Brinjals are Indian eggplants. They are much smaller than the regular eggplant or the baby eggplant that you find in the regular grocery stores. Brinjals are also known as aubergines. They look like this and this and are quite delicious. Kids hate them. As I once did.
An original recipe
6 small Indian brinjals
2 large red potatoes, sliced like french fries
1 large clove garlic
1/2 cup roasted peanuts
1/8 cup roasted sesame seeds (or subsitute with tahini)
1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/8 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 blobs of tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder**optional
1/2 teaspoon garam masala (any will do)**optional
1 teaspoon tamarind extract
salt to taste
1/2 cup oil
Who said this was low cal? Not me!!
Make a paste from the peanuts, sesame seeds and garlic in a blender, adding about 1 cup water.
Add the tamarind extract, coriander powder, cumin powder, some turmeric powder and salt to this paste.
Slice the brinjals as if you were going to quarter them but don't cut through to the end, so that each brinjal just kind of opens up.
Stuff the brinjals with this paste. Leave some aside for the sauce.
Heat the oil and toss in the mustard seeds.
When they start spluttering, add the asafoetida, cumin seeds and turmeric powder
Add the sliced potatoes and fry till they are cooked.
Remove the potatoes and attempt to drain the oil on a paper towel. Season with salt.
Drop the stuffed brinjals into the oil.
Add the rest of the paste and the tomato paste.
Add the chilli powder and garam masala.
Cover and cook over low flame until the brinjals are tender, stirring from time to time.
Add water if the sauce starts thickening and drying up.
Just before serving, stir in the fried potatoes and garnish with some fresh chopped cilantro, if you have any.
Apparently brinjals are stocked with vitamin B and its relatives. As well as potassium, iron and zinc. They are also an excellent source of fibre. But they are like the potato: they absorb oil. Since there is a fair amount of oil in this recipe and then you have peanuts as well as sesame seeds, the fat content in this recipe is quite high. One trick to eat less is to up the heat. Yes, add more chilli powder. Try this with hot rotis or pitas or nan.