Badanekayi Ennegayi (Stuffed Eggplant)


Ennegayi and jolada rotti (stuffed eggplant curry and sorghum flatbread) – signature dish of the northern region of Karnataka. Round purple beauties stuffed with aromatic spices and shallow fried until tender. This dish takes me back to my childhood – the only eggplant dish I loved as a child. Round purple eggplant is the hero of this dish. The spice mix varies slightly in every household. Here is my version of badanekayi ennegayi. For me, this dish is delicious is an understatement. Make it to believe it!

 

stuffed eggplant curry

 

Ingredients:

Small purple round eggplant – 7-8 (these are also called thai eggplant)
Onion – 1 medium, finely chopped
Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
Tamarind – 1 small ball
Curry leaves – 7-8
Jaggery – ½ tbsp
Oil – 4-5 tbsp
Salt to taste
Asafotida – a generous pinch
Coriander leaves for garnish

For the spice stuffing:

Coconut – ¼ cup, grated
Peanut – ¼ cup, roasted
Sesame seeds – 2 tbsp
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Split Bengal gram (chana dal) – 2 tbsp
Split black gram (urad dal) – 1 tbsp
Coriander seeds – 1 tsp
Fenugreek seeds – a few
Cinnamon – 1 inch piece
Cardamom – 2-3
Cloves – 2-3
Curry leaves – 7-8
Dry red chill – 6-7 or as per taste
Oil – 1 tsp

Method:

  1. Make two slits on the eggplant taking care not to cut them apart (the slits should form a ‘+’ sign). Keep the stem intact
  2. Soak the eggplants in salted water for 20 minutes
  3. Soak the tamarind in ½ cup water for 15-20 minutes. Extract the water and discard any remaining pulp. Set aside
  4. In a fry pan, heat 1 tsp oil. Fry the stuffing ingredients except coconut and peanuts until aromatic
  5. Cool completely and mix coconut and peanuts. Grind it into a smooth paste using some water
  6. Remove the eggplant from water and pat dry using a kitchen towel. Stuff the spice mix into the slits
  7. Heat a heavy bottom pan and add oil. Add mustard seeds and let it splutter
  8. Add curry leaves, asafoetida and fry for a few seconds
  9. Add the onion and fry until golden
  10. Place the eggplant carefully in the fry pan. Add any remaining stuffing, tamarind water, salt and jaggery
  11. Bring to boil. Cover and simmer until the eggplant are completely done
  12. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve

Notes:

  • You may replace tamarind with 2 tsp tamarind paste
  • You may use desiccated coconut instead of fresh coconut. In this case, roast the coconut as well along with other spices

 

Fry spices in oil until aromatic

Fry spices in oil until aromatic

 

Stuff the spice mix into the eggplant

Stuff the spice mix into the eggplant

 

Fry onion until golden

Fry onion until golden

 

Add stuffed eggplant into it

Add stuffed eggplant into it

 

Add remaining stuffing, water and cook

Add remaining stuffing, water and cook

 

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