For The Onion-coconut Paste
1 cup roughly chopped onions
1 cup freshly grated coconut
1/4 cup coriander (dhania) seeds
3 whole dry kashmiri red chillies , broken into pieces
1 tbsp roughly chopped garlic (lehsun)
2 small sticks cinnamon (dalchini)
For The Stuffing
2 tbsp oil
1/4 cup roasted and coarsely powdered peanuts
1/2 tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tbsp coriander-cumin seeds (dhania-jeera) powder
1 tsp sugar
salt to taste
1 tsp lemon juice
2 tbsp finely chopped coriander (dhania)
14 small brinjal (baingan / eggplant)
5 tbsp oil
2 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
1/2 tsp finely chopped garlic (lehsun)
1 bayleaf (tejpatta)
rotis or parathas
For the onion-coconut paste
Combine the onions, coconut, coriander seeds, dry red kashmiri chillies, garlic, ginger, cloves and cinnamon in a deep non-stick pan and dry roast on a medium flame for 2 minutes. Keep aside to cool completely.
Once cooled, blend in a mixer to a smooth paste using approx. ¼ cup of water. Keep aside.
For the stuffing
Heat the oil in a broad non-stick pan, add the prepared onion-coconut paste, peanuts, turmeric powder, chilli powder, coriander-cumin seeds powder, sugar and salt and mix well.
Add the lemon juice and coriander, mix well and cook on a medium flame for 3 to 4 minutes, while stirring continuously. Keep aside.
How to proceed
Slit the brinjals in the centre to make a criss-cross mark that divides each brinjal into 4 parts joined at the stem.
Stuff the slits of each brinjal with the prepared stuffing and keep the remaining stuffing aside.
Heat the oil in a deep non-stick kadhai and add the cumin seeds.
When the seeds crackle, add the garlic and bayleaf and sauté on medium flame for a few seconds.
Add the stuffed brinjals, mix gently, cover it with a lid and cook on a medium flame for 7 minutes, while stirring occasionally.
Lower the flame, add the remaining 1 cup of water and little salt and mix gently. Cover it with a lid and cook for 10 minutes, while stirring occasionally. Keep tossing the brinjals occasionally to avoid it from breaking.
Serve hot with rotis or parathas.