June 27, 2022
Baby eggplant is amazing. The flavor is intense, the skin is a bit more tender than larger varieties, and it looks beautiful plated. They are easy to find in any ethnic grocery store and even many mainstream grocers these days. In Indian cooking, we typically make 2 cuts in each eggplant, but make sure not to cut through the green, woody stem and then stuff it with a thick, spicy paste. You want to keep that stem intact to hold the eggplant together and provide a pretty aesthetic. As my grandfather told me when I was little and he was teaching me how to cook (and eat) - the succulent meat inside the woody stem is the sweetest. This way, you can be sure to get every last bit. While you can stuff the eggplant with many different combinations of ground spices and ingredients, in this recipe I simplify it by using my pre-made jar of sauce, Punjabi Masala. All the work has essentially been done - just add in some spices and let the magic happen.
Stovetop Stuffed Baby Eggplant with Punjabi Masala
1 cup Indian As Apple Pie Punjabi Masala
2 teaspoons garam masala
2 teaspoons coriander powder
2 teaspoons red chile powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
12 baby eggplant
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (grapeseed, coconut, canola, avocado)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup heavy cream (dairy or alternative)
1. In a bowl, add the punjabi masala, garam masala, coriander, red chile, and salt. Stir until combined.
2. Slice each eggplant with two perpendicular cuts from the non-woody, rounded bottom towards the stem. Be careful not to cut through the stem. You want to keep the stem intact for cooking. This creates an opening for your stuffing from step 1.
3. With a small spoon, stuff each eggplant with 1-2 teaspoons of the mixture from step 1.
4. Add the oil to a large, wide pan and heat over medium-high. Once warm, carefully add each eggplant into the pan in a single layer. If there is extra stuffing on your plate, just scrape it off and add it to the pan over the eggplant.
5. Cook for 5 minutes. Turn each eggplant and cook for another 5 minutes.
6. Add the water, turn the heat low, place the lid on the pan and cook for 30 minutes until the eggplant softens and cooks through.
7. Remove the lid, add the cream, and cook until heated through. Serve immediately with rice or bread. Eat the eggplant and discard the woody stems.
Watch me make it on YouTube and Subscribe to my channel so never miss another video again! If you want to watch as you make it yourself, head to YouTube where I break each segment down so you can start, stop, and rewind as needed.
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