Start by making the eggplant curry paste. Dry roast the coconut in a frying pan, until the coconut turns light brown in color. Once coconut is light brown, keep aside. In the same pan, roast the sesame seeds, peanuts, poppy seeds until the sesame seeds start to brown (do not over-heat them). Transfer all the roasted ingredients along with coriander powder, red chili powder, turmeric powder to a spice grinder or blender jar. Add a few tablespoons of water and blend to form a thick paste.
Keep this paste aside to be used later.
Wash and rinse the baby eggplant, cut slits into each brinjal, as seen in the step by step instructions above.
In the same frying pan, add peanut or sesame oil and heat on medium. Once hot, add the baby eggplants and fry on medium heat. Fry for 15-17 minutes, flipping the eggplant in intervals, so that it cooks evenly on all sides. Once the baby eggplants are soft and the skin is loose, turn off the heat and keep them aside.
In a small bowl, add tamarind and cover it with hot water. Let it sit for 5- 10 minutes. Squeeze out the tamarind to extract its juices and keep this tamarind water aside.
In a wok or kadai, heat some peanut or sesame oil. Once hot, add cumin, mustard seeds, chopped up onion, and minced or grated ginger and garlic (or use ginger garlic paste). Saute until the onion is translucent.
Add the curry leaves, sauté for a minute.
Add the curry paste that was prepared earlier, along with tamarind water. Mix well.
Add the jaggery powder, salt to season and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally.
Once it starts to simmer, add the sauteed baby eggplant and simmer for 5-6 minutes.
Once the curry is thickened and eggplants are soft, turn off the heat. Baghara Baingan is now ready to be served as a side with biryani or with roti or naan.