Nov 2, 2007

The purple beauty

Till the time I came to the US, I stayed away from brinjals. They were just another vegetable that I detested. My mom made the best stuffed brinjals, but I did not touch the sticky vegetable and safely ate the gravy. As for long brinjals, I once found little worms while eating baingan ka bharta, so you can imagine how I felt every time someone served me that.


Things changed after coming here. The first thing I learnt about brinjals is that they are called eggplants here. Then there were so many varieties of eggplants to choose from - long, small, Japanese, fat/cylindrical eggplants. Being a vegetarian there are very few options one has if you have to eat out. There were times when we our dinner expeditions resulted in returning back after eating only soup or salad. If we were lucky, the restaurant would have 1-2 vegetarian dishes. Inevitably, one of the dish would contain eggplant as the main ingredient. No matter which cuisine we tried, eggplant followed us everywhere.


In a popular Chinese bistro, I kept aside all my reservations about eating eggplants and tasted their heavenly stir-fried eggplant. At a pizza place, we fell in love with a pizza topped with Japanese eggplant. In a Mediterranean grill, we consumed large quantities of eggplant mixed with scrambled eggs. Slowly and surely, I started liking this vegetable. As and when I tasted all these divine dishes featuring the purple beauty, I would shop for eggplants and try new dishes using them. Pavani's Eggplant in coconut gravy was an instant success; Nupur's Wangi bhaat was licked down to morsels. However, there was one dish that I could never get right - stuffed eggplants. I faced trouble every time I made it; either the masala wouldn't turn out right, the eggplants wouldn't cook completely, or the masala and eggplant would not gel well.


Mom helped me make perfect, tasty stuffed eggplants. Nothing went wrong this time. Here's the recipe:


Stuffed eggplants/ Bharleli Wangi

Serves:4



Ingredients

  1. 9-10 brinjals/small eggplants/baby eggplants

  2. 2 medium onions - chopped very fine

  3. 6 tbsp peanut powder

  4. Salt to taste

  5. 1 1/2 tsp red chilli powder (Go easy on this if you are not comfortable with spicy food)

  6. 2 1/2 tsp garam masala powder

  7. 1 tsp mustard seeds

  8. Pinch of asafetida

  9. 1/4 tsp turmeric powder

Method

  1. Wash the eggplants and make one horizontal and one vertical cut on one side of the eggplant. The cut should be such that you can easily open the eggplant for stuffing. Keep the cut eggplants in a bowl of water.

  2. Prepare a masala by mixing together the chopped onions, peanut powder, salt, red chilli powder, and garam masala powder.

  3. Stuff the prepared masala in each eggplant. If you still have some masala remaining, preserve it to add to the vegetable.

  4. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan. Add 1 tsp mustard seeds; once it splutters, add pinch of asafetida, and 1/4 tsp turmeric powder. Mix well.

  5. Next add the stuffed eggplants, the remaining masala, and around 1/4 cup water. Mix well.

  6. Cover and cook on medium heat till the eggplants are cooked.

  7. Garnish with some chopped coriander leaves. Serve hot with chapati/puri/bhakri/rice.



I served this vegetable with Jowar bhakri, Nupur's Kothimbir wadi, and some onion slices.

16 comments:

RedChillies said...

Arre wah ! No coconut in the stuffing. I like these kind of recipes, especailly since it is made by your mom, it must be yummy and authentic.

Madhu said...

I love eggplant, will eat anything made out of it. Looks delicious and have nice colour. Thali looks good with vada and bakri, one tasty meal.

Happy cook said...

Who can resist moms recipes. I love aggplants, but my hubby and daughter hates it so i hardly make them

Nupur said...

Loved reading this post, and I can almost imagine eggplants trailing beind you on the street :D
The bharli vangi look AMAZING. My mouth is watering (and it is 6am!). Thanks for sharing this, Swapna.

bindiya said...

Never tried making eggplant this way,will surely do now.

Manasi said...

I cook .. but I still do not eat!!! Himmat nahi hot majhi!!I love the masala . but I still detest brinjals...
Am making Bharli vangi tonight for a guest ( having a Marathi Feast!!)

musical said...

That last picture of bharleli wangi and bhakris is making me sooooooo hungry, Swapna! and hugs to you and your Mom for the lovely recipee, dear! Moms do make every dish extra special, don't they :).

Siri said...

the dish looks amazing swapna... i love eggplant in any form n shape hehehe..:)

Swapna said...

Redchillies: I am glad you liked the recipe. It was very,very tasty.

Madhu: Eggplants have become my favorite veggiee too. Thanks!

Happy Cook: That's a problem in all houses. Hubby doesn't like what you like and vice versa.

Nupur: Yeah, they followed me everywhere. Well, bharli wangi won't go well with your morning coffee. Try them for dinner:)

Bindiya: Definitely try them and let me know how you like it.

Manasi: Try kar ga ekda. Tula avadtil nakki. Tu kadhi mazya ghari aalis tar I will make brinjal soup, eggplant slices, bharli wangi, wangi bhaat, and ..is there a dessert you can make using brinjals?? All this for you:))

Musical: Thank you soooooo much!Yeah, mom have really great traditional recipe which no recipe books can beat.

Siri: Thanks for the lovely comment!

Asha said...

Looks beautiful!! Lovely recipe Swapna!:))

TheCooker said...

What a lovely meal!
I usually skip the vanga and head for the rassa/ masala.

KayKat said...

Yum! I love the plethora of awesome eggplants recipes I've been seeing over the last couple of days.

This looks delicious!

Suganya said...

I sooo love this plate.

Bini said...

nice recipe swapna...will try it out sometime - btw, just added a link to your blog from mine...

HappyJo said...

hey Swapna,

Nice blog..try to continue to blog even though you are back in India.

Really liked your recipes..haven't tried them yet though. May be in future.

take care,
Jo

HappyJo said...

Hey Swapna,

Nice blog, please continue to publish more recipes...

Hope you are all settled in India now.

Looking forward for more recipes..

Take care,
Jo