Enne Badanekai : Stuffed Spicy Brinjals

This dish is one of my evergreen favourites and by evergreen, I mean - come pizza, come Burger chains all over the place but this one will never get off my 'binge-list' ever. This is a South Indian dish, that I used to relish at my relatives place at my Aunty's. It was one of those dishes I just had to request her to make this dish every time I popped up with my suitcase for the summer months. But it wasn't till a year ago that I perfected this dish. It took me so long to figure it out coz I always thought that relatives only reveal so much about a family recipe..but I figured out the perfect blend of this lip-smacking dish thats assured to give you compliments on the dinner table. Its actually a blend of two recipes - 'Stuffed Brinjals' and 'Andhra Style Stuffed Brinjal Curry'. Here it is (the WHOLE of it..unlike my relatives, I presume):





Enne Badanekai* or Stuffed Spicy Brinjals recipe:
Serves 5

Ingredients:


Brinjals/Eggplants  -    500g.
{Note:  JUST REMEMBER TO GET small round ones, not the humongous kind! I used the green kind known as matti gulla but you can use the purple kind as well, just as tasty. Matti gulla are sweeter and lighter in taste compared to the purple variety.}

Red Onions   -   2, medium, finely sliced
Garlic - 4 cloves, crushed roughly
Black sesame seeds (Kala Til/Yellu) - 1/6th cup
Peanuts/Groundnuts - 1/4th cup
Coconut (fresh) - 1/4th cup, grated
Matti Gulla = green brinjals
Curry leaves - a sprig
Jaggery - 1 tsn
Jeera(Cumin) Powder - 1/2 tsn
Dhania (Coriander seed) powder - 1/2 tsn
Garam Masala Powder - 1/4th tsn
Methi (Fenugreek) seeds - 1/8th tsn
Turmeric - 1/2 tsn
Red Chilli Powder - 1/2 tsn or as per taste
Cumin Seeds (jeera) - 1/2 tsn
Salt - taste
Tamarind - small lime ball size.
Coriander leaves - for garnishing, 1 tsn, roughly chopped
Oil - 2tsn + 1 ladle-full

Method: 

  • Get the ingredients ready:

Soak the tamarind in about 30 ml of plain water and after about 10 minutes, squeeze out the juice in the water to get a pulpy tamarind water. Set aside. Set all your ingredients in place before you start.

  • Frying for the Stuffing: 

Roast the black sesame seeds in a pan on medium flame till they start popping. Then set aside. In the pan, heat 2 tsn of oil, heat on medium flame. Add garlic, peanuts,curry leaves and fry till peanuts turn golden brown. Then add to it - 3/4th portion of the sliced onions and fry till soft and golden brown.  Add the grated coconut and fry till the coconut turns golden brown in colour. You will get a faint aroma of the coconut oil slightly seeping out of the fried coconut by now. [Yeah, 'Golden brown' is the benchmark of every fried Indian recipe if you haven't figured that out yet.] Lower the flame. Add red chilli powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, salt and blend well. Take it off the heat and let it cool.
                      Now add enough water to this fried masala and grind it to a fine paste. Consistency should be like that of a smooth coconut chutney. DONT add too much water or else you will end up making it too watery. The stuffing is ready.
  • Preparing the Brinjals for Stuffing:
Wash the brinjals and slice them in 4 parts, making sure that the slit goes only 3/4th deep, not slitting the entire vegetable in slices. Now hold the brinjal in your hand and gently separate slits two-by-twos together.Now stuff them with the stuffing (like partitioning a cream biscuit into two halves) without breaking the brinjal apart. Now take the adjacent halves and repeat. It should be well stuffed but don't let it look constipated, capisce? (OK, sick joke. My bad.) Stuff all the Brinjals and set aside. Set aside the rest of the stuffing, you are gonna need it for making the gravy.

  • Frying the lot:
Take a heavy duty vessel, preferably made of copper or aluminium. As we don't own (or Ma wouldn't let me use the one and only extra huge vessel in the kitchen) a large vessel as such, I improvised by using the cooker bottom as my heavy-duty pan. 

         Add the 1 laddle of oil ( I know it sounds like a lot, but the stuffing sucks every inch of oil there is!). Let it heat on a medium flame and add cumin seeds in and fenugreek seeds in and fry a little. When they splutter, add in the remaining 1/4th portion of the sliced onions and fry till golden brown. Add in the stuffed brinjals gently and fry gently for a while till their skin changes colour a bit. Then drop in the remaining masala,1/2 cup water, turmeric, and mix lightly. Let it cook for 10 minutes covered with a lid. Keep watch, coz the lot may burn. So keep mixing it every couple of minutes. If the water dries too quick, reduce the flame a bit and add 1/4th cup more water and let it cook.



  • Cooking the veggies and the gravy:
Once the brinjals are almost cooked, add in 1.5 cups of water, tamarind water, jaggery and cook for another 15 minutes covered on a low flame. Keep checking for taste and consistency (you want it to be a thick gravy) and compensate. When the brinjals are done, remove off the fire, garnish with coriander leaves. Serve with Rotis. 

Hide an extra bowl-full for yourself beforehand as this one is gonna go like hotcakes over a Sunday brunch. 


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*(In Kannada Language, Enne - Oil, Badanekai - Brinjals)
Note: While frying the lot (brinjals+gravy), if the oil dries out, add a bit more while frying.

Conclusion: These stuffed brinjals might have a lot of spices going into them but the blend of coconut, sesame seeds and peanuts gives that perfect addictive balance that doesn't burn your tongue yet leaves you licking your fingers dry long after the dish has been devoured.

14 comments:

  1. While we do not have this type of eggplant here in the US, I do thing that your stuffing would be great used with other vegetables. There sure are some tasty ingredients in that filling. No doubt this has some delicious flavor! Enjoy the weekend!

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    Replies
    1. Purple Aubergines (small ones) or baby capsicums do a fine suppliment to my favourite brinjals..and thanks for the compliment, Tina. Ur the best!

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  2. wow..sounds lipsmacking good..
    new to your space..
    nice presentaiton with inviting cliks..
    happy following you..;)
    do stop by mine sometime..

    Tasty Appetite

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the Compliments,Jay:) Onto your site right now...mean meen kuzambu,man!

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  3. Hi!
    Thank you for visiting my food blog (cookadoodledoo). I love the recipe here for Matti Gulle.
    In Mangalore, they use these brinjals for making Bhajias. Have you tried using them for the same?
    Do let me know.

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  4. You are most welcome, Amol. Ya, I have tried them. But at home we make a bengali version of the same..just as tasty and simple.

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  5. stuffed brinjals look super tempting..mouthwatering!!

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  6. Brinjal looks mouthwatering

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  7. Hmm looks yumm.. ....I'm gonna try this weekend....and let u knw

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