Bharela Vegana

Bharala Vegana or Stuffed eggplants:

Eggplants : 500 Gms. (use small ones if possible)
Fresh Grated Coconut : 200 Gms.
Coriander Seeds : 60 Gms.
Dried Red Chillies : 10-12 nos.
Sliced Onions : 2 nos. large
Green Chillies : 3-4 nos.
Garlic Cloves : 8 nos.
Sesame Seeds : 4 Tbsp.
Turmeric Powder : 1 Tsp.
Tamarind Paste : 100 Gms.
Jaggery : 2 Tbsp.
Curry Leaves : 10-12 nos.
Black Mustard Seeds : 1 Tsp.
Chopped Coriander Leaves : 2-3 Tbsp.
Vegetable or Peanut Oil : As Required
Salt : To Taste

Cut the eggplants lengthwise almost into quarters; make sure you do not cut off the stem so as to keep the eggplants whole with a cross cut running the entire length.
In a pan add enough oil to fry the eggplants till brown.
For the stuffing Masala Paste :
In 1 Tbsp. oil saute the sliced onions, coriander seeds, red chillies. Add these to the coconut and garlic. Dry roast the sesame seeds and add to the coconut mixture. Also add the turmeric powder and tamarind paste to the coconut. Make a paste of all these ingredients.
In a Tbsp. of oil add slit green chillies and add the paste and saute till the fat leaves the sides. Than add the eggplants, jaggery and salt to taste. Add water as required to get a sauce-like consistency. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes. This masala tends to stick to the bottom of the pan, so make sure that you keep stirring the pan every few minutes. Then add the chopped coriander leaves and remove.

Vaghar :
In a small pan add 1 Tsp. oil and when hot add mustard seeds. When they start to crackle add the curry leaves and pour this over the curry. Mix well.
This can be served with Rice or Parathas.

P. S. – Vegetable Variation – You can make a Vaghar of mustard seeds, green chillies and curry leaves. To this add mixed vegetables like cauliflower, potatoes, carrots, green peas etc. Then add the masala and salt to taste. Cover and cook till the vegetables are done. Then add chopped coriander on top.

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