Bharali vangi or stuffed eggplant is very popular regional dish. I love making this often when I have few guests over. Typical Maharashtrian recipe with robust flavors, this certainly is a crowd pleaser.
The flavor combination is unique and very pleasing to the tastebuds. In every bite, you will feel spicy, tangy, bit of sweet not to mention nutty. There are couple ways stuffing can be made authentically. Some stuff it with chickpeas flour and spices. In this recipe, it’s easy and healthy stuffing. The stuffing itself is so yummy.. I often see my kids lingering around to get their hands on just the stuffing .
**** I am including Instant Pot version below . I used to make it oven roasted for the longest. However, after InstantPot came into picture, it became easier to make it in it. Same best taste but less cooking time .. so check it out at the bottom page for how to do it and InstantPot settings.
12 small eggplants ( baingans or brinjals)
For Stuffing :
1 cup grated coconut,
1/2 cup crushed roasted peanuts
2 tbsp Maharashtrian Goda Masala . Check out my post about how to make it. Alternatively use 1 tbsp each cumin, coriander powder and garam masala
1 tbsp. amchur powder (powder made from dried unripe green mangoes)
2 tbsp. jaggery powder
2 tsp Kolhapuri Masala ( it gives typical rustic spicy taste ) alternatively use red chili powder and ginger garlic paste
Salt per taste
1 tsp each of funnel seeds, sesame seeds and mustard seeds
1/2 tsp asafetida
1 tsp turmeric powder.
2 tbsp cooking oil.
Remove stems and give four vertical slits little over half way through from the top to each eggplant to make room for stuffing. Keep them in salt water till ready to stuff.
Make tadka or tempering. Heat oil, add mustard seeds, once the seeds start to splatter, add funnel seeds and sesame seeds and asafetida. Add shredded coconut and sauté for few minutes. Add amchur powder, and both masala. Once you smell nice aroma, add crushed peanuts, jaggery powder and salt. Sauté for few more minutes. To retain its health benefits , add turmeric last before removing the pan from the gas. The stuffing is ready !!
Preheat oven to roast setting 325F. Dry the eggplants and lightly brush it with oil. Stuff the eggplants with the masala stuffing . ( do not add leftover stuffing on top of the eggplants yet) Lightly brush the eggplants with the oil. Arrange them single layer on a lightly oil greased baking dish. Cover the dish with aluminum foil. On the top rack of the oven , keep them roasting for about and hour. Check the tenderness of skin, flip them upside down , if needed, spray little more oil , cover with the foil again and roast for another hour checking occasionally. In about two hours , the eggplants should be tender and soft but not mushy. Sprinkle leftover stuffing over the eggplants and roast for another 15 more mins or so without covering the foil. Stuffed Eggplants are ready to serve !!
Garnish with coriander leaves and enjoy !!
PS. If you use clay pot baking dish like Romertopf , the rustic flavors kick up yet another notch. It gives a tandoori taste !! To roast the eggplants using clay pot, arrange them in single layer in both pots and roast by covering it with foil. A little extra cooking time and couple more tsp oil maybe required .
Directions to make Stuffed Eggplant Recipe in Instant Pot
Grind and mix all the stuffing ingredients well. Stuff them in the eggplants. Coat the eggplants with little oil . Let the instant pot work it’s magic in cooking it.
Turn the Instant Pot to Sauté mode. Once it feels hot, add oil and mustard seeds, funnel seeds and sesame seeds. Give it quick stir. Add turmeric powder. Mix well. Carefully add all the stuffed eggplants to the instant pot. Add a cup of water. Add all the remaining stuffing on the top . Water will help build the pressure in IP. Close the lid with the pressure value set to sealing. Cancel sauté.
Press Manual for 3 mins on Medium pressure vent sealed. After its done , wait for 5 mins and then QPR quick release of pressure. The dish will have gravy like consistency and it will thicken up some when it cools down.
Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve hot.
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If you are new to Indian food taste and want to explore more dinner ideas or if you like Indian food and want to try some more dinner /dessert ideas , do check out the Indian Food tag on the website. For a complete Indian feast check some of these easy to make yet simply delicious recipes:
Simple and easy Spinach Dal -simple yet delicious spinach lentil curry that is healthy, wholesome and packed with protein and fiber.
Gajar Halwa : Traditional Indian dessert made with carrots, milk ( substitute Almond milk if you want to make it vegan) and crushed cardamom
Indian Green Chili Pickle: A staple in Indian cuisine, pickles are spicy and tangy condiment.