Broiled Vegetables In A Nutty Gravy

This is a flavorful, aromatic and exotic eggplant potato curry and pairs well with sorghum (Jowar) roti or steamed fragrant white rice. I learned how to make this recipe many years ago from my mom while I was in school. My twist from the original method is to broil the (semi-boiled) potatoes and cut eggplants before cooking them in the curry. It prevents the vegetables from getting mushy. Grilling (broiling mode in the oven) not only make eggplants and potatoes tender but also enhance their flavor.

INGREDIENTS

Masala Base Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup raw peanuts.
  • 1/4 dried coconut powder.
  • 1/4 cup deep-fried red onion.
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds.
  • 1 tbsp Kashmiri red chili powder.
  • 1 tbsp Goda masala.
    (Goda masala is a popular masala used in Maharashtrian cooking. I used one that my mom makes at home, but you can find one in most of the Indian grocery stores. I am going to share the recipe on my blog shortlyIf you don’t have Goda masala, substitute it with garam masala.)
  • 2 tsp cilantro (it is also known as coriander) seeds.
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds.
  • 1/2 tsp baby chickpeas (chana dal)
  • 1/2 tsp poppy seeds.
  • 3 cloves of garlic.
  • 1/4th inch ginger.
  • 1 tsp oil.
  • 1/2 tsp salt.

Curry Ingredients:

  • 4 baby eggplants.
  • 3 to 4 baby potatoes.
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri red chili powder.
  • 1 tsp Goda masala.
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder.
  • 1/4 tsp mustard seeds.
  • Masala base prepared from the ingredients mentioned above.
  • Salt as per your taste.
  • 2 tbsp oil.

RECIPE

Masala/Sauce Base:

  • Dry roast dried coconut powder, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, cilantro seeds, and cumin seeds separately. (Do not roast them together as the heat and time required for roasting differs across ingredients.)
  • Heat oil in the pan. Deep fry chana dal in the oil and keep it aside.
  • Next, pan-fry raw peanuts in the same oil.
  • Remove the peanuts from the pan and saute ginger, garlic, and cilantro in the remaining oil for a couple of minutes.
  • Consolidate all ingredients in a plate, as shown in picture #4, and let the mixture cool down.
  • Next, add fried onions, peanuts, and other masala base ingredients in a blender. Blend it to a fine paste.
  • Refer to the picture #5 for the blended masala base and broiled vegetables.

Curry Recipe:

  • Peel potatoes, poke them with a fork and boil for 2-3 minutes in a microwave. Discard the water after the potatoes are boiled.
  • Marinate eggplants and potatoes with turmeric, Kashmiri red chili powder, and salt. Keep them aside for 15 mins.
  • Next, Broil/Grill eggplant and potatoes. I used zero-calorie olive oil spray to grease the vegetables.
  • I started broil mode of the oven and broiled the vegetables for 10 minutes, flipped them, and then grilled for another 8 minutes.
  • Now heat oil in a wok (karahi).
  • Add mustard seeds once the oil is hot.
  • Next, add turmeric, Kashmiri red chili powder, and Goda masala after mustard seeds start spluttering.
  • Pour the masala paste in the wok and sauté it, as shown in picture #6. Then add water in it, sprinkle some salt, and let the sauce come to a boil.
  • Next, add grilled eggplants and potatoes in the wok, cover the wok with a lid, and let everything cook together for 6 to 8 minutes on a low to medium heat.
  • Refer to picture #7, since vegetables are broiled, they will not get mushy or break during cooking.
  • I prefer gravy/sauce with a thicker consistency. You can adjust the consistency with water as per your preference.
    Don’t forget to change the spices and salt accordingly.
  • Transfer the curry in a serving pot, garnish it with cilantro, and serve piping hot aromatic curry with a sorghum (Jowar) roti or steamed white rice.

It’s a common practice to cook raw eggplants and potatoes in the gravy directly; as a result, the veggies get mushy and soggy. I believe that it disturbs the texture of the vegetables and taste of the curry. An important tip here is to grill/broil or deep-fry (if you prefer) before cooking them in the gravy. I strongly recommend trying this curry with aromatic white steamed (sticky, non-basmati) rice. I prefer ‘Ambe Mohar’ variety for cooking sticky rice.

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