Spiced Yogurt with Eggplants [Baingan ka Raita]

Regional and authentic cuisine has been a subject of interest amongst historians and foodies alike. As much as I appreciate and treasure a traditional dish for it’s originality and authentic flavors, the next generation and perhaps, to some extent, many of us have contributed in blurring the lines between authentic and fusion food.

Having been exposed to various cultures, the food that we eat or cook today at home is influenced by these cultural differences. Over a period of time, these regional recipes have become internalized by families who have adopted it and in due course given it a place in their “family recipe book”. The other effect that is a result of this migration process is a certain loss of identity of the original recipe, other than those documented by historians or food enthusiasts.

The migration of food is not a new phenomenon by any means. However, as the world becomes smaller, recipes are now only about two-clicks away. The evolution and migration of recipes seems much more fast-paced than ever before. A traditional dish from Peru if made with ingredients which are easily available, would very likely make its way to the kitchen of a family living in a remote town in India. In all likelihood, they would have improvised an Indian version of that dish and perhaps that would be a favorite of the youngest member of the family !

Today’s recipe goes back to my roots and has a nostalgic feel to it. A simple yet delectable dish made mostly in this form in Odisha (Orissa) and Bihar : Spiced Yogurt with eggplants or Baingan ka Raita. Having grown up under the influence of both Oriya and Bihari cuisine,Β Baingan Raita was made at home often and has been one of my favorite ways of having yogurt.

A Raita [pronounced rahy-tuh] is a condiment made with Yogurt as the base with spices and some vegetables. It’s made all over the Indian sub-continent in many different combinations but most commonly with onions, tomatoes and/or cucumbers.

To print the recipe, click here.

Baingan ka Raita (Spiced Yogurt with Eggplants / Brinjals) :

Serves : 3

Ingredients for preparing the Eggplants :
Eggplants (Brinjals) : 1 long, cut into thick rounds and then quartered)
Turmeric: 1/4 tsp
Salt: 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves : about 10
Black mustard seeds : 1/2 tsp
Asofetida (hing) : a pinch
Dry red chillies : 2 (torn in halves)

Ingredients for preparing the Raita :
Natural unsweetened Yogurt (Home made Curd / Dahi) : 1 cup
Low fat Milk (cold or at room temperature) : 1/3 cup
Roasted Cumin powder : 1/2 tsp
Chilli powder : a pinch
Salt : 1/4 tsp (adjust to taste)
Black salt (kala namak) : a pinch (optional)

How I did it :

Wash the eggplants thoroughly. Add turmeric and 1/4 tsp salt and leave aside for 5 mins.
In a Kadhai or frying pan, heat 1 tbsp oil. Add hing, mustard seeds and dry red chillies. Wait till mustard seeds pop. Next, add curry leaves. Stir for about 10 seconds and add the Eggplants.

Cook uncovered on medium-low heat until the skin is roasted and the eggplants are cooked but not mushy or breaking.Β Once done, take it out in a serving bowl and let it cool (5 – 10 mins).

In a bowl, whisk the yogurt using an egg whisker or spoon into a creamy smooth consistency. Add the milk. Mix it together.

Add roasted Cumin powder, Chilli powder, salt (1/4 tsp) as well as Black salt. Mix it into the yogurt.

Once the fried eggplants have cooled off, pour the yogurt mix into the serving bowl. Combine everything together using a spoon (without mashing the eggplants).

Let it chill in the refrigerator for at least 20 mins (or more) before serving.

Enjoy as a side with any meal.


Author: Sublime Palate

food and thoughts...

31 thoughts on “Spiced Yogurt with Eggplants [Baingan ka Raita]”

  1. Love the photos (the one of cut eggplants is cracking) as well as the recipe. I can imagine a meal of eggplant raita, potato curry, masoor dal and chapatis…yum! Will make this raita this very week.

  2. Reblogged this on PopsDeliMx's Blog and commented:
    Pienso que la variedad en los alimentos que consumimos es la que le da sabor a nuestras vidas. No aventurarse a lo desconocido, mantenernos en nuestra zona de comfort, nos lleva a lo rutinario mas rapido y por consecuencia, al aburrimiento.

  3. I am so picky about using eggplant in everything and hence I always stick to the typical bengali begun bhaja or baigan bharta! This I have to give a try .. you totally convinced me girl πŸ™‚

  4. I have never tried mixing eggplants & yogurt but seen a lot of recipes. Yours looks very promising with all my fav spices!will try.
    Thanks for stopping by on my blog & the lovely words πŸ™‚ Have a fun weekend!

  5. I always look forward to your posts – I somehow missed this and what a good thing I came by to check you out! Your talent for cooking is as sublime as your talent for photography. Always a pleasure to be here! Sharon

  6. Had absolutely no idea about baingan ka raita till this post.
    Tired of having Bharwan-Baingan, Aloo-Baingan & Baingan-Bharta most of the time, I used to search for variety in recipes with eggplants. Recently made Punjabi Achaari Baingan & Hyderabadi Bagare Baingan. And now I’m totally trying this the next time I get eggplants.

    (you can tell I’m probably one of the very few people who cooks eggplants quite a lot, hehe.)

  7. Love Baingan Raita and this recipe looks closest to the ones I have had. I am going to do this. Maybe I will fry the eggplants first as suggested by a friend and then do the tadka. Thanks and yes, gorgeous pics

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