Bharleli Vangi or bhagare baingan aka stuffed brinjal/aubergine cooked in peanuts, sesame gravy is my absolute favourite dish and I love it even more when it’s served with bhakri, sorghum or pearl millet flour roti. I know in most of posts I write that the food I eat and cook reminds me of many memories from my childhood, but that’s true! It really does and that’s why someone wise once said “Food is Memories!” 🙂
My mother had a particular way of cooking this gravy, she would always make it with peanuts, sesame and would flavour it Kala Masala, a pungent spice blend from Maharashtra. What makes the kala masala so special and different from other spice blends is the roasted, blackened coconut and a spice called nagkesar, which gives this masala that pungent kick. You don’t have to use this masala, you can replace it with garam masala. This is my take on bhagare baingan and it’s quite a regular recipe in my kitchen.
So try this recipe, serve it with bhakri and you will understand what I am talking about!
- 6-7 small aubergines
- 2 tbsp roasted peanuts powder
- 2 tbsp fresh or desiccated coconut
- 1 tbsp sesame powder
- 2 tsp kala masala or garam masala
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp or to taste red chilli powder
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 1/2 inch ginger grated
- 3 cloves crushed
- Salt to taste
- Few curry leaves
- 1 tbsp or to taste tamarind extract.
- 1 tsp black mustard seeds
- 2 tsp mustard or vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup water
Mix peanuts, sesame powder, coconut with grated ginger, 1 crushed garlic clove and all the above mentioned spice powders with salt and few drops of oil. Wash the aubergines and give a slit at the bottom, fill this spice mixture in it. There will be some remaining mixture, keep that aside for the gravy.
In a heavy wok, heat oil, when it’s hot enough, add the mustard seeds and curry leaves. Let the mustard seeds splutter, then add in the onion and 2 crushed garlic cloves. Sauté the mixture for about 3-4 minutes or till the onion becomes golden in colour.
Now add the stuffed aubergines and the spice mixture to the onions. Fry them very lightly for about 5 minutes on a low heat.
Add in the water and cover the wok. Keep the flame on low and cook for about 10 minutes or till the aubergines are cooked. Now add in the tamarind extract (tamarind water), add little first, check the taste if it’s not tangy enough then add some more. Check the consistency before serving, if it’s too dry and thick then add some more water.