Tuesday, 8 May 2012

The Colour Purple

I remember a song we sang as kids “God Painted a picture and called it the World...” And truly amazing colours have been used by this divine artist.  It is hard to believe your eyes when you look at a beautiful flower or a colourful bird or that tiny little butterfly, that this is all natural, this is the way they were created.   I enjoy visiting the local vegetable and fruit markets rather than the supermarkets as the produce there always looks fresh and the vendors display them beautifully.  Square patches filled with varieties of vegetables, fruits stacked in a pyramid, the entire stall looks colourful.   Today I spotted these purple wonders, the baby brinjals which I love as a stuffed preparation.  So I carefully select the ones that are beautifully rounded and the size of lemons.   So here is how I finally prepared them ....

Stuffed Eggplants

8 – 10 tiny baby brinjals  (slit lengthwise in a cross, leaving the stems on)
3 tbsp oil
2 tsp mustard seeds
5-6 curry leaves
For the stuffing
7-8 red chillies
2 flakes garlic
¾” piece of ginger
1 shallot
½ tsp cumin seeds
½” piece of cinnamon
2 cloves
5-6  black peppercorns
1 tbsp of roasted peanuts
1 tbsp vinegar
Salt to taste

Dry roast all the ingredients, except the peanuts and vinegar for a minute.  Then grind them to a fine paste with the vinegar.  Stuff the brinjals with this paste and keep aside.

Heat oil in a non-stick pan.  When the oil is hot drop in the mustard seeds and curry leaves.  When the seeds stop spluttering lay the brinjals gently one at a time in the pan.  Sprinkle a little salt on the brinjals.  Cover and let them cook for 10 minutes on slow flame.  Uncover and turn the brinjals so they cook the all around.  Cover and cook till they are soft  and the outer skin looks slightly wrinkled.  Serve hot with chappatis or steamed rice.

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