I love eggplants in any form and cuisine. Thai eggplants are a particular favorite of mine. Which is why this gravy based vegetable dish makes a frequent appearance on our dinner table. This recipe which has been handed down to me by my mom is probably a cross between the marathi and gujarati version of the dish. Served with some hot, ghee-smeared rotis, these eggplants are pure bliss.
What you need for the dish:
12-14 thai eggplants
2-3 tbsp dry coconut flakes/finely shredded powder
1 big clove garlic
2-3 green chilies (or as per your spice level)
1/2 tsp garam masala
salt to taste
1-2 tsp jaggery
1/3 tsp chili powder
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/3 tsp turmeric
1/4th tsp asafoetida/hing
1. Dice the eggplants into quarter pieces. Keep them soaked in water till you temper.
2. Grind the garlic, green chilies and coconut together in a mortar-pestle or make a paste using a blender. Alternately you can make a paste of just the green chilies and garlic and add that to the tempering and add the coconut at a later stage (step 8) if its in a finely shredded or powdered form.
3. Heat oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds.
4. When they pop, add the turmeric, asafoetida and half of the garlic, green chili coconut paste.
5. Saute for 2 minutes and add the eggplants.
6. Add salt, mix well and let cook for 5 minutes.
7. Add 1 cup water and the remaining chili-garlic paste and cover and let cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring every 5-7 minutes and add water as necessary. The dish has to have some water for it to be a gravy based dish.
8. When the eggplants appear tender and cooked, add the chili powder, garam masala, jaggery and the coconut.
9. Cook for 5 minutes, and serve garnished with coriander.
Here's a step-wise pictorial