Friday, May 02, 2014

Truly Simple Stuffed Brinjals


A couple of years ago, I went on holiday to a resort which served food based on their Ayurvedic beliefs. They did not use cucumbers, potatoes, tomatoes and brinjal/eggplant.They did not use red chilli or red chilli powder either. Since I came back, I haven't eaten too many cucumbers or tomatoes and hardly any brinjal at home. (I use the chilli, though.) However, about two weeks ago, I found some good-looking brinjals and bought them. I wanted to make stuffed brinjal, but an easy version that did not involve chopping and grinding.

I took recourse to the Net and all the easy stuffed brinjal recipes that popped up involved chopping onions, shredding coconut, frying/roasting some other ingredients and grinding them all together. I was only willing to scoop ingredients out of their jars, mix them with my hands, stuff the brinjals and shallow fry them - and I needed a recipe that was willing to confirm my vague ideas as to how to do that. I had figured out that I needed gram flour (chick pea flour/besan) to do it because many stuffings are a combination of ingredients that involve fried and ground channa dal or chutney dal. For once, I had besan at home. Then I chanced across a blog that mentioned a stuffed version with ajwain/carom, something to do with Gujarat, but it was just a fleeting glimpse.

It was probably this, but I can't be sure.

That was enough for me to work out what I could do.

What you need
Brinjals/eggplant: 250 gm
Gram flour/besan: 1/2-3/4 cup
Carom seed/ajwain: 1.5 tsp
Cumin powder: 1/2-3/4 tsp
Coriander powder: 1.5-2 tsp Red chilli powder: 1/2 tsp
Salt: 3/4 tsp of ordinary, iodized salt is how much I used
Oil: Enough to coat the surface of the pan you are going to cook the brinjals in. It could be several spoons. I used a smallish pan and my brinjals got crowded in it.

Cut brinjals into four and keep them joined at the stem end.

 Roast the flour on a low flame for a couple of minutes. Cool.

Mix the flour and the spices and stuff the brinjals with the mixture.

Heat the oil and arrange the brinjals carefully in the pan.

Cover with a lid, lower the fire and keep checking to see if they are done on one side.

Then turn them over to the other and cover again.

After 3-4 minutes, take it off the fire.


You will get soft brinjals with delicious insides. Don't expect the stuffing to show very clearly, though, it will coat the insides of the brinjal, unlike the chopped and ground version with onions and coconut which adds to the volume of the dish.


If you have any besan mixture left over, you can make a most delicious kadhi with it. Dilute some curds, mix the besan with it, temper some oil with mustard and curry leaf and add the curd-besan mixture and when it begins to boil, bring it down to a simmer for a couple of minutes and take it off the fire.


11 comments:

  1. This is truly good. I do make them with dhania and jeera powders and add sliced onions when frying but never tried with besan. That second picture is so inviting. Finished my stock of small brinjals last night by making aloo baingan ... next time.
    Ayurved is against cucumbers too? Tomatoes I know and avoid, what with the hybrid ones all over these days.

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    1. Sharmila, a nutritionist explained to me that all these vegetables were part of the nightshade family which is considered not good for health. She also said ayurveda/whichever school of it prohibited these vegetables may not have researched it thoroughly but rejected them because they were imports. But then I thought cucumber is native to India.

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  2. I am surprised about no cucumber and tomato for the Aurvedice belief as i thought they were such good vveggies for one though i dont' like cicumber at all. Funny and here in the west i have read so many articles saying tomatoes are so good for you. But then i think we went through a diet calle Blood group diet a wouple of years ago and in that even black tea was bad for certain blood group and i think hans blood group coudn't eat tomatoes too. Wish we got these small brinjals here.

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    1. That blood group diet is almost impossible for O+ve and those who like vegetarian food. I remember it has hardly any options.

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  3. I have a version of this too and partly done in microwave. Learned from a Gujarati aunty. Really good. But why no brinjal or cucumber in Ayurveda ?

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    Replies
    1. BongMom, see my reply to Sharmila. :)

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  4. I have never done anything like this with eggplant. It looks very tempting- curious to know the taste.

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  5. It's savoury, and you come across bits of carom which give off a sharp and spicy sensation.

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  6. It looks very tempting- curious to know the taste.

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  7. Very nice recipe of stuffed brinjals, I would love to try.

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  8. I made another version yesterday, Sadhna, with some ready made chutney powders - that was good too!

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