This is a very famous Andhra dish usually served on special occasions. Being an eggplant fan myself, this dish comes in the top of my all time favorite baingan dishes.
Small Eggplants – 12 (purple or green Indian variety)
Onion – 1 medium, roughly chopped
Tomato – 1 small
Green chilies - 3
Peanuts – ¼ cup
Sesame seeds – 1tbsp
Garlic – 2 cloves
Ginger – 1” piece
Turmeric – ¼ tsp
Red chili powder – 1tsp
Garam masala – 1tsp
Tamarind pulp – 1tbsp
Grated coconut – 2tbsp (fresh or dry)
Salt – to taste
Making the masala takes the longest for this dish. You can make the masala paste and keep it refrigerated upto one day in advance.
- Dry roast peanuts in a pan and during the last 5-6 minutes, add sesame seeds and continue roasting. Remove from pan and let cool.
- Fry the onions in the same pan (without oil) till lightly browned.
- Grind into a smooth paste; peanuts, sesame seeds, onions, tomatoes, green chilies, tamarind pulp, red chili powder, garam masala, grated coconut, ginger, garlic, turmeric, salt with ½ cup of water.
- Make a deep cross (x) shaped cut on the eggplants.
- Heat 2tbsp of oil on medium flame, add the eggplants, cover and cook till they are tender. Stir occasionally to make sure all the sides are evenly cooked.
- After the eggplants are tender enough, add the ground masala and simmer the eggplants in the gravy on low flame for about 15 minutes. Add water if you think the gravy is getting too thick.