Indian · Maharashtrian · Vegetarian

Bharli Vangi (Stuffed Eggplant)

Bharli Vangi is a traditional Maharastrian dish. Purple hued baby eggplants stuffed with a mixture of fragrant spiced filling and cooked in flavorful gravy. The aromatic spices along with the coarse texture of coconut, sweetness of jaggery and tangyness of tamarind makes the dish more luscious and appetizing.

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Serves: 3
Cooking time: 40 mins

Ingredients

Stuffing
½ inch piece of tamarind (imli / chincha)
1 tbsp oil
½ cup onions, roughly chopped
2 cloves (lavang)
1 tsp black pepper powder (miri)
½ inch cinnamon stick (dalchini)
2 tbsp coriander seeds (dhane)
½ tbsp poppy seeds (khus khus)
2 clove of garlic (lasun)
½ cup dry coconut, grated
½ cup coconut, freshly grated
½ cup onions, finely chopped
½ tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
2½ tsp garam masala, or adjust as per spice tolerance
2 tsp salt, or adjust as per taste
1 tbsp jaggery
1 tbsp cilantro (coriander leaves / kothambir)

Brinjal Masala
6 brinjal (eggplant), small size
2 tbsp oil
¾ cup onions, finely chopped
Cilantro (coriander leaves / kothambir), for garnish

Preparation

 Stuffing
1.  Soak tamarind in ½ cup of warm water in a bowl and keep aside for at least 15 mins. Then mash it with a spoon to break up the flesh and separate the seeds. Strain the water in a bowl and discard the solids. Keep the strained tamarind liquid aside.
2.  Heat ½ tbsp oil on medium heat in a pan. Add roughly chopped onions and fry on medium heat until onions soften and turn brown. Add it to a mixer-grinder container and keep aside.
3.  Add and heat ½ tbsp oil in the same pan on medium heat. Add cloves, black pepper powder, cinnamon stick, coriander seeds, poppy seeds and garlic together and roast until slightly browned.
4.  Add grated coconut (dry and fresh) to the pan and roast until it turns slightly brown. Turn off heat and add everything to the mixer-grinder container with browned onions. Keep the container aside to cool down.
5.  Once the coconut mixture and onions cool down, add tamarind liquid to it and grind it into a fine but thick paste. Add little more water if required to grind.
6.  Remove the masala (paste) into a bowl. Add finely chopped onions, turmeric powder, garam masala powder, salt, jaggery and coriander leaves. Mix everything together and keep stuffing aside.

Brinjal Masala
1.  Take brinjal and chop off its stem. Hold it vertical and slit them into 4 without breaking them.
2.  Stuff all the brinjals tightly with the stuffing and keep aside. Keep rest of the stuffing aside.

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3.  Heat oil in a pan on medium heat. Add finely chopped onions and saute until they soften.
4.  Add rest of the stuffing and 2 cups water to the pan. Mix well and slightly bring to a boil.
5.  Then slowly add the stuffed brinjals into the pan. Gently stir, cover the pan with a lid and let it cook for 10 mins or until brinjals are cooked. Keep stirring occasionally.
6.  Once the brinjals are completely cooked, uncover and give it a quick stir. Keep it to simmer on medium-low heat for 3 mins.
7.  Turn off heat and garnish with cilantro.

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Serve hot with bhakri or roti.

spoonful O’ tips

1.  Water helps grinding masala easily into a smooth fine paste. Add water only as much as required.
2.  Instead of adding half dry coconut and fresh coconut. This recipe can be made with full dry coconut or full fresh coconut.
3.  Jaggery is optional. Do not add or add less jaggery, if you like less sweetness in your gravy.
4.  With the help of a toothpick you can check if the brinjals are cooked or not. If the toothpick pierces brinjals smoothly then they are completely cooked or else cook them further.
5.  After cooking the gravy, add more water if required to bring it to the required consistency.

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