This is an adopted recipe that I haven't yet tried. The original chef comments: "My good friend’s Indian mother-in-law taught me how to cook this. Auntie (I call her Auntie) is from Hyderabad, is one of the best cooks I know and is very patient! There are a few steps to this recipe and you need some special ingredients, but it is really good, authentic South Indian cuisine. I’m posting some photographs with this recipe so you can see what these ingredients look like. They can all be found at an Indian grocery. Everything is listed in the order in which you will use it. Be brave; if you are patient, willing to take your time and have everything ready before hand, you will be rewarded with a delicious result. (Prep time is approximate and could be a little longer)."
- 1⁄2 cup dry coconut powder
- 3 tablespoons white poppy seeds
- 3 tablespoons sesame seeds
- 2 tablespoons cumin seeds
- 4 tablespoons channa dal, roasted
- 1⁄2 cup roasted peanuts
- 12 small eggplants, about the size of an egg
- 1⁄4 cup oil, plus
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin seed
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 cup onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons ginger-garlic paste
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon chili powder, to taste
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 cups fresh tomatoes, peeled seeded and chopped
- 1 1⁄2 cups water
- 2 teaspoons garam masala
- 3 tablespoons fresh coriander, chopped
- In a cast iron or other heavy skillet, roast coconut powder, poppy seeds, sesame seeds and cumin seeds over low heat until light brown.
- Remove from pan to stop the cooking and cool.
- Put this coconut mixture in a food processor and process until it’s grainy, reserve in a dish.
- Grind the roasted channa dal in a spice grinder until it is a fine powder and add to the coconut mixture.
- In a food processor, process the peanuts until they are coarsely ground.
- Wash and stem the eggplants.
- Cut each eggplant 2/3 into the wide end up to the stem – making an “X” – leave the stem end intact.
- Heat 1/4 cup oil in a skillet and cook the eggplants on low until soft.
- In a separate pan, heat the 2 tablespoons of oil to medium hot.
- Add the 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds and 1 teaspoon of mustard seeds to the hot oil.
- In a matter of seconds they will begin to pop – add the onions and stir.
- When the onions are beginning to brown, add the ginger garlic paste and the turmeric, cumin, coriander powder, chili powder and salt.
- Stir the spices into the onion then add the tomatoes.
- Stir in the tomatoes then add the coconut mixture along with the peanuts.
- Add the eggplants and 1 cup of the water.
- Stir and cook over low heat, covered for about 20 minutes.
- Add water a little at a time to maintain a nice smooth consistency.
- Add garam masala and 2 1/2 tablespoons of the chopped fresh coriander – stir.
- Check to see that it is salted to your taste.
- Put in a serving dish and garnish with the remaining chopped coriander.