I want to begin with a confession: we Pakhtoon men have indeed cultivated the notion that men do not belong in the kitchen (except for the part where we carry eatables from the kitchen to the table, or bring in the groceries). I once thought about my cooking skills and realized that other than frying an egg and using the microwave for making Kernel pop, I knew nothing (I felt like Jon Snow). Despite this realization, I still did nothing about it. Can you blame me? I am a conventional Pakistani man after all.

Well, I had been thinking about changing all that when one day a friend of mine told me about Chefling Tales. She asked me to contribute a traditional Pakhtoon dish. Friends, that’s when guilt struck me like a thunderbolt (more like mom’s chappal). I went President Mamnoon Hussain on her (in order to cover up my guilt), and told her to “Hold on and let me think about it”.

Later, I went to my mom and asked her what the easiest traditional Pakhtoon dish to make was. Her answer: “Afghani Baingan”. As she said the words, the aroma and ravishing sour taste rose up in my mind and hit me like a bullet train breaking all speed records. And that is when I vowed to be my mother’s cooking apprentice. (I don’t have a sister, so I’m sure my mother was happy to have a student in the kitchen to pass on her knowledge to)

Since that time, I have tried my hand at many dishes, but today I share with you the recipe of Afghani Baingan (eggplant), because this was the beginning of my culinary journey.

Ingredients:

  • Baingan (Bringal) – ½ kilo
  • Onions – 2, medium sized
  • Dried Coriander – 1 ½ teaspoons
  • Red Chili Powder – 1 ½ teaspoons
  • Zeera (Cumin) – ½ teaspoon
  • Haldi (Turmeric) – 1 teaspoon
  • Tomatoes – 4, medium sized
  • Fresh Coriander – 2
  • Oil – ½ cup
  • Lemons – 3 (or according to taste)
  • Garlic – 1 teaspoon
  • Salt – 2 teaspoons
  • Green Chilies – 6
  • Yogurt – 2 cups

Instructions:

  1. First, cut the eggplant and fry until brown
  2. For the masala, fry onions, ginger and garlic, then add salt, dried coriander, red chilies, turmeric  and zeera
  3. Now add tomatoes and mix ingredients gently until the masala is cooked
  4. Now spread the fried eggplant in an open plate and pour the masala and yogurt over it. Mix gently
  5. Squeeze lemons on top and garnish with fresh coriander
  6. Delicious Afghani Baingan is ready to serve – enjoy  it, and be sure to share the love