About 10 small round eggplants, washed and stemmed. Make two slits, crosswise, on the non-stem side, stopping short of making a clean cut, so the eggplant holds together at the base.
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tbsp sesame seeds
2 tbsp peanuts
1 tsp poppy seeds (khuskhus)
½ tsp fenugreek seeds (methi seeds)
½ tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp tamarind pulp
1 tbsp canola or other vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
1-inch piece ginger, chopped
6 large cloves of garlic, minced
1 sprig curry leaves
¼ cup canned (or thick) coconut milk
Salt to taste
Roast the onions on a dry cast-iron or non-stick skillet until they soften and brown spots appear. Remove to a blender.
Roast the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, fenugreek seeds and peanuts until they start to change color and smell fragrant, about a minute or two on medium heat. Add to the blender.
Now add the ginger, garlic, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, sugar, salt and coconut milk to the blender.
Blend until you have a fairly smooth paste.
Now stuff this paste into the prepared eggplants.
Heat the oil in a cast-iron or other skillet.
Add the curry leaves, stir for a minute, and then add the eggplants one by one, placing them away from you so the oil doesn't splatter on you.
Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 8-10 minutes or until the eggplants begin to soften.
Now add the remaining paste and ¾ cup of water.
Bring to a boil, turn the heat to medium-low, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, to ensure all sides of each eggplant get cooked.
The dish should be done when the eggplants are tender enough to be pierced through with a fork, and when specks of oil have risen to the surface.
Garnish with chopped coriander leaves
This dish tastes best with hot phulkas or chapatis.
Recipe by Holy Cow! Vegan Recipes at http://holycowvegan.net/2009/06/baghare-baingan.html