Vaingan Pudi Sagle ~ Konkani Style Stuffed Baby Brinjals

Now that the kids are more 'restaurant friendly' and know how to behave even at a fine dining place we've started looking for places to enjoy our weekend meals, usually Friday evenings or Saturdays. Yesterday we went to a great place that served buffet meals over the weekends and we stuffed ourselves to the gills! I know gluttony is a great sin but we indulged ourselves anyways because every single dish on the menu was so fabulous! When we reached home we began to groan in agony. Well, no, the food wasn't bad, it's just that our stomachs were doing a somersault because of the excessive eating! I swore to myself never to get so greedy ever again, yeah but I will still visit that place and perhaps stick to tasting just a few (let's see how that resolution goes..hehe)

Coming to today's recipe, this is a traditional Konkani preparation which I had being shared on several food groups over the past few years but wasn't adventurous enough to try out a brinjal recipe as I wasn't sure if it would have any takers. I was so wrong! Not only were the brinjals so delicious because of the blend of flavours, the extra masala was spectacular! The dish tasted wonderful with chapathis! Such a marvellous way to eat brinjals I tell you!

By the way, the masala tasted so much like the one that is prepared for the raw bananas served at the Catholic Roce ceremonies that I was inspired to try out that version too with a minor changes, the recipe will follow. 

I do hope you enjoy this recipe and yeah, before I forget I am happy to announce that my blog has been featured at #26 in the Top 50 Food Blogs in India! Yayy!

Vaingan Pudi Sagle ~ Konkani Style Stuffed Baby Brinjals
Prep time: 20 mins | Cook time: 10 mins | Serves: 3-4

For seasoning:
1. Wash the brinjals, trim the stalk slightly but don't cut them. Apply 3-4 cuts/gashes vertically taking care to see that the brinjals remain intact and don't break open. Keep aside
2. Heat a skillet/tawa and dry roast the chillies, coriander and fenugreek seeds one by one - keep them separate on a plate. Allow to cool until they turn crisp, about 5-7 mins
3. Grind the roasted chillies, coconut, jaggery and salt without using any water or just about 1-2 tablespoons just to aid grinding. We need a coarse, thick mixture.
4. To the coarse masala add the roasted coriander and fenugreek seeds and pulse  2-3 times or until well mixed. We still require a reasonably coarse masala. Remove the masala and rinse the grinder with approx 1/4 cup of water and reserve it.
5. Stuff the ground mixture into the slits of the brinjals and cover them with the rest of the masala and keep aside for 5 mins. 
6. Heat oil for seasoning in a heavy, wide based kadhai and toss in the mustard. When it stops spluttering, add the curry leaves and then add the marinated brinjals in a single layer (don't pile them up on top of each other)
7. Reduce heat to sim and cover the pan and cook for 2-3 mins. Open and flip sides, add the reserved masala water a few tablespoons at a time and cook covered until the brinjals are tender (and the skins shrivel up). The colour of the masala when cooked on a very low heat will change from orangish brown to a maroonish brown. During the entire process take care to see that the masala or the brinjals don't burn so keep an eye out. Burnt masala will be blackish brown in colour.
8. Remove from heat and serve hot with rice or chapathis

Recipe adapted from Dakshin Bharat Dishes: Indian Vegetarian Cookbook by Jaya V. Shenoy

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