Badane Ennegai

(Stuffed Baby Brinjals in Dharwad Style) 

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 20-30 minutes
Serves: 3-4

8-10 Baby Brinjals
1-2 tbsp Coriander Leaves, finely chopped
½ tsp Jeera/Cumin Seeds
Few Curry Leaves
1-2 tbsp Oil

For the Stuffing:
1 small Onion, finely chopped
½ cup Desiccated Coconut
2 tbsp Roasted Peanuts
¾ tbsp Channa Dal/Split Chickpeas
½ tbsp Urad Dal/Split Black Gram
½ tbsp Coriander Seeds
1 tsp Jeera/Cumin Seeds
6-8 Dry Red Chillies, halved (Adjust acc to taste)
½ tsp Turmeric Powder
¼ tsp Hing/Asafoetida
1-1½ tsp Tamarind Paste/1 big marble sized Tamarind Pulp soaked in warm water
2 tbsp coriander Leaves, finely chopped
Salt to taste

For the Stuffing:
Dry roast desiccated coconut, channa dal, urad dal, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, hing and dry red chillies in low flame for 2-3 minutes till you get nice aroma. They should be roasted nicely and turn light brown.
Grind these roasted spices with turmeric powder, tamarind paste/water and salt to taste to smooth paste adding very little water at time.
Mix this ground mixture with finely chopped onion and coriander leaves and keep it aside.

To Assemble:
Clean and wash the baby brinjals and slit them from bottom making a ‘+’ mark till 3/4th. Keep the stem intact. Keep them in a bowl of cold water to stop from discolouring till required.
Take about 1 tbsp of this ground paste and stuff these baby brinjals and keep them aside.
Now heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds and curry leaves. When cumin starts to sizzle, arrange the stuffed baby brinjals in a pan. Make sure that the pan is big enough to hold all the brinjals in a single layer.
Sprinkle about a tbsp of water and cover the pan with lid.
Cover and cook these brinjals undisturbed for around 10 minutes on a medium to low flame. Open the lid and slowly turn the brinjals. Add left over ground paste if any and sprinkle another tbsp of water if required. Cover and cook for another 15-20 minutes. Check in between to make sure the ground paste doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle little water in between if required.
Serve this Badane Ennegai garnished with chopped coriander leaves with rice or roties or with Jolada Rotti as it is traditionally served.

Choose baby brinjals that are firm to the touch, have a smooth and shiny skin. The stem attached to them should be lively green in colour. The tender purple brinjals are the tastier ones. The ones with black seeds are mature ones and will taste bitter. So make sure that you choose the tender ones and have few extra ones just in case.
Store brinjals in a cool dry place, but avoid placing them near tomatoes and apples as they give off a gas that enhances the ripening process. Use the brinjals within 2 days. Refrigerating them doesn’t necessarily keep them fresh but if necessary, the brinjals may be kept in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for as long as 5 days.
Other Brinjal/Eggplant recipes blogged in Monsoon Spice:

 Labels: Brinjal(Egg Plant), Coconut, Karnataka food, Peanut, Red Dry Chilli, Stuffed