Baine Barthad by Shalini Nanda

  • 1/2 kg brinjal, preferably a thin skinned variety

Grind together to a coarse paste:

  • 1 1/2 cups freshly grated coconut
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander seed
  • 1 –1 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp tamarind paste
  • 1 tbsp jaggery
  • Salt to taste
  • 2-3 tbsp oil (untoasted sesame oil, or peanut oil are good choices here)

This quantity of oil will give you a drier finished dish. If you want a more luxurious dish, feel free to use more oil. Brinjal loves oil and will happily drink whatever you send its way!

Trim the brinjal, leaving the stems intact. Score a deep cross into the flesh, going about 2/3 of the way through.

Spoon the coconut and spice mixture into the cuts and press in firmly.

Heat the oil in a wide, shallow pan and put in the brinjal, carefully moving them around to brown the outsides.

Cover and cook on medium low for a few minutes, then cook uncovered until tender.( If there is any coconut mixture left over, add it now and continue cooking.)

This recipe works well with the thin skinned japanese eggplants available here. Cut them into 3-4″ lengths, then score about halfway through before stuffing.

If you’re using the denser fleshed variety of eggplant, you could try baking them instead. Brush with oil and bake at 350 F for 15 minutes until the skin turns brown.Then cover and bake for another 30 minutes.

Finish by cooking them uncovered for another 10-15 minutes, or until done.

Asha’s notes: The coconut mixture should not be ground too fine. To help prevent the brinjal from absorbing too much oil, keep the heat on high initially, until the skin is lightly browned

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