Dahi Baingan is a dish native to Orissa, a state on the Eastern coast of India. I have an Oriyan friend and she had mentioned this dish to me a couple of years ago. I had never gotten around to making it until today. This dish uses a spice blend called Panch Phoran meaning five spices. It does consist of five spices which have distinct flavors. Panch Phoran is commonly used in Oriyan cuisine.
If you don’t have Panch Phoran in your pantry and don’t intend to buy some either, then here’s how you can make it.
You will need:
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Fennel seeds
1 tsp Fenugreek seeds
1 tsp Nigella seeds
1 tsp Black mustard seeds
Combine the above ingredients and use as needed. Store as you would store any other spice, in an air-tight container.
You will need:
3 long purple eggplants
½ cup Yoghurt, lightly beaten
1 ½ tsp Panch phoran
¼ tsp Turmeric powder
4 green chillies, split horizontally
Few curry leaves
Salt to taste
3 tbsp Oil
Wash the eggplants, wipe dry and then cut into 2 inch pieces. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan. Add the eggplants, sprinkle a pinch of salt and cook on medium heat until soft but still holding shape. Transfer eggplant to a bowl.
Return pan to heat and add remaining oil. Add the panch phoran and allow it to sizzle and flavor the oil. Now add the green chillies, turmeric and curry leaves. Saute for a few seconds until the chillies are blistered. Turn off heat. To the eggplants, add the yoghurt and blend to combine. Then add the prepared seasoning and salt.
Mix well and serve with hot rice or rotis. We enjoyed it with hot rice and ghee.