Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Bharela Ringan/Bharva Ringan

This recipe comes from my M-I-L, she prepares this amazing dish during the time of year when they get green baby eggplants in India. According to her those green eggplants have a specific sweetness in them which makes the dish more likable.
Myself I'm not a huge fan of eggplants green or purple, actually I avoid putting eggplant into my mouth altogether(ask P about it as he is the one who has to eat all bits of eggplant that are on my serving dish :)) but the day she prepared it and asked me to tasted the bharva ringan dish without telling me the name of the dish, I just fell in love with it. It was awesome, simply amazing and out of this world, I could really taste the sweetness of those green luxurious eggplant. I couldn't believe I was eating eggplant dish!!!
There are many versions of this dish starting from kutchhi style to surti style and even hyderabadi style of baghare baingan, which has coastal aroma and taste to it as it is prepared using totally different ingredients like dessicated fresh coconut, onions etc. The version that I'm preparing today is authentic Gujju recipe, it has sweetness and nice aroma of besan to it.

So here goes the recipe:

Take 1 cup besan in a big bowl and add 1 tbs chilli powder, 1 tbs turmeric powder, 2 tbsp sesame seeds/til, 2 tsp aamchur powder or 1 tbs lime juice, 1 1/2 tbs sugar, 1 tbs dhania jeera powder, 2 tsp garam masala, 1 to 1/2 tbs chilli ginger garlic paste, 2 tbs oil, salt to taste and mix well.

Take 5-6 medium to small size eggplants/baingan/ringan and 1 medium sized potato.
Peel dice and wash potato thoroughly.
Wash eggplants and dry them. Slit eggplants length wise and take care not to cut them all through as we intend on filling them with besan mixture.
Fill eggplants with the besan mix. At this stage almost half besan mix should have been used for filling, leaving you with some besan mix still remaining, we shall use that while cooking.
In a Heavy bottom Kadhai/pan add 4 tbs oil, once it starts to smoke add 1 tsp cumin seeds/jeera and let it sputter. Add a pinch of asafoetida and add diced potatoes.
Now arrange the eggplants delicately in such a way that each one touch hot oil in the pan.
Sprinkle the remaining besan mix on top of eggplants and potatoes.
Now add 1 cup water slowly frm the sides of the pan. Cover the pan and cook for 20-25 mins on medium heat, stirring once or twice in between.
If the water evaporates without cooking all masala, add a little more water.

Remember at the end of cooking, this dish should not be soggy at all, besan should have lovely dark yellow colour and should taste well cooked. Adding right quantity of water, enough to cook this dish but not to make it soggy is the key.

Turn off the heat and garnish it with freshly chopped coriander leaves/cilantro. Serve it with hot roti or thepla or bajra roti.

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