Hello Dearies!!!! Who taught you to cook? Did you start early and were cooking under the guidance of your mom/aunt/granny. I was like many young girls who spent carefree days doing nothing, never dared enter the kitchen unless the cook took off and we had people over+ mom working late or hunger striked when no one was at home. Such days were pressure free as I did not have to please any culinary standards, just satisfy my hungry tummy. Besides we never dislike our own cooking, that is reserved for moms cooking at that age. TO sum up, I started early in the kitchen just unsupervised. I did what I liked, mixed with flavors that fancied me that moment. Many experiments and many accidents later I realized that flavors are important to any dish, not in just enhancing the tastes but also they all have a job to do in our system. I matured in understanding the spices and using them wisely. I must credit my mom to never complain the mess I left her with after I was done with my cooking experiments. Not only the mess, at times the inedible waste of food, that resulted from use of wrong ingredients and overuse of salt. I am what I am all coz of my Aai. Her silence was more encouraging than any of her praise.
After marriage I moved to US, where I had to cook 2 meals a day at least and it needed to be edible not just for me, but for Mr. Ash and occasional out pour of our friends here. IT was no age of blogging or google friendliness; the time belonged to reading cookbooks, following your moms tips and cooking with elders to learn. I was lost as no elders at home, no cookbooks with me, as NO one thought I would be needing them to pack me with some. I was left to my own aid. Then I met a wonderful girl "K" who has been with me in good and bad. She automatically became my teacher in a foreign land teaching me the traditional recipes that ideally I should have watched my mom make. So there you have the secret out. My moms cooking and my cooking are poles apart. I have no clue of my moms recipes. Most of my cooking is in signature K's style and K's family recipes, which she willingly shared with me. She taught me the nuances of fine chopping and why some spices are used more than others in everyday cooking. This is her recipe, off course changed to my tweaks, but you will like it if you make it any which way you like.
You will need;
6-7 small Eggplant-- washed and slit at the bottom with a plus. Keep this soaked in salt water.
** see pictures to get an idea of how to slit an eggplant for stuffing.
2 Tbspn oil
1 tspn Mustard seeds
1 tspn jeera
You will need;
1 medium onion, caramelized in oil.
**In a hot pan, take 1 tspn oil, add in finely chopped onion. Let it caramelized without getting burnt. Once the onion has caramelized enough, remove from heat and cool.
1/2 cup roasted peanuts powder
1 tbspn Jaggery or Gul
Juice of Tamarind about 1 tbspn
Fresh chopped Cilantro- 2 tbsns
salt to taste
Red Chili powder-1 Tspn
Goda Masala- 1 tspn-- This is a typical Brahman masala...also called as Black Masala
Cumin Powder-1 tspn
Coriander Powder- 1tspn
Mix all of the above, if the tamarind juice is not enough, use very little water. The mixture should be sticky, not wet and easy to hold itself inside the veggie. Now take the eggplants out of the salt water and stuff each one with the above mixture.
Now in a pan over medium heat, take the remaining oil, make the tempering and add the veggies... Note that the lid should not be removed, if needed slightly shake the pan, so as to ensure nothing sticks to the pan. On a low flame, cook the veggies. If you want a little gravy add little water, and cook for 10 mins.
Enjoy with Steamed rice or fresh hot phulka's....Mr. Ash would eat it as is....it is that good!!!!!!!!! Munchkin and Donut run away from eggplant in general. Reminds of me a sweet friend who does the same.