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Stuffed Aubergine 1
Bharwa (Brinjal) Baingan

Mamta Gupta

Stuffed aubergines can be made in advance and kept in the fridge for 3-4 days or even frozen. You can cook many other vegetables in this way. When cooking in an oven, I sometimes add quartered onions/shallots (small onions) wrapped in same spices. They taste very nice. Serves 6-8.

You can cook this dish without onions and garlic. My friend Vimal Berry adds ground peanuts also to the stuffing mix.

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Ingredients

500 gm. small aubergines
A handful of shallots
For stuffing masala mix:
1 medium sized onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1/2 inch piece of root ginger, peeled
1-2 cloves of garlic (optional)
1 1/2 tsp. coriander powder
1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
1 heaped tsp. coarsely ground fennel or saunf
1/4 tsp. Garam Masala
1/2 tsp. of mango powder or amchoor (you can use juice of a lemon instead).
Chilli powder to taste
1 tsp. salt, adjust to taste
For tarka:
1 tbsp. mustard oil (or any good cooking oil)
1 tsp. of cumin seeds or Panch Pooran/Phoran seeds
A pinch of asafoetida

Instructions

1.Wash and dry each aubergine. Trim stalks to remove stale ends, but do not remove them. They hold the slit aubergines together & taste good.
2.Make two slits lengthways, like a cross, running through the entire length of each aubergine. If they are small aubergines, make only one slit.
3.Place all stuffing ingredients in a chopper/grinder and make into a paste.
4.Hold each aubergine, one by one, in one hand, parting the slit gently, taking care not to break off any slices. Spoon in some of the masala inside each aubergine using other hand.
5.Heat oil in a non-stick wok or karahi.
6.When hot, add cumin seeds or Panch Pooran.
7.When the seeds splutter, not burn, add all aubergines, with any left over masala placed between aubergines. Also add shallots, if used.
8.Let it cook covered on medium-low heat, stirring very gently from time to time. Take care not to break aubergines. It takes up to 20-30 minutes to cook them well on low heat.
9.Alternatively, all aubergines and shallots can be placed in an oven proof dish, covered with 3-4 tbsp. or more mustard oil, and cooked in a hot oven, around 200° C for about 30 minutes, or until soft and shrivelled. If you line it with aluminium foil, it saves washing up later.
10.Drain excess oil off, before placing in serving bowl. Or, lift aubergines out of oil one by one, gently, and place in a serving dish. Discard oil.
11.Sprinkle with green coriander and serve hot with Chapatties or Plain Parathas.

Notes

These spices can be used to stuff other vegetables like bhindi (okra), fat, green chillies and any other small vegetable.

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