36. stuffed brinjals or bharelu shaak
aubergines with a difference
Most people hear the name aubergine, brinjal or eggplant and make a face. That includes my lovely daughter Nami. Try this recipe out and brinjals will not have tasted better. With the limited number of vegetables available at present in Mombasa, I constantly have to figure out a way to repeat the vegetables but by cooking in a different manner. I remember my mum and nunu only made stuffed brinjals when we would have guests over for lunch or dinner. But I make them pretty regularly as its one of my favourite dish. I usually go to the market to pick out the tiny young brinjals or the long tender ones.The best ones for this recipe are the purple coloured ones. The green ones have a tougher skin. Eggplant is loaded with vitamins and minerals. Its a rich source of iron, potassium, manganese and dietary fibres. It is rich in nasunin, an antioxidant which helps to lower bad cholesterol, helps the blood vessels and controls blood sugar.
STUFFED BRINJALS or BHARELU SHAAK
For the stuffing
½ cup chickpea flour (chana flour)
½ cup coarse peanut powder
¼ cup sesame seeds
¼ tsp turmeric powder
2 tbsps coriander cumin powder (dhana jiru powder)
½ tsp red chilli powder
½ tsp green chilli paste
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
¼ cup chopped fresh coriander
4 tbsps oil
1 tsp lemon juice
2 tbsps oil
¼ tsp fenugreek seeds (methi)
1 tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp salt
1 cup thick tomato puree
2 tbsps chopped fresh coriander
PREPARATION OF THE STUFFING
- Heat the oil in a pan over low heat. When its hot, add the flour.
- Stir fry till its starts to turn light pink. Make sure you stir it all the time.
- Add the turmeric powder,peanut powder and sesame seeds. Stirring all the time cook further till it becomes a very light brown colour. Also at this point you will get the aroma of the roasted flour and peanuts.
- Take it off the the heat. Add the coriander cumin powder, red chilli powder, sugar salt, chilli and ginger paste. Mix well. Let the mixture cool for a bit and then add the fresh coriander and lemon juice. Mix well.
- Wash and wipe the brinjals with a clean cloth.
- Trim the stalk and the leaves. Leave a bit of the stalk.
- Make a slit in each of the brinjal from the stalk to three quarter of the way.
- Stuff the brinjals with the stuffing.
- Heat the 2 tbsps of oil in a frying pan. When its hot add the fenugreek, mustard and cumin seeds.
- When the seeds begin to splutter, add the turmeric powder and gently place the brinjals into the pan.
- Sprinkle the salt over the brinjals. Cover the pan and let the brinjals cook over low heat. Shake the pan gently occasionally so that the brinjals do not get burnt.
- When you can pierce a knife into the brinjal easily, its done. Add the tomato puree. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Sprinkle with the coriander and serve.
- Serve with hot rotlis or parathas.
- Only half the stuffing will be used for 12 small brinjals. Save the rest and put it in the freezer for further use.
- Can stuff potatoes and cook in the same manner. Mix potatoes and brinjals.
- Too lazy to stuff the vegetables then sprinkle the stuffing over cubed and cooked potatoes and brinjals for a different taste.
- Can used fresh chopped fenugreek instead of coriander.
- Refer to nunu’s biryani for the recipe of coriander cumin powder or buy ready made which is readily available in most indian shops.