Kasundi Begun–Bangla Style Eggplant/Baingan with a Spicy Twist!

Japanese eggplant, Paanchphoran, Kasundi (mustard paste), Yogurt, Turmeric powder, Chili powder, Dhania-Jeera powder, Garam masala.

1. Slice the eggplant into long thickish slices and soak in water to prevent browning.
2. Heat some oil in a large flat-bottomed skillet (just enough to coat the base and lay the eggplants in one layer. Partially cover and allow to cook. After a few minutes, carefully turn them over with a flat spoon and allow to brown on the other side as well.
3. Take out the eggplants and lay them out on a plate.
4. Add a little more oil into the pan and add 1 tablespoon of paanchphoran, a pinch of turmeric, 1 tablespoon of chili powder and a little bit of asafoetida (hing). Fry lightly on a low flame.
5. Add ½ cup of water and slowly add the eggplant slices one by one.
6. Add 1 tablespoon of dhania-jeera powder and ½ teaspoon of garam masala. Cover and allow to simmer for 5 minutes.
7. Whisk 1 cup of yogurt with ½ cup of kasundi with ½ spoon of all-purpose flour (to avoid the yogurt curdling).
8. Add the yogurt-kasundi mixture to the eggplant and stir very slowly to allow all the eggplants to be coated with the mixture.
9. Cover and cook on medium-high heat till the sauce thickens.
10. Drizzle a few drops of mustard oil on top.
11. Garnish with cilantro and Serve hot with rice and daal!

Note: Here, I drizzled a chili pepper sauce over the kasundi begun to add extra heat and color! I also crushed some french fried onions on top for some crunch…but needless to say, these are optional!

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