Stuffed Mini Spicy Eggplant (Bharli Vangi)

So the inspiration for this dish was definitely the city that I gew up in -- Mumbai. This is a very traditional dish made in this region of India and I actually learnt it from my cook during my last visit to India this past November. The key is to make sure that the baby eggplants are in season and fresh.  I also love the color and size of this of vegetable -- so pretty and so delicious!

Small Eggplants (Vangi) - 6-8

Stuffing (Grind the below in a food processor):
Grated coconut (I used the frozen kind found in asian grocery stores) - 3 tablespoon
Roasted peanuts - 1/2 cup
Red onion - 1/2 of a large
Chopped coriander - 1 tablespoon
Red chili powder - 2 teasppon
Cilantro (handful)
Cumin powder 1 tsp
Coriander powder 2 tsp

Spices For Oil:
Cumin seed 1/2 tsp
Mustard seed 1/2 tsp
Asafetida (optional)
Tamarind or Lemon juice (optional)
Sugar and Salt

1) Make 2 vertical slits in the eggplant and preserving the core and stem
2) Fill egplants with stuffing and place them back in the skillet
3) In a skillet add some oil
Add a few cumin seeds, mustard seeds
Add 1/2 teaspoon turmeric and Asafetida (optional)
Add a bit of coconut, cilantro chopped to give texture
Add egplants to skillet. Add a bit of water. Close and cook for 10 minutes.
4) Add tamarind paste or lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of sugar. Add salt to taste
5) Cover and cook on low for 15 minutes

This dish is easily one of my favorite ways to eat eggplant especially if you like that combination of earthy peanuts mixed with coconut, spices and tamarind -- how can you go wrong!


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