. Both recipes use Hing (Asafoetida), which is often used in Indian dishes but NOT in Pakistani foods.
In the end, I recreated and developed my own recipe. After a few trials, my husband approved that the recipe I’m sharing here is the one that reminds him of his mom’s Dahi Baingan. Mission accomplished.
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The Items You Need To Make Aubergine In Spicy Yoghurt
Needless to say, aubergine or eggplant is the most important item for this dish. When it comes to choosing good aubergine, make sure the fruit is firm when you hold it. You can tell if it’s not good by touching the skin. If it feels soft, it means it’s overripe.
A good aubergine will have firm flesh when you cut it, and it doesn’t have many seeds inside. Any seeds that have grown inside its flesh will be so tiny that you can hardly notice. That’s the best eggplant.
As for other ingredients, you need plain natural yogurt, gram flour, ginger, garlic, dried fenugreek leaves (methi), coriander leaves, some ground spices, and whole spices.
One thing to note is that apart from the regular whole cumin seeds, I also use Panch Puran/ Panch Phoron. It’s a mix of five whole spices, i.e., whole cumin/ jeera, Nigella sativa/ black seeds, fenugreek seeds/ methi, black mustard seeds, and fennel seeds/ Saunf.
When it comes to yogurt, please choose natural yogurt. Preferably the yoghurt from Asian/ Pakistani shops. And make sure you don’t use Greek-style yogurt. Not only will the taste be different, but the texture will be so creamy that it breaks easily. And when you whisk the yogurt with all the spices and gram flour, ensure that it’s really smooth and has turned at room temperature before you use it.
How To Make Dahi Baingan
Did you know that eggplant releases sap that gives a bit of bitterness to your dish? So after you cut it, sprinkle some salt all over the eggplant pieces and let it rest for 5 minutes. You then will see the sweat on your eggplant. That’s the sap.
Rinse the aubergine with fresh water and squeeze it lightly. Your aubergine is ready to cook.
Now you have the aubergine ready, heat a little oil on a large frying pan. Fry and steam the aubergine until it’s fully cooked and softened. It will also have some brownish spots that give a nice smoky aroma. You can put the lid on the pan in between so the aubergine cooks faster.
At the same time, get your yogurt mixture ready by mixing it with gram flour, cumin powder, ground coriander, red chili powder, turmeric powder, and salt. Whisk it until you get very smooth with no lump mixture.
Then, you heat a little oil on the same frying pan that is used for frying aubergine. Fry the chopped onion in the oil together with whole cumin seeds and Panch Puran. When the onion becomes translucent and all becomes fragrant, add in the ginger-garlic paste. Fry further for a minute or two until ginger garlic releases aroma.
You now pour the yogurt mixture into the onions. Give it a stir and leave it to cook with the lid on at moderately low heat.
When the yogurt is bubbling, add in the aubergine and stir well. You can put fresh green chilies if you like. Continue cooking your Dahi Baingan to cook for about 5 minutes to let the aubergine absorb the spiced yogurt and the flavor.
Lastly, sprinkle some dried fenugreek leaves and freshly chopped coriander leaves.
Ways To Enjoy Dahi Baingan
The dish is nice to enjoy with other dishes such as Aloo Palak, Aloo Methi, Chana Aloo, Chicken Karahi, Keema Matar, or Lauki Gosht.
Thank you for reading the post. I hope you’re now wanting to try the recipe. When you do, can you share what you think about it in the comments below (leave a reply)? It will be awesome.
Please follow me on Instagram, Facebook, and/or Pinterest @soyummyrecipesbydevy to sneak a peek at what’s cooking in my kitchen.
Before you go, check out my other recipes that you may need.
- Aubergine curry (the curry with tomato-based sauce).
- Aloo Gosht: potato and meat curry.
- Kitchari: rice and mung bean congee.
- Khaman Dhokla.
- Gajar Ka Halwa.
- Besan Ladoo.
Thank you and all the best.
Dahi Baingan Recipe
Dahi Baingan – Aubergine In Spicy Yoghurt
- Mixing bowl
- Cooking pan with lid.
- Wooden spoon
- 1 large eggplant/ aubergine.
- 1 cup natural yoghurt.
- 1 teaspoon besan flour/ gram flour/ chickpea flour.
- ½ teaspoon cumin powder.
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander.
- 1 teaspoon red chilli powder.
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder.
- 1 teaspoon salt I use Himalayan salt, and extra for aubergine.
- ½ inch ginger.
- 4 garlic cloves.
- ⅓ cup + 2 tablespoons water.
- 1 medium onion chopped.
- ½ teaspoon whole cumin seeds.
- 1 teaspoon Panch Phoron.
- 5 tablespoons cooking oil.
- ½ teaspoon dried fenugreek leaves/ methi leaves.
- A handful of coriander leaves for garnish.
- A few green bird’s eye chillies.
- Peel the ginger and garlic. Mince or pound them to paste.
- In a mixing bowl, place the yogurt together with gram flour, cumin powder, coriander powder, red chilli powder, turmeric powder and salt. Add in ⅓ cup of water. Stir and mix well until it’s smooth. Set aside.
- Cut and slice the aubergine lengthwise. Sprinkle ½ tsp salt over the aubergine/ eggplant. Leave it to rest for about 5 minutes or until the aubergine sweats. Then rinse it with water and squeeze the aubergine.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of oil on a large cooking pan and cook the aubergine at moderate heat. You can put the lid on in between to quicken the cooking process. Steam fry until it’s softened and slightly brown.Set aside.
- On the same pan, heat 3 tablespoons of oil and fry the chopped onion, Panch Phoron and cumin seeds. Cook until the onion becomes translucent and all the spices release an aroma. Then add in the ginger-garlic paste. Continue frying for another minute.
- Add the spiced yoghurt mixture into the onion and give it a stir. Continue cooking until the yogurt bubbling.
- Then put the aubergine in the yogurt mixture and add in 2 tablespoons of water or more if the gravy is too thick. Carefully stir it and put the lid on to cook at low heat. Add the green chillies if using.
- Continue cooking for about 10 minutes or until the yogurt sauce bubbling and a little bit of oil separates from the edges. Sprinkle the dried fenugreek leaves (methi) and some chopped coriander leaves before serving (if using).
- I now use pink Himalayan salt for my cooking. You can use regular table salt at the same measure or adjust it according to your taste.
- When it comes to chilies, you can always add more or less according to how you like. You can also use red dried chili flakes if you don’t have red chili powder.
Nutritional info in this recipe is only estimate using online calculator. You should refer to it as a guide only. Please verify with your own data if you seek an accurate info.