Chaar Magaz ki Khatti Daal and Bharwaan Baingan ...from the ancient courts of India
Kayastha is a community of India , spread across its length and breadth now , earlier occupied powerful positions in it's various courts ,thus their cuisines came to be known as the courtly cuisine. They were known to be well educated and are believed to have their own script called the Kaithi ,widespread mainly in northwest of India till the east in Bihar , where it was used for legal writing , administrative and private records during the 16-19th centuries. Their cuisine, though diverse , had a mainly Muslim influence as it was dominated by red meats and masalas and the styles of cooking like 'dum'.
Since my vegetable garden had grown some wonderful and colorful aubergines I wanted to make a simple stuffed aubergine dish. This dish is usually prepared with small aubergines but since I had grown the long variety, improvised. Always looking for one pot meals ,the Daal , which is full of vegetables,is slightly tangy as its name suggests but do alter the tamarind as per your taste.
I wanted to prepare this daal because of a special ingredient called Chaar Magaz that is used in it .
Char Magaz (Chaar means 4)is a mixture of four types of melon seed kernels – watermelon, pumpkin, cucumber and rockmelon (cantaloupe). You can find these seeds in the Indian Grocery
It's benefits include- it is used to restore physical and mental strength after a chronic disease, to improve hair growth and skin health, and to enhance cognitive functions of the brain. It also generally acts as a general tonic for the brain, stomach, kidneys and whole body.
Bharwan Baingan or Stuffed Aubergines
1 kg Aubergines , small, slit each into four parts leaving them joined at the stem,immersed in salt water
3 tblsp oil
2 onions , chopped
For Filling 1
1 ½ cups peanuts , grounded
1 ½ cups freshly grated coconut
2-3 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp dried mango powder , amchur
For Filling 2
1 tsp salt
I tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp garam masala powder
2 tsp dried mango powder
1 tsp fennel powder
1 ½ tsp jaggery or sugar
Combine all the ingredients of filling 1 in a bowl with 1 tblsp of water .
Combine all the ingredients of filling 2 in a bowl with 1 tbls of water .
Grind both separately .
Stuff the aubergines with either filling .
Heat oil in a pan ; add the chopped onions and when they become translucent ,place the stuffed aubergines on top . Cook on low heat till tender.
For filling 1 aubergine , garnish with grated coconut and for filling 2, garnish with coriander leaves.
I tried both the fillings ...
Chaar Magaz ki Khatti Daal or 4 Melon seed Tangy red lentil
500 gms of mixed vegetables like cauliflower, carrots, beans or aubergines, chopped into medium sized pieces
1 ¼ cups of split red lentil or masur daal
½ tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste
½ cup oil
1 tsp black cumin seeds or shahi jeera
1 tsp ginger and garlic paste each
1 tsp red chili powder
2 medium sized onions , chopped
2 tblsp chaar magaz seeds , ground to a paste.
150 gms of tamarind pulp
3-4 green chilies , finely chopped
½ cup green coriander leaves, finely chopped
For the tempering :
2 tblsp ghee
½ tsp cumin seeds
6 nos. garlic cloves, chopped
15 curry leaves
4-5 whole red chilies
Boil the lentil or pressure cook it in salt and turmeric powder after rinsing it thoroughly.
Heat the oil and add the black cumin seeds. When it crackles , stir in the ginger and garlic pastes. Saute and add the red chili powder.
Add the chopped vegetables and onions , sauté and add 1 cup of water and leave to cook.
When the vegetables are tender , add the chaar magaz paste , mashed lentil and tamarind pulp . Cover and cook for 10 minutes on low heat .
Add the green chilies
Add the green coriander and pour into your serving bowl.
For the Tempering
Heat ghee in the tempering pan, add the cumin seeds. When they crackle add the garlic , curry leaves and whole red chilies.
When the red chili starts to change colour, pour this into the lentil and cover with a lid for 5 minutes before serving .
Enjoy with rice , roti accompanied with any vegetable of your choice.
These amounts are serve 6 people . You may adjust according to your servings.
The Amount of chilies is as per your taste. You may omit if you are unable to take spice.