Bengali Eggplant With Mustard Seeds

Course : Indian
Serves: 1
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1 large eggplant -- (1 - 1 1/2 lbs.), cut in 1 inch cubes
1 1/2 tablespoons black mustard seeds (powdered in a coffee grinder)
1 cup water -- (+)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 tablespoons mustard oil -- (to 5 tbsp.)
1 tablespoon panch phanon mix *
1 cup yogurt
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
1 dash black pepper
1 dash cardamom powder -- optional

Preparation / Directions:

* (equal parts of whole cumin, fennel, fenugreek, mustard, kalunji seeds) 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 ten minutes. 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 cardamom over the top if you want. This dish also tastes good cold the next day. Author's note: Anasua Munshi tells me that in his grandmother's village they make this without the yogurt, substituting green chiles for cayenne and using only fennel for the panch pharon mixtur

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