Monday, February 28, 2011

Stuffed Eggplant curry Maharashtrian Style!

Since a long time I wanted to try a classic authentic curry. I usually make the dry veggies as they are easier to make and lighter on the tummy too. But, once in a while you really crave for something hot and spicy especially when the weather is cold and drizzly like the way it is in LA now a days.

This time at the Indian store, I found fresh brinjals(small eggplants in American english) to my pleasure and I instantly knew what I wanted to make. The authentic Maharashtrian recipe - bharli vangi or stuffed eggplants in rich peanut curry. The best kind of eggplants to use is the striped white and purple small sized with thorny green crowns. Those taste the best and are usually seedless. But in US you got to compromise with what you get at the Indian grocery stores. But they do the need full, so its alright.

To Serve 4 people,  you need:
6 to 8 small sized eggplants
1/2 cup roasted peanut powder(coarsely ground)
1 onion finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon red chilly powder
1 teaspoon goda masala (you may use garam masala)
1 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste
Cooking Oil
Salt to taste.

Method:

In a bowl, mix the peanut powder, goda masala, red chilly powder, onions, salt and turmeric together. This mixture should be enough to stuff the eggplants and remaining of it is used to make the curry. Add a spoon or two of water to bind the masala together. I used a wedge full of lemon juice instead of water to give it a tangier taste.

 

Wash the eggplants thoroughly. You may keep the crown of the eggplant but I prefer to remove it. Slit the eggplants just up to the edge in two perpendicular cuts. Make sure you don't slit them through and through. Remember, we need to stuff them. Keep them in a bowl of water to prevent them from turning black until you are ready to use them. Stuff the eggplants with the mixture prepared and keep them aside.

To make the curry, in a deep pan, pour oil generously (around two tablespoons). Add the ginger garlic paste. Cook it for a while and add the remaining mixture. Keep it on a medium flame and keep stirring the mixture, otherwise the peanut powder tends to stick to the bottom of the pan. Cook the mixture till the oil oozes from the sides. It is a sign that the mixture is well cooked.

Now add the stuffed eggplants in the pan and stir them in order to coat them in the mixture. Put on the lid and let it cook for 2-3 minutes. Now, open the lid and add half a glass of water to the pan if you want a thick curry or else you may add more for a thinner gravy. Put the lid back and cook for 10 minutes. Add a little salt to the curry after adding water. Remember we already had salt in the mixture. Keep turning the eggplants in between so that they cook from all the sides.  In order to check if the eggplants are cooked, try to pierce them with a fork. The fork should get easily pierced in. Thus, the delicious curry is ready. You will come to know about it once your home smells great with the aroma from the curry.

It goes excellent with paratha, roti or rice. I especially like it with the rice.Bharli vangi is a classic maharasthrian dish and every family has its own staple recipe. Some people even add dried coconut, or sesame powder to the stuffing. My mom does not use onions in her curry but uses dried coconut. It all depends on your taste buds. But peanuts is the main taste maker.  So, next time when you go to the Indian store, and you see brinjals, you know what you got to try! Happy cooking :)

3 comments:

  1. wow, mouth-watering :)
    I use groundnut, sesame and coconut all together in the gravy...how do you have that nice red color to the gravy?

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  2. Thanks Minu! Coconut tastes really good but Patty doesn't like the smell of it. So, I don't get to use it. The chilly powder I use is home-made from India. I guess that's why. U may use "deggi mirch" or Kashmiri mirch. That only gives the color!

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