I am from West Maharashtra and live on coasts of river Krishna. The area is very famous for its eggplants. Dark purple in color and various sizes of eggplant or brinjals, as they are know in British English, are amazingly tasty. Another variety is light green with white spots is popular in Kolhapur and Sangli region. People have long debates about what kind is more tastier but for me any kind is the best specially after going from US. I grow eggplants in my backyard and they come out well and even tastier that what we get here in Indian stores.
This stuffed eggplant recipe is very popular among my friends. I love making it for them as that is the only time I make them. I add few stuffed baby potatoes with the eggplants for my 'non brinjal eating' friends. I somehow find this very easy to make for masses. I roast peanut, sesame, and dried coconut and grind together and use 1 tbsp of the mixture for 1 small eggplant. Proportion of sesame and peanuts vary according to the availability and mood. I sometimes use Thistle seeds known as 'KaraLe' in Marathi, instead of sesame seeds as I love nutty flavor of these seeds.
My dear hubby and Sandeep, one of our friend, love these stuffed eggplant. But Vrushali (Sandeep's better half) can't stand anything to do with eggplants. To make things more inresting she loves Jwarichi Bkari and Sandeep rarerly enjoyes them. So I made Jwarichi Bhakri and this eggplant curry recently to please them both and that made my dear hubby very happy as he loves that combo.
Bhakri, Vangyachi Bhaji, Chutney
Recipe goes this way -
4-5 small Eggplants
1/2 Red Onion (1/2 cup chopped)
1/4 cup roasted Peanuts
1/4 cup roasted Sesame seeds (or thistle seeds if available)
2 tbsp roasted dried coconut
2 cloves of Garlic
1/4 cup chopped Cilantro
1 small ball Tamarind
2-3 tbsp Kanda LasuN masala
Salt, jaggery per taste
3 tbsp Oil
For tempering Mustard seeds, cumin seeds, turmeric (1/2 tsp each) and few curry leaves
Water as needed (about 1 to 1.5 cup)
Soak tamarind ball in 1/4 cup water and set aside for at least 15 minutes. Wash eggplants and cut off stem remove green frilly part near the stem also take off any small thorns if any. Slit each eggplant lengthwise from top towards stem but don't cut all the way through. Make another cut perpendicular to the first cut without going all the way through the stem. Now soak these eggplants in salt water. Squeeze tamarind pulp and throw away skin like part.
Grind roasted coconut, sesame seeds, peanuts together to make coarse powder. Finely chopped red onions and cilantro. smash the garlic and then finely chop. Add onion, garlic, cilantro, nut powder mixture, salt, kanda-lasun masala, jaggery, 1 tbsp oil, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, tamarind pulp and mix well. This is the stuffing. Now stuff this prepared masala in the slit eggplants and set aside. There might be some masala left reserve that as well. Now heat remaining 2 tbsp oil in heavy bottom pan and add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and curry leaves. Now lower the heat and add stuffed egplants. Roast the eggplants for about 2-3 minutes stirring occasionally. Now add remaining masala and then saute for couple of minutes. Now add 1 cup water, cover the pan and increase the heat to medium. Let it simmer for 5-6 minutes and then turn the eggplants cover again and let them cook for 5-6 more minutes checking for water. If you want more gravy add remaining 1/2 cup water. simmer until the eggplants are thoroughly cooked.
Serve hot with Jawar Roti (Jwarichi bhakari) or Rice flour Roti (Akki rotti).
Please add your comments, suggestions to my original post @ http://vadanikavalgheta.blogspot.com/2009/01/just-for-you.html