Sunday, August 30, 2009

Masalyache Vange - Eggplant Garam Masala

Our farmer at the Farmers market had fresh and big eggplants. They were just 50 cents each. At my super market, these eggplants are sold by weight and this eggplant could have been easily more than a pound and still was just 50 cents. Hard to believe! I greedily took 2 of them. Baingan bhurta, vangyache bharit, ratatouille, baingan subzi - the possibilities are limitless.

Masalyache Vange - (serves 8 - 10)
Eggplant Garam Masala
Ingredients
1 eggplant 1 1/2 lb, cut into thick chunks or slices
salt to taste
1 tbsp jaggery

Roast* and Grind
15 black peppercorns
9 cloves
1 stick cinnamon
2 tbsp coriander seeds
3 cardamoms
5 garlic cloves
12 - 15 byadgi chilies
1 cup sliced onions
3/4 cup fresh coconut or dessicated coconut
1 tbsp poppy seeds
1/2 tsp tamarind pulp

Suggested Accompaniments
Rice Bhakri/Chapati
and/or plain rice

Method
1. Place eggplants chunks/slices in a big saucepan. Add 1/2 cup water and turmeric powder. Cook till it is about half done.
2. *Roast each and every spice except poppy seeds separately in 1 tsp oil. After roasting, keep it back in the plate. Add another spoonful of oil. Brown onions. Set aside. Now roast coconut. As coconut becomes brown, add poppy seeds and roast again for few more seconds. Now grind all these ingredients along with tamarind pulp and water as needed.
3. Add ground masala to the half-cooked eggplant. Also, add salt, jaggery and 1 cup water. Bring to boil. Simmer for 10 minutes taking care that the eggplant doesn't get completely dissolved in the curry.

Note -
1. The consistency of this curry should be thick. But it still needs to have some gravy.
2. Though generally big eggplant is used for making bhurta in Indian cuisine, this Malvani recipe calls for big eggplant for curry as well.

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