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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Bharli Vangi- Stuffed Eggplant

This is a very "rich" eggplant preparation. It has groundnut and coconut along with sesame seeds. I am not sure how the "traditional" version is prepared, however my version is much quicker and just as tasty if not tastier. This is a wonderfully quick way to prepare a recipe which has several steps traditionally. This is also a very easy vegetable preparation to scale up. I had made this preparation with eighty eggplants for my daughter's first birthday bash. Everyone enjoyed it a lot and several folks had asked me for the recipe. So albeit quite late, it's better than never; I finally got the required photos and am now able to post the recipe. Hope you enjoy making it as much as I do.

Eggplant is also known as brinjal and I may use these interchangeably in the following recipe.

1 red onion large, chopped into small pieces
1/2 cup peanuts/groundnut, ground coarsely (do not grind it till the texture is pasty)
1/2 cup sesame, roasted lightly and ground
1/2 cup grated coconut, fresh or dry
salt to taste
1 tsp sugar
red chilli powder to taste
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
2 tbsp goda masala
3 tbsp oil
8-10 small eggplants/brinjals (called Indian eggplants in the US)
2-3 cups of water with about 1 tsp salt dissolved in it
2-3 tbsp water, if needed

Make two perpendicular slits in the brinjal/eggplant, from the side opposite to the stem. Do not cut it till the pieces separate. After the cuts, the eggplant should have four pieces and a "+" shape cut. As you cut the brinjal, put it into the salt water. This will prevent oxidation of the cut surface and help retain the color.  If the exposed surface of the brinjal oxidises, it will turn brown. In a mixing bowl, mix together the chopped onion, peanut powder, sesame seed powder, coconut, goda masala, ginger garlic paste, red chilli powder, salt and sugar. Mix the ingredients together. Then, stuff each of the cut eggplants with this mixture. You may be have some left over mixture, which will form the gravy. Then heat the oil in a pan broad enough to hold all the brinjals in one layer. Add each brinjal to the oil and let it cook. Add the remaining stuffing mixture to the pan. Let the brinjals and the onion cook down. Stir gently and cover the pan. After the raw smell of the onion and garlic goes away, if needed add some water to create the gravy. Adjust the amount of water needed, by adding a little at a time. This preparation is more towards the dry side and does not have a watery gravy. Serve hot with chapati or rice.

Substitute goda masala with the same quantity of of dhana-jeera powder mixture. Do not add water to form the gravy before the onions, garlic and brinjal gett fried well in the oil and are no longer raw, else they will not taste good. The water should be added at the end of the cooking process. You may need to adjust the initial amount of oil, based on the volume of brinjals and the stuffing mixture. If you need to add more oil after you have already added all the ingredients, then heat the oil in another pan and add it to the preparation.

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