27 March, 2014
Stuffed Baby Eggplants in Yoghurt Sauce
“Staaaart the car”, I felt like calling out, as the lady did in the IKEA ad. The prices of lentils had been slashed for Vaishakhi festival in the grocery store. Limit four per customer it cautioned in fine print. This is at a time when I’m participating in the “Lentil Recipe Revelation Challenge“. The countertop in my kitchen is starting to look like the Biology lab. Red, green, black lentils, some soaked in containers, others wrapped in cheesecloth, some sprouting, others doubling in size. The racks in the fridge displaying leftover lentil paste individually ziplocked and labelled.
This is my entry for ” Best in main course” category for the Lentil Revelation Challenge. Stuffing vegetables is quite common. The possibilities for the stuffing are endless. It could either be with vegetables, or lentils, nuts, meat or even a combination of any of these.. The stuffed vegetable can either be enjoyed just fried or in a bed of sauce. We like it with rice in this household. It can very well be paired with Naan or rotis.
The uniqueness of the recipe has been simplifying it with fewer ingredients and substituting Lentil powder instead of gram flour. Adding the stuffed eggplants in the yoghurt sauce in the end works better in my hands. This eliminates the risk of the yoghurt splitting when heated.
You can read my entry in “Best in appetizer” category here.
I need your help friends. Do you like the idea of this recipe? Does the picture make you want to go shopping for baby eggplants? Please leave a comment below. I would like to know your thoughts. Thanks for visiting.
Baby eggplants About 8
For the stuffing,
Split and skinned green lentil powder Half cup
Peanuts, coarsely ground Half cup
Cumin seeds whole Half tsp
Asafoetida or Hing One pinch
Salt To taste
Canola oil For deep frying
Turmeric powder Half tsp
For the gravy,
Greek yoghurt Two cups
Sugar To taste
Chilli powder To taste
Roasted and ground cumin into powder half tsp
Salt To taste
Cilantro One tsp finely chopped
Wash eggplants with water. Make two slits in it all the way except near the stalk. This will leave them in one piece while creating room for stuffing. Sprinkle salt and turmeric powder. Let it sit for about five minutes. Take oil in a wok and deep fry them. Place them on paper towels.
Stuffing: Place a Tbsp of oil in a pan on high heat. Throw in the cumin seeds, as soon as it is lightly coloured, add the hing. Wait for the aroma, this is the cue to add the lentil paste and chopped peanuts. Bring the flame down to medium and saute for a few minutes. Add salt to taste. As is gets dry, add some water. Cover and cook for a few minutes. It should be the consistency of a thick paste. Turn off the gas.
Carefully pack the stuffing in the eggplants with a small spoon. I’d be careful so that the stalk remains intact. When done, keep it aside. Save the left over stuffing.
Clean the pan where the the stuffing was prepared and place it on medium heat. Add a cup of water with any leftover stuffing. Carefully seat the eggplants one by one into the pan. Cover, simmer for a few minute. Close gas.
Whisk the yoghurt with half cup water. Add salt, sugar and chilli powder. Balance to your taste. Skip the chilli powder for a mild taste. Add the roasted and ground cumin seed powder. Carefully add the stuffed eggplants and the gravy. Garnish with cilantro. The thickness of the yoghurt sauce can be adjusted by adding water, to your liking.
I bought Moong dal ( split and skinned green lentil ) flour, from the local Indian grocery store. If that is not available, soak the lentils the night before , grind with little water.
When enjoyed with rice or Naan it can be a full meal. The lentils are a good source of protein .
I cooked this last evening after getting back from work. We enjoyed it for supper. With a bit of planning it can work as a weeknight supper.
Peanuts can be substituted with grated coconut.