Bharli Vangi is a flavorful and delectable Maharashtrian dish, one that is brimming with a range of flavors and layers of texture! It is popular on the menu for most Maharashtrian festive occasions.
In this dish, baby eggplants are stuffed with a mixture of dried coconut, roasted peanut powder and spices. I love the combination of all the ingredients that go into this dish as it really makes the humble eggplant oh so tasty!
I happened to taste this dish one fine day during office lunch hours, when my colleague, Tejas got this. Usually he would hardly carry lunch from home, but whenever he did, the poor guy hardly got to eat any of it, we would all polish it off, so shameless I know 😀 It’s been quite a while since I lasted enjoyed this lovely eggplant dish. My DH spotted some fresh baby eggplants in the Indian store and picked them up, I knew what I was making with them. Undoubtedly, Bharli vangi it was going to be!
The stuffing for the recipe is the same as I’ve shared earlier for the bharli bhendi ( stuffed okra), except for this is a semi gravy, which is great to have with rice or any flatbread.
Ingredients: Measuring cup used, 1 Cup = 250 ml, 1 teaspoon = 5 ml
1 lb/ approx 500 grams of baby eggplants/brinjals/aubergines ( about 11-12 baby eggplants)
3/4 of a dry coconut (1 cup grated dry coconut)
1/2 cup peanuts
1 & 1/2 cup sliced onions
1 cup finely chopped tomatoes
handful of cilantro (dhania( leaves, finely chopped
8 small garlic cloves
1 & 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder/ cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
salt to taste
3 tablespoons oil
1.Wash the eggplants well. Trim off a little of the stem. Slit the eggplant vertically into 4 from the bottom, right up to the stem keeping it intact. Place the slit eggplants in salted water for about 15-20 minutes. Let’s prepare the stuffing.
2.Roast peanuts on low heat, set aside.
3.Grate dry coconut, roast it on low heat until golden brown, set aside.
4.Chop the onions, and saute in little oil until translucent. Set it aside, let it come to room temperature.
5.In your food processor/ mixer, grind the grated roasted coconut, onions,garlic and roasted peanuts to make a coarse mixture. Add 1-2 tablespoon of water if required. Do not grind to a fine paste.
6.To the above mixture, add chopped tomato, turmeric, chilli powder,cilantro, garam masala , and salt as required, mix everything well.
7. Stuff each eggplant generously with this prepared mixture.
8. Heat oil in a pan, when the oil is hot enough, add the stuffed eggplant, sprinkle a little salt ( go easy on the salt, as we have already added in the stuffing mixture ) shallow fry it on low heat for about 5-7 minutes turning sides once in between. Do not stir vigorously as all the stuffing might come out. ( Well it doesn’t really matter but if you’d like it to look nice, avoid stirring it too much).
9.Now add 1 cup of water to the left over masala, mix it well. Pour this in the pan & stir very gently to incorporate everything.
10. Cover the pan, let it simmer on low heat for 30 minutes or until the eggplants are cooked through and soft, stir once or twice in between. Once the oil floats on top, the gravy is cooked. If the eggplants are still not done, reduce the heat and let it cook. Garnish with cilantro.
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