Rinse and then quarter brinjals. Immerse the brinjal pieces in enough water in which ½ teaspoon salt has been added.
In a grinder jar take white sesame seeds, peanuts, desiccated coconut, coriander seeds and cumin seeds.
Grind to a fine powder. Grind at intervals for some seconds and then stop. Do not grind at a stretch as this will release oils from the nuts and seeds.
Sautéing masala base
Heat oil in a heavy pan or kadai (wok) or skillet. Add the chopped onions.
Mix and then begin to sauté onions on a medium heat. Stirring often sauté onions until they turn light golden.
Now add the ginger-garlic paste and sauté for some seconds until the raw aroma of both ginger and garlic goes away.
Reduce the heat to low and add the ground sesame seeds, peanut and coconut mixture.
On a low heat stirring non-stop sauté until the nuts and seeds mixture becomes light golden and aromatic. Oil will also release from sides.
Add finely chopped tomatoes.
Mix very well and continue to sauté. If the masala mixture starts sticking to pan then add a few splashes of water. Mix deglaze and continue to sauté.
Sauté until the tomatoes soften. Add chopped green chillies and chopped coriander leaves. Mix very well.
Drain all the water from the bowl and add the chopped brinjals. Mix and sauté brinjals for a minute on low heat.
Add turmeric powder, kashmiri red chilli powder and garam masala powder.
Again mix well and sauté for a minute.
Cooking brinjal curry
Add 1.25 to 1.5 cups water and season with salt as per taste. Combine and mix thoroughly.
Cover the pan with a lid.
On a low to medium-low heat simmer the curry until the brinjals are cooked well and tender.
In between do check the brinjal masala gravy and give a stir. If the gravy looks thick, add some water.
The brinjals have to be tender and cooked perfectly but not mushy. So do keep a check. Once the brinjal curry is cooked, you will see some oil floating on top.
It will take about 12 to 15 minutes for the brinjals to get cooked. Switch off the heat and add 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves.
Mix again. Check the taste of baingan masala and if required add some more salt or red chili powder or garam masala powder.
Enjoy brinjal curry with chapati or paratha, steamed rice, veg biryani or jeera rice, green peas pulao or saffron rice.
You can also have the curry with bread or dinner rolls.
Store any leftover brinjal curry in an airtight container for up to 2 to 3 days in your refrigerator.
Reheat in a pan until warm or hot. Serve your leftovers with your favorite sides as a nice, warm weeknight lunch or dinner.
Brinjals: You can use any variety of brinjal in the recipe. Make sure they are fresh and not wilted. If there are too many seeds in the brinjals, then remove the seeds while chopping and discard them.
Blending or grinding nuts and seeds: Do not over grind the nuts and seed mixture. Grind at intervals for a few seconds and then stop. Do not grind for a long period of time, as then oil will be released.
Avoid too much bitterness: Brinjal, or eggplant, can have a very bitter taste. If you’re worried about this overpowering the curry, you can soak in salted water for at least an hour before cooking. This will draw out extra moisture and also the extra bitterness.
Check the consistency: If the mixture starts sticking to pan then add some water and continue to sauté. You can have a slightly thick or a slightly thin consistency by adjusting the amount of water in the curry.