I've grown eating rottis made of rice (Akki Rotti) and curry made from eggplant. Almost three times a week, mom would prepare rottis (either plain or masala). Ah, and I love them! After marriage, I miss mom's food. Even if I get recipes from her, the taste differs. I realised that she adds a special ingredient to the dishes - love. :-)
Today, I prepared stuffed eggplant. During our recent trip, we stopped at Hunsur and bought fresh vegetables. Usually, the eggplants that are used for this dish are purple round small eggplants; however, I used the long purple eggplants. The eggplants cooked beautifully! Yes, I agree that fresh ingredients enhance flavor and taste of dishes.
4-5 eggplants (brinjals - purple round, preferred)
1 medium-sized onion
2-3 garlic cloves
1 medium-sized tomato
1 tbsp sambar powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tbsp juice of tamarind
1 tsp poppy seeds
a pinch of turmeric
2 tbsps of cooking oil
handful fresh coriander leaves
a few seeds of coriander and fennel
a pinch of sugar
In a bowl, mix finely chopped onions (half), tomatoes, and garlic, and all the powder along with tamarind juice, salt, and poppy seeds. Add coriander and fennel seeds. Mix well. Wash and slit eggplants (half the way); stuff the mixture in each of the eggplant.
Take a pan and add cooking oil. Add cumin seeds and mustard seeds, and chopped onion. Slowly place the eggplants inside the pan and gently mix with the masala. If any remaining masala, add it to the pan. Pour sufficient water, little salt (if required), and sugar. Close a lid till the eggplants cook well. Serve with rice rottis, Indian bread, rice, or even bread!
Note: I use homemade sambar powder for most of the curries.