Shenga/Peanuts are commonly used in Maharashtrian cuisine. You might have read my previous post, Gavarchi Bhaji - Cluster Beans with a peanut flavor. Today, we are cooking stuffed baby eggplants with peanuts and sesame seeds. This stuffed eggplants curry, called as Bharleli Vaangi in Marathi is one of our favorites with both chapatis and rice. In North Indian cuisine, this curry is popularly known as Bharwa Baingan or Baghare Baingan.
Baby Eggplants/Brinjals/Baingan/Vaangi - 10
Onion - 1 big
Raw Peanuts/Groundnuts/Kache Shenga - 1 cup
White Sesame Seeds/Til - 1 tbsp
Cumin Seeds/Jeera - 1/2 tsp
Cilantro/Coriander Leaves - few sprigs
Ginger Garlic Paste - 1 tbsp
Dry Red Chillies - 4
Turmeric/Haldi - 1/4 tsp
Garam Masala - 1/4 tsp
Tamarind Paste - 1 tsp
Grated Jaggery or Brown Sugar - 1/2 tsp
How to cook Bharleli Vangi:
- Finely chop onions and cilantro.
- Roast the peanuts till they slightly darken in colour. Let them cool. Grind roasted peanuts, sesame seeds, tamarind, red chillies, turmeric, little salt, jaggery, garam masala to a slightly coarse powder. I added the peanut skin too, you can discard them. Use red chilli powder/cayenne pepper if dry red chillies are not available.
- Stuffing for Eggplants: In a mixing bowl, add the ground coarse powder. Add ginger garlic paste and few tbsp water. Stuffing must be thick and not runny. Slit the eggplants in a crisscross pattern and fill them with the stuffing. Save the leftover stuffing.
- Heat about 1 tbsp oil in a pan and add cumin seeds. After few seconds, add onions and little salt. Saute until onions turn soft. Now add stuffed eggplants and the leftover stuffing. Saute gently for a minute or two. Add about 1 cup water, stir and cook it covered until eggplants turn soft. Keep checking after every 2 - 3 minutes to avoid burning. Flip/Turn the eggplants so that they are evenly cooked.
Garnish with cilantro and serve Bhagare Baingan with chapati and/or rice.