Brinjals are also known as Egg plant /Aubergine. They are known as ‘Vangi’ in Marathi (Maharashtra). There are various ways of cooking stuffed brinjals in India. The Maharashtrian preparation is very delicious & tastes awesome with bhakri, chapattis & phulkas.
Traditionally, the stuffed brinjals (bharli vangi) is usually cooked on clay stoves (choolah) in a kadhai with the lid closed. Some water is poured on the lid & the steam trickles in the kadhai which helps to cook the brinjals to make it tender & succulent. The goda masala enhances & brings out the flavor in the cooked dish. The roasted peanuts lends its nutty aroma & adds a crunch to the gravy/masala.
When you cook this dish the aroma lingers in the house for a long time. My family loves this Maharashtrian preparation. There is no need to announce that lunch/dinner is ready; the aroma draws them to the dining table & you do not even have to ask them to guess the dish!
Try out this awesome recipe… lip smacking, finger licking good Bharli Vangi just for you! J
250 gms. or 8-10 small even sized Brinjals (Baingan)
½ cup (heaped) roasted Pea nuts (coarsely powdered)
½ cup fresh Coconut (scraped)/ or dessicated Coconut
2 med. Onions (peeled & sliced)
3 tbsps. Coriander Seeds
½ tsp. Cumin Seeds (Jeera)
¼ tsp. Turmeric pwd.
5-8 cloves fresh Garlic (peeled & chopped)
1 inch piece fresh Ginger (peeled & chopped)
A pinch Asafoetida (Hing)
2 tbsps. Maharashtrian Goda Masala/Kala Masala
2 tbsps. fresh Tamarind paste/orLime sized Tamarind soaked & pulped)
A small piece of Jaggery (Gur) (optional)
2 sprigs fresh Curry Leaves
½ tsp. Mustard Seeds (optional)
Salt to taste
4 tbsps. Vegetable Oil
1 ½ cups Water
A handful fresh Coriander Leaves (roughly chopped)
Wash brinjals & make slits along the length taking care that the brinjal is held together at the stem.
Dry roast onions on a tawa (griddle) till they turn lightly brown and soften.
Dry roast together coriander seeds, cumin seeds & fresh or dry coconut till they begin to change color & give out a nice aroma.
Grind together roasted onions, roasted spices, ginger, garlic, salt, turmeric powder, goda masala & jaggery to a very fine, thick & smooth paste.
Add tamarind pulp/paste, salt & mix well.
Stuff this masala into the slit brinjals and reserve the remaining.
Heat oil in a kadai/wok till hot. (I used a pressure cooker).
Add curry leaves, mustard seeds & a pinch of hing & sauté for a few seconds.
Add the stuffed brinjals & sauté for about ten minutes.
Add the reserved masala & the coarsely powdered pea nuts & mix gently.
Add about 1 ½ cups of water & pressure cook up to 2 whistles or cover & cook over low heat till the brinjals are fully cooked and oil comes to the surface.
Taste & adjust salt if necessary.
Garnish with freshly chopped coriander.
Serve hot with your favorite Indian flat bread.