How does something so beautiful, glossy and downright gorgeous have the heavenly humility of complementing and balancing everything around it? I am talking about the Eggplant, Remember Ratatouille? What would Remy make if he had no aubergines to put in the dish? Aubergines as they are called in France, Brinjals as they are called in India and Eggplants as they are known in the US are terrific as complementary vegetable to a lot of ingredients. In the Indian cuisine we add them to almost everything. But once a while we let them shine on – All by themselves. They are after all drop-dead gorgeous in looks and terrific in taste.
Bharli Vaangi – Roasted Stuffed Eggplants
The celebrated dish of Bharli Vangi requires elaborate preparations. It entails the precise blending of spices & various attentions to details just to make the very famous Goda Masala of Maharashtra. This masala, you then use with other spices and ingredients to make the Bharli Vaangi. Now you can host a dinner party and cook Indian food and serve the same old paneer or potatoes to your vegetarian friends or you can go on a culinary expedition and dazzle them with the fabulous Bharli Vaangi. The sweating it out in the kitchen is so worth the satisfied smile on their faces!
If you are going to do a lot of cooking with the goda masala, it is worth making a batch, else use a good prepackaged brand. I have eaten many versions of this dish – some with only coconut, some with peanut and sesame and some with all. I prefer the one in which the nuts and sesame are all mixed in one. It adds to the complexity of the flavors.
Bharli Vaangi - Roasted Stuffed Eggplants
- 8 Eggplants small purple ones
- 1/4 thC fresh coconut shredded
- 3 Tbs Roasted peanuts
- 2 Tbs Sesame seeds
- 1 Tbs Coriander
- 1 Tbs Cumin
- 2 Tbs Goda Masala ( available at Indian Markets)
- 1 Tsp Tamarind pulp
- 1 – 2 Tbs grated Jaggery
- 1-2 Tsp Chili powder (based on how hot you like your food)
- 1 Tsp chopped garlic
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- a pinch of asafoetida
- salt to taste
- 3- 4 Tbs oil
- 1/2 tsp black mustard seeds