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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Ennai Kathrikkai (stuffed eggplant)

We had four varieties of eggplants in our garden this year: Ichiban, Neon, Cloud Nine and "Red Ruffled" eggplant (it bore orange-colored fruits)... We had a good yield of Ichiban and Neon, moderate yield of red ruffled, but only a few Cloud Nine. The plants are preparing to give up as the weather is getting quite chilly already.

Over the summer, with the Ichibans and Neons, I had made several delicious meals of my favorite eggplant dishes:
Eggplant in Miso Sauce
Eggplant Rasavangi
Sautéed garden eggplant
Eggplant and Summer Squash
Eggplant Parmesan
Eggplant and Tofu
Thai Red Curry
Eggplant in Garlic Sauce
Eggplant Rice
Sambal Terong
Chutta Kathrikkai Pachadi
Baba Ghanouj and Baingan Bhartha (recipes to come).

I was trying to think of something different to do with the last few Ichibans from the garden as I lazily skimmed through my treasured copy of Dakshin by Chandra Padmanabhan searching for something that we have not had lately when happened upon the Ennai Kathrikkai recipe therein.

Now, this is a dish my mom used to make a lot when we were little. In fact, eggplant and okra were featured liberally in our meals in those days. But, while I love Stuffed Baby Eggplant in curry and have made it often, I feel like I have not made this South Indian style stuffed eggplant often enough.

Ennai=Oil, in Tamil, and the name suggested that this is an oily eggplant dish, but it is not really - just a few tablespoons of oil and pan sautéing gives it a great taste and texture.

4-5 medium (5" long) Ichiban eggplants
2-3 Tbsp canola oil
cilantro and fresh grated coconut for garnish

masala stuffing:
2 Tbsp chana dal
1 Tbsp urad dal
3 Tbsp coriander seeds
¼ cup dry grated coconut
3-5 dry red chilies
1 tsp tamarind concentrate
1 Tbsp brown sugar
salt to taste

tempering: 1 Tbsp canola oil, 1 tsp mustard seeds, 1 tsp chana dal, 1 tsp urad dal

  1. masala stuffing: dry roast all the ingredients except tamarind, brown sugar and salt; then combine all the ingredients including the tamarind and brown sugar and grind to a coarse powdery paste; keep handy for stuffing
  2. assembling the eggplant: slit the eggplant lengthwise, keeping the stem end intact; stuff with the masala stuffing made above
  3. tempering: heat oil in a pan, add the chana dal, when it turns golden brown add the urad dal and when it turns golden brown add the mustard seeds and lower heat when mustard seed pop
  4. cook the eggplant: Add a few Tbsp oil to the same pan, gently place the stuffed eggplants in the pan, add a few Tbsp water, some salt, any remaining masala stuffing, cover and cook over medium low till eggplant is cooked through but not mushy; turn them around once or twice carefully; remove cover and allow to cook till all the water is gone and eggplant looks "perfect" ;)
  5. Garnish with grated coconut and cilantro

Serve warm or at room temperature with rice or roti.

p.s: need to add this to the Green Blog Project GBP:Summer 2007 event.

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  • At 12:45 PM, Anonymous Madhu said…

    Hi Sheela,
    Frist time at your blog, you have very nice recipes. Love eggplant and your recipes is delicious, making dish from home grown eggplant makes it even more tastier and flavourful. Thanks.

  • At 12:58 PM, Blogger Asha said…

    I grew Purple, White and green this year. Love how firm they are.Never seen Orange ones here.
    I bought some Indian veg seeds from "Exotic seeds of India", didn't plant the snake and ridge gourds properly,will do next year.
    Ennegai looks delicious, I will be back for the recipes. Our "Fall" is so hot,I am still getting Eggplants,Okras and Tomatoes!:D

  • At 1:34 PM, Blogger Nupur said…

    Your home-grown eggplants look adorable. Thanks for compiling these delicious recipes, I shall have to try them out one by them (alas, with market-bought eggplant). All the dishes sound fantastic.

  • At 3:18 PM, Blogger Dee said…

    First time on ur blog sheela, eggplants are my favourite too !

  • At 5:09 PM, Blogger Suganya said…

    Hey eggplant lover, you have a friend here :). You have an array of brinjal recipes and its bookmarked :)

  • At 8:30 PM, Blogger Jyothi said…

    Wow! here I am one more. I am very big fan of brinjals. Just love the recipe. Looks great. Very soon I will try this. Thanks for sharing.

  • At 8:53 PM, Blogger Siri said…

    First time here and I have to say the Eggplants look so cute and fresh..:D and the picture of stuffed eggplant is fab..

    - Siri

  • At 9:06 PM, Blogger Sheela said…

    Ashaji: Wow, if you succeed in growing snake gourd and ridgegourd please post your tips for me :) I loved drooling over your garden gourds!

    Nupur: Please let me know if you liked any of the eggplant recipes - and any variations you made of them...

    Madhu, Dee, Suganya, Jyothi, Siri: Welcome, fellow eggplant lovers! Thanks for your encouraging comments... looking forward to hearing more from you!

    I am probably not being objective, but, Ichiban variety is my favorite: really delicious, cooks up fast and has a wonderful texture.

  • At 9:22 PM, Blogger Timepass said…

    Ennai Kathrikkai looks very delicious..

  • At 10:50 PM, Blogger Nags said…

    the masala looks great!

  • At 5:05 PM, Blogger Well I'm Here!!!! said…

    OMG - Recipe looks awesome.
    I would love to try this!!
    Thanks for posting such a good recipe & thanks again for such an alluring & mouth watering picture of it :-)


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