At my moms place, the traditional Maharashtrian food was cooked only on occasions. She would cook veggies in different styles, as we grew up in a very multi regional atmosphere. We had neighbors from all parts of the country, so my mom would make Andhra style pickles as well as North Indian style food with equal ease. Getting an exposure to food from different regions at such an early age of my life pampered my palette but at the same time it also encouraged me to experiment with the spices.
When Ashwini’s Spicy Cuisine announced the FIC- Zodiac, the first thought that came to my mind for cooking was the Brinjal as they are Purple and that’s the colour I have to cook for my Zodiac sign. I decided making a stuffed eggplant as my elder one loves eating them in any version. Food in colour is an event started by Sunshine mom of Tongue ticklers
I make stuffed eggplant in various versions ( the other recipe that I posted earlier can be checked here). As a matter of fact, eggplant is one vegetable which can be really experimented with various flavors. This particular version is a Maharashtrian version. Maharashtrians largely use coconut, sesame, poppy and Goda Masala in their cooking. The blend of all these with the normal onion, garlic and ginger makes an amazing finger licking gravy. My Mavshi V has been kind enough to lend me some Goda masala. This masala was made in all marathi homes earlier but it’s readily available in the market now.
I was glad that my parents and my grand mom were there to taste it and they all loved it. My grand mom kept asking me.. what’s the secret ingredient that you have added ? It’s too delicious! I kept repeating that I have made the usual way, but she refused to believe ….So, try it out and let me know what’s the secret ingredient! LOL.
300 gms small eggplants
2 large onions/3 medium
6-7 garlic pods
1 1/2 inch ginger
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 cup tomato puree
3-4 tbsp grated coconut (dry)
1 tsp each of poppy & sesame seeds
oil for cooking
1 tsp each mustard and fenugreek seeds
1 –2 tsp Goda masala
1 tsp jaggery (optional)
a pinch of asafoetida
2 tbsp coriander pwd
1-2 tsp cumin pwd
2-3 tsp red chili pwd
1 tsp turmeric pwd
2-3 kokam (aamsul)
salt to taste
Grind together onion, garlic, ginger, cumin and coconut together. Heat oil and let the mustard splutter then add fenugreek, poppy and sesame followed by the ground onion paste. Saute on low flame till it’s cooked and the oil leaves the edges.
Add the tomato puree and mix properly.
Add coriander, turmeric, chili, cumin pwds. Also add salt, jaggery, Goda masala and 2-3 dry Kokam pieces, these impart a very different flavor of tanginess.
Once the masala is nicely roasted and you can smell the aroma of the spices, add the eggplants with a + cut at the base.
This + cut helps the masala to get nicely absorbed in the vegetable. Alternately, let the masala cool and then fill it in the cut eggplants and then cook them. I avoid doing that as it consumes a lot of time but I love to do it when I have leisure hours in hand.
Add about a cup and a half of water and bring the curry to a boil, then cover, simmer and cook till the eggplants are nicely cooked and the gravy thickened.
Garnish with coriander. Serve it hot with Rice or Roti.
I am also sending this as my entry to the event Side dish for Chapthi hosted by Vicky Xavier at Viki’s Kitchen