Baghare baingan /Tempered eggplant
With a single bite you will fall in love with this exotic eggplant dish. The magic lies in the spiced, tangy and nutty masala sauce.Ingredients
16 small eggplants*for stuffing
3 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
3 tbsp peanuts**
2 tbsp white sesame seeds
2 tsp poppy seeds
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
sea salt to taste
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp coriander seedsfor gravy
1 onion, ground
1/2 tbsp ginger, ground
1/2 tbsp garlic, ground
30 g tamarind
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 sprigs curry leaves
2 dried red chillies
1/2 tsp deggi mirch (optional it's just for color)*
1/4 cup extra virgin olive or coconut oil
sea salt to taste
3 cups water
* If you don't find small eggplants readily you can use large eggplant (cut into bite size pieces) and use the filling mixture in the gravy
** I used natural peanut butter and homemade sesame paste in place of peanuts and sesame. If you do the same add the tamarind pulp in the gravy instead of stuffing mixture
.* Deggi mirch is an Indian spice made from a unique blend of special varieties of red capsicums and Kashmiri red chillies. It has a mild heat and a deep red-orange color. You don't see the red color in the picture but it does make difference if you add it
Soak tamarind pulp in 1/4 cup warm water.Preparing the stuffing mixture
In a pan dry roast the coconut, sesame, peanuts, cumin and coriander seeds one at a time until fragrant and toasted.
Let them cool down and blend to a coarse mixture.
Squeeze the softened tamarind pulp into the water it was soaked in, throw away pith and add two tbsp of it to the above mixture along with salt, red chilli powder and turmeric powder to make a thick paste.Prepping the eggplants
Wash the baby eggplants and cut partially into quarters so that the pieces stay joined at the stalk.
Soak the eggplants in salted water for few minutes. Remove from the water and pat them dry.
Stuff the eggplants with the coarse nut and seed paste.Poke the eggplants with a toothpick from outside. Leave them for 20 minutes
(this is an important step otherwise the masala will not absorb in the eggplant flesh).
Heat oil in a fry pan on medium heat.
Add the mustard seeds, dried chillies and curry leaves followed by onions once the seeds crackle and chillies are roasted. Fry for 1 min.
Next add ground ginger and garlic and cook until golden brown.
Add the turmeric powder, deggi mirch, chilli powder and the remaining stuffing mix (if any). Fry gently till it leaves oil.
Add the leftover tamarind pulp, water, salt and sugar and bring it to boil.
Gently place the eggplants in it. Lower the heat, cover and allow to simmer for 15 minutes or until just tender, stirring occasionally, taking care not to split the eggplant.
Check for seasonings, adjust the sourness and remove from heat.
Enjoy the dish with rice or chapati.
Recipe also posted at: http://goo.gl/VvTnQR
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