I have noticed that recently i have been cooking and experimenting with cuisines from various cultures. It is fascinating to see how a certain ingredient or spice is perceived in different cultures which clearly reflects in its usage. Aubergines for instance, known as brinjals or eggplants in India have in numerous cooking interpretations and have been used to create chutneys, dips, dry sabzis, curries and what not. In India, this vegetable is known as “king of vegetables” (maybe because of the prominent crown like stem)
I am very fond of aubergines and i like to use it in many dishes. One unusual dish at my place is protein patty burgers which i like to serve with pan grilled aubergine and tofu slices – when it comes to creating healthy recipes, i like to go all the way !
One of those days when i had aubergines in my hand and 40 minutes for lunch time, i thought of brinjal rice. I had never tried it before so i thought of doing a quick internet search. Found out that this combination was infact used in many ways – from spiced rice stuffed in big aubergines to rice cooked with aubergines.
I was not entirely sure if this dish will work out with me and my husband, so i thought of making it a 2 step procedure- cooking plain rice and making a spicy aubergine sabzi (read aubergine masala), both separately and trying them together.
You can most definitely savour the dish with parathas, chapatis or pooris 🙂
Preparation time : 10 minutes
Cooking time : 20 – 30 minutes
Makes : 2 servings
- 4 small or 2 medium aubergines
- 1 large onion – thick slices, cut lengthwise
- 2 tsp vegetable oil (mustard oil works well too)
- Pinch of asafoetida
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 medium green chilli – finely chopped
For the stuffing
- 1 tablespoon chickpea flour
- 2 tsp shredded coconut
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- 2 tsp coriander powder
- 2 tsp groundnut – powdered
- 1 tsp salt (or to taste)
- 1/2 tsp chilli powder (or to taste)
- 1 tsp dry mango powder
- Pinch of Asafoetida
- 1/2 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp chopped peanuts
- 1/2 tsp toasted sesame seeds
- Take the aubergines and wash thoroughly.
- Make 2 way slit in the aubergines (2 vertical slit perpendicular to each other. Do not make the slit through till the end)
- Now in a separate bowl, take all the ingredients for stuffing and mix well.
- With the help of a knife or spoon, fill 1 tsp of stuffing (or more) per aubergine. Some stuffing might remain, that’s fine as it will be used later while cooking aubergines.
- Take a kadai/ saucepan and dry roast peanuts and sesame separately. Remove and keep aside for garnishing. The sesame seeds will take less time so make sure you roast them separately.
- Now in the same kadai/saucepan, pour oil. Bring to heat.
- Add in asafoetida and cumin seeds and let the cumin seeds splutter.
- To this, add in the stuffed aubergines and saute for a minute on medium high flame. Add a dash of salt (not much as you already have included salt in the stuffing)
- Simmer and cover the saucepan with a lid. Cook for 5 minutes.The aubergines will release some juices so you will have to switch to high flame in between to evaporate or the aubergines will not be crispy.
- Once the aubergines are semi cooked, add in the chopped green chillies and the onion chunks. We want to semi cook the onion so that they turn transparent but still retain a little crunch. Cook for another 5 minutes or till the aubergines are completely cooked.
- Remove from flame and add in the garnishing (dry roasted sesame + peanuts). Serve warm
The dish worked like a charm !!
I had never tried aubergine rice before and this was truly a pleasant surprise. Both me and my husband were very delighted with this combination and even though we were trying a dry sabzi with rice (the usual combination meal is rice served with cooked dahl and dry sabzi), the combination did not feel dry as the aubergines being tender and juicy released beautiful juices and aromas when mixed with rice making it very palatable. I also served some mint-coriander chutney along with it and it was irresistible.
Try this amazingly tasty dish and if you like aubergines, you would most likely love the combination ! 🙂