Tangy Baingan Broad Bean Sabzi

Mallika Basu - Tangy Baingan Broad Bean Sabzi

Posted 19th September 2008


My favourite virtual nutritionist’s “31 ways to a better diet” series has me gripped. If it saves me wrinkles, brittle nails and a muffin top, I’ll eat mud with a side of gravel thanks.

Many years ago, the sight of vegetables made me green. Eating was a mindless chore. I was before my time with that perfect size zero figure. Which relatives took in turns to dismiss callously as “sickly” and “plain wrong”.

Fast forward to this. Lots of cooking, in my kitchen and beyond. I still have a softly, softly approach with vegetables though. I need some prodding to buy a new one and try it out. Kathryn’s series gave me a fresh and bold approach.

Zooming around a supermarket, I now slow down by the veggie counter. Trying to justify buying new and odd looking varieties with:

  • Ooooh, that looks rude.
  • That so matches the colour of the season.
  • I wonder if that will taste better than it looks?

Then I bring it home. Cook it. Tell hubby it’s devastatingly bad for him. Which, in turn, endears him to it for life.

And that’s how I discovered broad beans. Broad beans have a special affinity with aubergines. And Baingan Broad Bean Sabzi was born. I loved the buttery firm texture of the beans with the soft and sweet aubergines. Next time I’ll ditch the peeling and preparation required in favour of this recipe instead.

Now for another 29 ways to a better diet.

PS = This recipe is dedicated to my namesake Mallika, who nominated me as a Brilliant Weblog and requested an aubergine recipe.

Feeds 2-3:

  • 200gm aubergine
  • 50gm broad beans
  • 1 medium tomato
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 tsp whole cumin
  • Half tsp coriander powder
  • Half tsp chilli powder
  • Half tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • Salt to taste


Soak the aubergine pieces in a bowl filled with cold water. This helps them cook quicker later. Next chop the onion into the little pieces and shell and peel the skin off the broad beans.

In a medium pot, bring the oil to heat over a high flame. When hot, add in the teaspoon of cumin and as it sizzles up, chuck in the onions. Fry these for two minutes until the onions turn pale brown.

Now stir in the aubergine with the remaining masala powders and half a teaspoon of salt. Mix the whole lot together thoroughly, lower the flame and cover for two minutes. The aubergines will have softened slightly and shrunk.

Next, chop in the tomato and replace the cover until the aubergines are almost cooked. I just popped a little piece in my mouth to check. You need to keep stirring every minute to prevent it from getting stuck to the bottom.

Finally stir in the beans and simmer for another two minutes until they are soft to the touch. Check for salt and serve hot. I ate this with a 10 minute chicken curry and some Basmati rice for weekday lunch while working from home.

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