Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Bharali Vangi - Stuffed Eggplants

This recipe isn't the best when it comes to looks.. but when it comes to taste, it is a bestseller! Also, every household has their own take on the stuffing - so I had to post my Nani's (maternal grandma) version. Aai makes it best, and then my cousin Shubha.. Always a hit with the guests - especially if they are non-Maharashtrian.

So let's sing to this old bollywood tune that tells us to go beyond looks and savor the recipe - shall we?

Source: Aaji aka Mrs. Sumitra Gogate (Aai's aai)
Time: 1 hour
Ingredients: serves 2-3 
  • 6-7 small purple eggplants (size of a lime)
For stuffing:
  • 1 cup roughly ground roasted peanuts (danyache koot)
  • 2 medium size onions finely chopped
  • 1 cup finely chopped cilantro/coriander leaves
  • 1 tbsp kaala/goda masala
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder 
  • 1 tsp sugar or jaggery powder 
  • salt to taste
For tadka
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • pinch of asafoetida/hing
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 4-5 curry leaves
Mix all the stuffing ingredients thoroughly and keep them covered for 10-15 mins. This helps to get all the spices mixed well - they start losing some water and that's when we are ready for the next step.

Cut the top of the eggplants and make two slits in a plus sign. Stuff generous amounts of the above mixture into the eggplants and keep the rest for gravy

Optional step - Place the stuffed eggplants in a microwavable container with a cover on. Heat for 3-5 mins till the eggplants are half cooked. 

Make tadka in a pan (heat the oil, add mustard seeds, curry leaves, once the mustard seeds crackle, add hing and turmeric powder)

Add remainder of the masala/spice mixture to the tadka and saute for half a min. Then add the stuffed eggplants to the pan and cover on low-medium heat.

If you used the microwave step, cook the eggplants for 2-3 mins carefully turning them after a couple of mins. 

If you did not use the microwave step, cook the eggplants for 3-6 mins carefully turning them after 3 mins.

FYI - I liked the eggplants cooked completely - if you like it a bit al-dente - adjust the cooking time accordingly.

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