Maharashtrian Stuffed Eggplant

Maharashtrian Brinjal

Vangi is the Maharashtrian name for eggplant or brinjal, or baingan as it is known in Hindi). This is a Maharashtrian recipe that uses a spiced paste to stuff the vegetables. Use the shiny, oval, deep purple Indian eggplant for this dish. You can also use the striped variety. And as Mum says, the thornier the stem, the tastier the eggplant!

10-12 eggplants
4 tbsp. oil for frying
3 dried red chillies (more if like heat)
2 tsp. coriander seeds
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1/2 tsp. fenugreek seeds
1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
a marble-sized ball of tamarind soaked in a tablespoon of water
salt to taste
115 gms. freshly grated coconut
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
2 sprigs kadipatta (curry leaves)
2 medium sized onions, chopped fine
chopped coriander leaves for garnish

  • Over a medium flame, heat one tbsp. oil in a saute pan and roast the red chillies, coriander seeds, cumin seeds and fenugreek seeds lightly for a few seconds until their aromas are released (Do not burn the spices!)
  • Grind these roasted spices into a fine paste along with turmeric powder, tamarind and salt. Then add the grated coconut and continue to grind everything to a fine paste
  • Wash and dry the eggplant. Slit them quarters, making the cuts up to three-fourths of their length and stuff the spiced masala paste between the slits. Use up 3/4ths of the paste
  • In a pan, heat the remaining oil in a shallow pan and toss in mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds pop, add the chopped onion and fry till golden brown. Add curry leaves.
  • Place the eggplants in the pan and add the remaining masala paste, sautéing lightly. Add a little water, and cover and cook on low heat, turning the brinjals occasionally with a tong to ensure even cooking
  • When the eggplants are cooked and the gravy is thick, remove from heat. Serve garnished with grated coconut and chopped coriander leaves

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