Back to Blogging – Bharali Wangi (Stuffed Eggplants)

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Dear Readers,

Pardon me if you can!

I know, its been a long time that I am away from my blog. My long absence here does not mean I was not cooking….but 1) I didn’t cook anything that felt like putting up on the blog and 2) I was either busy, lazy or just out of everything that IΒ  wanted to do – 2016 was not at all exciting for us.

We shifted to our home town Pune, early last year…we have partially (with minimal necessities) shifted to another city just two months back; and will be shifting our household in next couple of weeks – life was hectic, boring and crazy in-between these two shifts and I am really looking forward for some peace this year. I hope 2017 changes everything that was in 2016 and we have a fabulous year ahead.

How was your 2016 in retrospect? Do you have a lot of plans for the new year?

Well, I plan to come back with a lot of stuff to share with you in the year to come – recipes, life experiences, travels and what not! So keep coming to this space and show me some love. πŸ™‚

As the first of my ‘Back to Blogging’ recipes, here is a sensational dish that is made in pretty much every corner of India…bharali wangi/bharwa baingan/stuffed eggplant.

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I made this curry some 2 weeks back. My husband took it to office for lunch and in the evening when he was back home the first thing he told me while entering the house was – today’s curry was very tasty. Even when I had it for lunch I could not stop praising my own preparation.

We make this curry quite often, but this time I used the baby eggplants and also cooked them whole i.e. not removing the stems – just cutting them to stuff the masala (spice mix) in them. I also used a little more oil that I normally do, but this recipe does need that extra amount of oil. The spice blend I used in this recipe is called ‘Goda Masala’. It is a very typical spice blend from Maharashtra and you should get it quite easily in the spices section of the super store. I used the homemade one – the one which my mum-in-law makes for us every year, but you can use famous brands such as Pravin, K-Pra or Bedekar.

Its a tradition to make the masala at home – my mother and mother-in-law both make it every year, so I always have good supply throughout the year. πŸ˜‰ I am planning to make my own batch and I will post the recipe here when I make one.

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Getting back to today’s recipe, here is what you will need ~

  1. Baby eggplants (brinjals) – 10 to 12
  2. Onion – 1 big, grated or finely chopped
  3. Roasted peanut powder* – 2 tbsp
  4. Goda masala – 3 tsp or more (as per taste)
  5. Red chili powder – 1.5 tsp (more if you would like it hot)
  6. Mustard seeds, turmeric powder, asafoetida – for tempering
  7. Peanut oil/sunflower oil – 2 tbsp
  8. Salt – as per taste
  9. Water – enough to cover the eggplants half way through.

Instructions ~

  1. Wash and clean the eggplant, pat them dry with a kitchen towel and keep aside
  2. Finely chop or grate the onion, take in a dish
  3. To the onion, add red chili powder, goda masala powder, peanut powder and salt. Mix well and keep aside.
  4. Now, score the eggplants on the top in a ‘+’ sign deep enough to hold the masala mixture but not till the end. I did not remove the stems but you certainly can if you wish to.
  5. Fill the masala mixture in the scored eggplants.
  6. In a pressure cooker, heat the oil. Once, the oil is hot enough add mustard seeds, let the mustard seeds splutter. Now, add turmeric powder and asafoetida and give it a quick stir.
  7. Add the eggplants, add water. Do not add a lot of water as later it will take time to evaporate if you want a thick gravy. Cook the eggplants upto 2 or 3 whistles (depending on your pressure cooker). Let the pressure escape and remove the lid of the pressure cooker.
  8. If there is still more water in the gravy than you desire, let it reduce over low to medium heat. For this recipe the gravy should be thick enough to coat the eggplants nicely.
  9. Garnish with fresh coriander. Serve with sliced onions and tomatoes and slit green chilies on the side if desired. This curry can be served with any kind of Indian flatbread or rice (serves 2).

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Let me know if you make this recipe and if you liked it.

~Happy cooking,

Prajakta

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