My savior was again Dakshin by Chandra Padmanabhan, this is my all time favorite recipe from her book.Except for some substitutions, I follow her recipe and the result is divine.
This is my recipe # 3 for 7 day recipe countdown marathon conducted by Nupur.
Recipe # 3 Ennai Kathrikkai
baby brinjal 12nos
coconut grated 1/2
I use coconut milk powder 4 tbsp instead
Tamarind paste 1tsp
dhaniya/Coriander seeds 1tbsp
urad dal / ulutham paruppu 3/4 tbsp
chana dal / kadala paruppu 3/4 tsp
jeera/ cumin 1tsp
asafoetida /hing 1/2 tsp
red chillies 8( mild use 5)
salt to taste
Mustard seeds 1tsp
cumin seeds 1tsp
urad dal 1tsp
chana dal 1 tsp
red chilli ,halved 1
curry leaves a few
1.Stuffing: Roast the coconut milk powder till it's slightly pink.
2.Fry in a little oil all the ingredients for stuffing.
3.Grind the stuffing ingredients to fine powder.Add roasted coconut and tamarind paste in the end and grind till it incorporates.Pulsing your grinder would get it mixed right without clumping.
4.Quarter the brinjal without splitting them or cutting through them.Each brinjal should be slit at the top with a + sign and should be able to hold stuffing.
5.Fill each quarted brinjal with about a spoon of stuffing and set aside.(Having another person to help will speed things up,as once slit brinjals tend to blacken .So, work fast if you are doing this alone).
6.In a kadai or open mouthed fry pan with lid.,heat 3 tbsp oil and add tempering ingredients..When mustard seeds sputter,add stuffed brinjal ,salt and a little water(just sprinkling water so as to steam cook brinjal is enough).
7.Sprinkle any leftover stuffing on the vegetable.Cover with lid ,simmer on low heat,till the brinjals are cooked tender.
8.Remove the lid and slightly stir the brinjal.Do not keep stirring as this will smash them.Let it fry a little bit to get the roast consistency.Switch off heat when there is no moisture left(waiting too long to take off heat will burn them at this stage,take it from my experience).
Serve hot with rice,rasam/sambar.Susvaad.