Bharli Vangi – Maharashtrian Stuffed Eggplants – InstantPot

Bharli Vangi or stuffed baby eggplant is very popular Indian regional dish from Maharashtra.  I love making this curry often when I have few guests over. This delectable recipe with robust flavors, is certainly a big crowd pleaser.

The flavor combination for this Masala Eggplant Curry is unique and very pleasing to the taste buds. The stuffing is earthy and robust. 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, the stuffing is easy and healthy. The stuffing itself is so yummy.. I often see my kids lingering around to get their hands on just the stuffing .

THE RECIPE CARD IS LOCATED TOWARDS THE END. Amazon affiliate link disclosure is below as well. Before scrolling to the recipe card, do check the HELPFUL RECIPE TIPS in the post.

This Maharastrian Bharli Vangi Recipe can be made on the stove top as well as in the oven. Lately, we have been using Instantpot , our electric pressure cooker to make Bharli Vangi. All three methods end up making delectable stuffed eggplants so you get to choose which one best suits your cooking style.



 

WHAT ARE THE INGREDIENTS OF BHARLI VANGI OR STUFFED MASALA EGGPLENATS

Baby Eggplants – For this recipe, choose small purple colored eggplants. In most Indian grocery stores you will find these Indian Eggplants . They are round ball shaped. Try to pick the eggplants with relatively same size so that they cook evenly. 

Stuffing – Traditional stuffing for Bharli Vangi includes grated coconut ( use fresh or frozen or dry), roasted peanuts , goda masala which is dark earthy spice powder, amchur powder, jaggery powder, Kolhapur style onion and garlic red chili masala and salt per taste. I am mentioning easily available substitutes for these spice powders below .

Oil Tampering  –  Tadka or Oil tampering is the base step that enhances the flavors. We use warm oil and let the funnel seeds, sesame seeds and mustard seeds sizzle for couple minutes. Turmeric Powder and red chili powder round up the oil tampering along with pinch of Hing (asafetida)

WHAT IS GODA MASALA ? 

Goda Masala ( Sweet Spice Mix ) is popular and very traditional spice mix from Maharashtra. It is made using dry coconut and various other spices including cumin, coriander, bay leaves, cinnamon and stone flower. Highly fragrant and not as spicy, this earthy mix is dark brown or back in color. People sometimes refer to it as Kala Masala ( sweet black masala) as well. 

Every Marathi family has their version of making this Goda Masala. I am adding my favorite brand of Goda Masala Amazon link here in case you want to try it.

You can use this Goda Masala to spice up things like Dal or Rice. Popular rice dish from Maharashtra called Masale Bhat uses this spice mix extensively.

Step by step directions to make Bharali Vangi 

Preparing the eggplants – 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. This prevents eggplants from browning.

Prepare the stuffing – Make tadka or oil 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 !!

Directions to make Bharli Vangi in the Oven – Preheat oven to roast setting 325F. Lightly spray cooking oil on baking dish.

Dry the eggplants and 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 or use an oil spray.  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 20 minutes. Check the tenderness of skin, flip them upside down , if needed, spray little more oil , cover with the foil again and roast for another 15 minutes checking occasionally. 

The eggplants should be tender and soft but not mushy. Sprinkle leftover stuffing over the eggplants and roast for another 5 more minutes without covering the foil. Stuffed Eggplants are ready to serve !! Garnish with coriander leaves and enjoy !!

 

 

I love to use a clay pot baking dish like Romertopf , for baking things. The clay pot dish helps the rustic flavors to kick up yet another notch. It gives the recipe a feel and taste of Tandoori Oven style cooking.

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 .

HOW TO MAKE STUFFED EGGPLANTS IN INSTANTPOT?

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. After it displays HOT, add oil and mustard seeds, funnel seeds and sesame seeds. Give it quick stir and let them sizzle. 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 on KEEP WARM timer and then release the leftover pressure by moving the knob to venting.  

If you notice the eggplants are too watery, turn the Instantpot back on SAUTE mode and let it cook for 3-5 more minutes. Remaining water will thus evaporate and get absorbed. 

Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve hot.

WHAT TO SERVE WITH BHARLI VANGI OR INDIAN STYLE STUFFED EGGPLANTS?

This curry pairs well with just plain Basmati rice, peas pulao or any other rice dish. It is also served as an accompaniment to roti, chapati, naan, fulka or bhakari.

Typical Indian dinner platter consists of 1 dry vegetable entrée like Potato Bhaji , 1 Gray like curry like these Stuffed Eggplants . There typically is a Dal or Lentil entrée like Dal Makhani or Spinach Dal. These entrées are served along with rice, roti , raita, chutney and pickle for a wholesome and square meal. This type of meal combines all essential vitamins and minerals including plant protein and dietary fiber.

If you are new to Indian food 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 some of our popular Curry and Rice recipes. You will love these delicious and heart warming recipes.

 

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Bharli Vangi - Maharashtrian Stuffed Eggplants - InstantPot

Bharli Vangi - Maharashtrian Stuffed Eggplants - InstantPot

Bharli Vangi or Maharashtrian stuffed eggplants is popular and delicious Indian curry recipe. Small eggplants are filled with delicious earthy stuffing. Vegan and Gluten free recipe.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 12 small eggplants ( baingans or brinjals)
  • 1/2 cup Chopped cilantro   
  • For Stuffing
  • 1 cup grated coconut
  • 1/2 cup crushed roasted peanuts
  • 2 tbsp Maharashtrian Goda Masala
  • 1 tbsp. amchur powder
  • 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  
  • For Tempering or Tadka :
  • 1 tsp each of funnel seeds, sesame seeds and mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp asafetida
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil

Instructions

    Preparing the eggplants – 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. This prevents eggplants from browning.

    Prepare the stuffing – Make tadka or oil 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.

    InstantPot Directions :

    Turn the Instant Pot to Sauté mode. After it displays HOT, add oil and mustard seeds, funnel seeds and sesame seeds. Give it quick stir and let them sizzle. 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 on KEEP WARM timer and then release the leftover pressure by moving the knob to venting.  

    If you notice the eggplants are too watery, turn the Instantpot back on SAUTE mode and let it cook for 3-5 more minutes. Remaining water will thus evaporate and get absorbed. 

    Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve hot.

    Oven or Air Fryer Directions :

    Preheat oven to roast setting 325F. Lightly spray cooking oil on baking dish.

    Lightly brush the stuffed eggplants with the oil or use an oil spray.  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 20 minutes. Check the tenderness of skin, flip them upside down , if needed, spray little more oil , cover with the foil again and roast for another 15 minutes checking occasionally. 

    The eggplants should be tender and soft but not mushy. Sprinkle leftover stuffing over the eggplants and roast for another 5 more minutes without covering the foil. Stuffed Eggplants are ready to serve !!

    For Air fryer select 350F setting. Arrange the eggplants in single layer and choose 15 minute timer. After 15 minutes, check the tenderness of the eggplants and add more time if needed.

Notes

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 .

If you don't have Kolhapuri Red Chili Masala easily available use red chili powder and ginger garlic paste.

If Maharashtrian Goda Masala isn't easily available, use 1 tbsp each cumin, coriander powder and garam masala.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1 eggplant

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 268Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 146mgCarbohydrates: 47gFiber: 13gSugar: 19gProtein: 6g

 

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