Tender spiced chunks of eggplants and potatoes in a simple comforting spice base, this Pakistani classic Aloo Baingan or Baingan Aloo is an easy one pot potato and aubergine dish that is so satisfying.
I always feel that the most important thing to know about a recipe before I make it is what it's supposed to taste like.
This Aloo Baingan or Aaloo Baingan if you will is delicately spiced, with punchy tomatoes and garlicky undertones.
It is decidedly not:
- A salan or a curry - so no cubes of veggies floating in onions and oil
- A bharta ie the eggplant is not cooked to a paste
If that is what you are looking for then friends let's continue. Also, I am just saying, if we align on sabzi philosophy then can I suggest you try my 20 minute Aloo Palak and the classic punchy Aloo Gobi.
3 Sabzi Things to Know About Making ANY Sabzi
1.) Anytime you add water to the pot you are going to soften the edges and dilute the flavour. Most vegetables leave their own liquid at low heat and that requires patience, but makes for a more flavorful dish.
2.) The frying of onions is EVERYTHING. Curries or Salans are relatively more forgiving, but in a sabzi recipe if you end up browning your onions your entire dish will be off balance. Lovely, lightly golden brown edges to most translucent onions are key.
3.) Don't burn your spices. Whenever a recipe asks for the spices to go in to the oil make sure your oil isn't super hot. If it is, then feel free to turn it down or add a splash of water to bring the temperature down. I know, I know, I just said the W word. It's okay to add it before you add the veggies especially because a tiny splash will evaporate out.
Aloo Baingan: Ingredients
- Potatoes - Yukon Gold / Yellow Fleshed ALWAYS - creamy, buttery and just *chefs kiss*
- Eggplant - Whichever kind you like (personal preference for South Asian or Chinese eggplant)
- Tomatoes - robust Roma/ Plum are my favorite
- Onions - yellow cooking onions or red, my preference is for the latter
- Chilies - Serrano, Thai, or Pakistani - up to you!
- Lemon - for a little balancing brightness
- Cumin Seeds
- Salt (obviously)
- Chilli Powder / Cayenne
- Freshly cracked black pepper
How to Make Aloo Baingan
Saute your onions till the edges are bronze and then add your tomatoes and crushed garlic.
Saute for a few minutes on medium heat to soften the tomatoes and then add the masalas and cook for another minute. Add potatoes to put the Aloo in Baingan Aloo.
Mix the potatoes well with the masala and then cover the pan, dropping the temperature to low to allow the potatoes to simmer through without needing additional water. If for some reason yours start to stick/burn then you can absolutely add more.
When the potatoes' are nearly tender - anywhere from 15-20 minutes depending on your potatoes then add your cubed eggplant on top, sprinkle with additional salt and mix well. Cover and cook on low for another 10 minutes or until the eggplant is cooked through.
Add half your green chilies, a squeeze of lemon, freshly cracked pepper. Mix well, and TASTE. You HAVE TO taste and adjust seasoning. A great sabzi is about balance, and balance varies by tastebuds so taste away. Twice to be sure.
What to Serve with Baingan Aloo
Like with all sabzis I feel chapati and dahi alone are amazing, but here are some droolworthy combos.
Aloo Baingan Recipe
- Saute Pan with a lid
- ⅓ cup diced onion
- 500 g yellow potatoes (3-4) cut into small cubes
- 700 g eggplants cut similarly sized to potatoes, look at notes for how many.
- 400 g tomatoes (2)
- 1 minced green chili
- 1 tsp garlic paste or 4-5 cloves freshly crushed garlic
- ½ tsp chilli flakes
- ½ tsp chilli powder
- ¼ tsp haldi
- ¾ + ¼ tsp salt
- freshly cracked black pepper
- a squeeze of lemon juice
- 2 tbsp cilantro (chopped)
- 2-3 green chilies
- Saute the onion until the edges are bronze
- Add your tomatoes, garlic, and ¾ tsp salt
- Mix well and cook on medium heat until the mixture looks softened and a little jammy.
- Add your spices and mix.
- Stir in your cubed potatoes and cover with a tight fitting lid and cook on low heat for 15=20 minutes. Only add water if it starts to burn.
- As soon as your potatoes are fork tender add your eggplant to the pan, sprinkle with salt, and mix well.
- Cover and cook again on low heat until the eggplant is also tender - usually ten minutes.
- Add a tbsp of cilantro, 1 diced green chili, a squeeze of lemon juice, your freshly cracked pepper
- Mix, and taste. Adjust seasoning then add more cilantro and chilies to garnish and serve.