Sunday, October 18, 2009

Stuffed Mini Eggplants in Kadai Gravy

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If there is one dish that instantly takes me back on the memory lane it has to be the stuffed eggplants. A variation of stuffed eggplants used to feature in our weekly menu at least once.It conjures up a good memory of me helping my mom stuff the eggplants with the ground masala while she prepares the eggplants to be stuffed. It used to be a competition of sorts..whether I stuff the eggplants first or she quarters it first..Oh, I miss the good old days!My mom has at least a half a dozen variations for this. Eggplants with dry masala stuffing, mixed roasted gram and coconut stuffing, steamed stuffed eggplant, stuffed eggplants in spicy gravy and what not..Even though this recipe is adapted from my mom's it has deviated so much that I could almost call this my own. :).

  • ~24 Mini purple Eggplants
For the Stuffing:
  • 2 Medium Red Onion , roughly chopped
  • 2 Small Tomato, medium, chopped
  • 2-3 Stalks Curry Leaves
  • 3-4 Garlic Cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 "Ginger, roughly chopped
  • 1-1/2 Tbsp Culinary Poppy seeds,Optional (gives a nice gritty texture to the stuffing)
  • 2 Dry Red Chilli, Optional
  • 3-4 Green Chilli, crown removed and poked at several places
  • 1-1/2 Tbsp Coriander powder
  • 1/8 Tsp Turmeric powder
  • 4 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • Fresh/Frozen Coconut Balls or 2 tbsp Fresh chunks
  • In a thick bottomed pan, heat a tbsp of oil, add the onions, garlic, ginger,chillies and saute until onions are well browned.Add the curry leaves to it and fry until it gives out a nice aroma.
  • Follow up with turmeric powder, poppy seeds, coriander powder, tomato and salt. Fry for about 5 minutes until tomato loses shape.
  • Switch off the stove.Add the coconut and let the mixture cool. 
  • Grind them to a grainy paste in a blender with very little water. If the paste is runny, then it won't make a good stuffing.
  • Trim the crowns of the eggplant, but do not discard it entirely.Quarter the eggplants without separating the sections so they are opened like flowers. Stuff the ground mixture and line them up in a plate.
  • Heat the same thick bottomed pan with remaining oil and gently add the stuffed eggplants.Brown the eggplants slightly. 
    • Pour the remaining leftover mixture on top.
    • Add a cup of water, close the lid and cook them for 15-18 minutes minutes on medium-low flame.
    • The flesh of the eggplants should be tender and the gravy thickened.
  • Serve hot with Ghee Rice or Roti, Biryani or with toasted wheat bread slice.
  • Enjoy!
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