For the Stuffing
- 8–9 Indian or baby eggplants/ brinjals/ aubergines
- 1 medium red onion, finely diced
- ½ cup grated coconut, fresh or frozen thawed
- ¼ cup crushed roasted unsalted peanuts
- 2 tbsp ground jaggery
- 1 tbsp Maharashtrian kala/goda masala (see Notes)
- 1 tsp regular Indian red chili powder (skip or use less for a milder flavor)
- salt, to taste
- 12–15 sprigs of cilantro/coriander, leaves and tender parts of stems, chopped
For the Curry
- 2 tbsp neutral oil of choice
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- ½ tsp mustard seeds
- ¼ tsp asafoetida
- ½ tsp turmeric
- ¾ cup water
- In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients for the stuffing, reserving about 1/3 of the chopped cilantro/coriander for garnishing later and set it aside.
- Wash the baby eggplants and trim the stems, either by removing them completely or just a little at the end. Using a paring knife, slit each eggplant crosswise from the base, about more than 3/4th way down to the stem, but not completely all the way through.
- Using your fingers, gently separate the quarters. Take about a tablespoon of the stuffing and gently push it down the slits to stuff the eggplants, one by one.
- In a medium pot, sauce pan or a kadhai, heat the oil over medium high heat and when it starts shimmering, add in the cumin and mustard seeds along with the asafoetida and turmeric.
- When the seeds sizzle and the spices froth, transfer the stuffed baby eggplants to the pot with the hot seasoned oil.
- Top with the leftover stuffing mixture.
- Gently pour in the water over the eggplants.
- Turn the heat down to low and cook covered for 5-7 minutes.
- Uncover and then using the cooking spoon, gently turn each eggplant over.
- Cover and continue to cook for another 5-7 minutes on low heat.
- Take the lid off and simmer uncovered for 5 more minutes.
- Once the moisture has almost evaporated completely, garnish with chopped cilantro/coriander and serve warm along with whole wheat, jowar or bajra rotis.
Keywords: Maharashtrian Recipes, Family Recipes, Quick & Easy