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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Assamese style beef in thick brinjal gravy

My little Man Friday at home broke his leg about a month back, which resulted in me having to walk my utterly wild dogs twice a day and then coming home to cook food for myself and limping boy in the wonderful Delhi heat. But then God sent me an angel in the form of the my chauffeur’s wife, who happened to be on leave from her job at some diplomat’s house because they’d fled the tropics for cooler climes. She made me a plethora of gastronomical delights – both continental as well as from her local cuisine for me. While her bolognaise and grilled chicken with celery was lovely, it was her home food which was divine. Chicken with snake gourd, fish with sour spinach, beef in a thick brinjal gravy – I’d never seen or tasted such unique combinations. Now that Limping Boy is Walking Boy again and she's left, in her memory I’ve cooked delicious beef in brinjal and have to say it’s turned out nearly as well as hers.

Beef in thick brinjal gravy

This is for a kg of beef.

Heat oil in a pressure cooker. Add around 3-4 sliced onions and 2 tbsps freshly made ginger-garlic paste. Saute and then add 4 chopped tomatoes, 1 tsp each of turmeric, chili powder, coriander and cumin powder and keep sautéing. This is all on high heat.

Now add the beef. Add salt to taste and turn the gas to simmer and keep stirring and ‘bhuno-ing’ for around 30 minutes. You’ll see the masalas take on a rich deep colour, and the tomatoes and onions will release enough liquid to make sure that the beef doesn’t stick to the bottom of the vessel. Then add the magic ingredient of one large round brinjal chopped into one inch pieces and sauté more. Once the brinjal is coated with the masalas, add enough water to cover the beef and then put the pressure on.

For really tender beef, let the pressure cooker be for at least 12 whistles and then open and stir in a spoon of freshly made garam masala powder. (Garam masala powder – equal portions of cinnamon, clove and cardamom, ground together. Just make a bottle of the powder and keep it handy. Beats that hideous packet garam masala any day). You’ll notice that the brinjal has totally broken down and formed the base of the gravy. Take your ladle and break down any remaining solid pieces of brinjal.

This tasted divine with some steamed rice and freshly squeezed lime.


  1. I'm so sorry to be commenting on this post, but this is awesome:
    I haven't laughed so much in a long time.

    You write really well. :D

  2. Hey, thanks a ton. For a second there, I thought you were laughing at my recipe. Was most dis-heartened till I finished reading your comment. Happy you liked the article.