Bengali Eggplant with Mustard Seeds
1 large eggplant–1 to 1 1/2 pounds, tip cut off and cut into 1″ cubes
1 1/2 T black mustard seeds, powdered in a coffee grinder
1 C+ water
1/4 t cayenne pepper
4-5 T mustard oil
1 T panch pharon mix (equal parts of whole cumin, fennel, fenugreek,
mustard, kalunji seeds)
1 C yogurt
1 1/2 t salt
sprinkle black pepper, cardamon powder (optional)
Soak ground mustard seed and cayenne in one cup of water. Cut up eggplant
into cubes. Heat mustard oil, put in panch pharon mix and after a few seconds
add the black mustard/cayenne water. This will splatter so have a cover
ready. Add eggplant and cook. You will probably need to add additional water
as the eggplant cooks to keep its level about the same, perhaps another cup. Cover it for the last
When the eggplant is cooked add a cup of yogurt and the salt, mix and heat up
yogurt, but do not boil.
Sprinkle a tiny bit of black pepper and cardamon over the top if you want.
This dish also tastes good cold the next day.
Variation: Anasua Munshi tells me that in his grandmother’s village they
make this without the yogurt, substituting green chillis for cayenne and using
only fennel for the panch pharon mixture.