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Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Bagara Baingan (stuffed brinjal curry with peanuts and sesame seeds)
I heard that Andhra people used to cook stuffed brinjals in a wide flat pan. It'll take lot of time to cook them. I learnt from my friend, Neelu to microwave stuffed brinjals with little water for 5 minutes. She and me didnt like to cook stuffed brinjals for long time in the wide flat pan.
I always look for small, fresh, young, blemish free brinjals.
Small brinjals - 8 to 12
Peanuts - one handful
Seasame - 3 tbsp
Cashewnuts - one handful
Dried red chillies - 6
Black pepper - 1 tsp
Cumin - 1tsp
Coriander seeds - 2 tsp
Clove - 4
Cinnamon - 1"
Tamarind - key lime sized
Onion - 1 half (optional)
Salt to taste
Seasonings: (optional)
mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
cumin seeds - 1 tsp
curry leaves - few
Garlic - 3 pounded
Coriander leaves for garnishing
Soak the tamarind in hot water for 10 minutes to extract the juice.
Blend the above ingredients except onion with tamarind water to make smooth thick paste like thuvayal.
Cut the brinjal into (+) 4 peices, not completly. Just gently slit them up to make a narrow gap and then stuff the paste into it. I stuffed them easily by taking dollop of the masala directly from the blender with teaspoon as I dont like to mess things up in the kitchen. So that I can mix the remaining paste with tamarind water nicely for gravy.
Now take the stuffed brinjal into a microwable flat bowl or steam bowl and add little water and put it in microwave for 5 minutes.
Heat oil or ghee in a wide flat pan. Do the above seasonings and fry onion till trnsparent.
Add the stuffed brinjals, fry them so that the outer skin is turned brownish. Add the paste with tamarind water or water if necessary and cook in a lower heat till the paste is cooked.
You see oil coming out on the edges and garnish with corriander leaves.
Serve with rice or roti, this curry is a party favorite and a crowd pleaser.
Omit peanuts and cashewnuts,
Chana dal and urad dal - 1/4 cup each
Roast them with black pepper, cloves, dried red chillies, cumin, coriander seeds & 1 tsp of methi seeds till golden and blend them with 1/2 cup of fresh or dried coconut, tamarind juice and one tabeteaspoon of powdered jaggery.


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