Also called by names like aubergine and eggplant, this purple hued fleshy vegetable is a versatile thing and fun to cook with. Dish-up a very traditional bharta with it, bake a lasagna with parmesan and eggplant or just fry it for a great accompaniment with dal-chawal, brinjal is versatile. To choose one without seeds, pick the lighter one with a smooth shiny skin.
Slit the brinjals into four, lengthways keeping the stems intact. Soak in water. Soak the tamarind in half a cup of warm water for half an hour. Extract the pulp, strain and set aside.
Reserve one tablespoon each of the grated coconut and coriander leaves for garnishing. Heat one tablespoon of oil in a pan; add the onions and sauté for a few minutes. Add the dried coconut, sesame seeds, peanuts, cumin seeds and coriander seeds and sauté over medium heat for two minutes, stirring continuously, till the dried coconut turns a light golden brown.
Cool and grind the fried spice with a little water to a coarse paste. Combine the paste with the goda masala, salt, turmeric powder, chilli powder, remaining grated coconut and coriander leaves and tamarind pulp. Stuff the mixture into the brinjals. Heat the remaining oil in a pressure cooker; add the mustard seeds and when they beging to splutter, add the curry leaves.
Place the stuffed brinjals in the pan and cook for two or three minutes. Gently turn the brinjals once or twice to cook evenly on all sides. Add half a cup of water and bring to a boil. Cover the pressure cooker and cook over medium heat till the pressure is released twice (two whistles).
Remove the lid when the pressure has reduced completely and cook for one or two minutes. Serve hot, garnished with the reserved coriander leaves and grated coconut.
Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine. He is Chef extraordinaire, runs a successful TV Channel FoodFood, hosted Khana Khazana cookery show on television for more than 17 years, author of 150+ best selling cookbooks, restaurateur and winner of several culinary awards. He is living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one in the world and empowering women through power of cooking to become self sufficient.
His recipe portal www.sanjeevkapoor.com is a complete cookery manual with a compendium of more than 10,000 tried & tested recipes, videos, articles, tips & trivia and a wealth of information on the art and craft of cooking in both English and Hindi.