I had not made this till recently I wanted to try something different out of brinjals. Not many like brinjals... Most of the people whom I have come across have either disliked it or are allergic to it. But back at home, it was a personal favorite of my dad's. He would love brinjal in any form and was particularly fond of Badanekai Huli which amma made. Me not being a fussy eater, would eat everything. Luckily, my hubby is fond of brinjals. It has been a common in his house in form of Baingan Bharta or Baingan Aloo ki subzi. This was unique to him and was a definite hit! I am happy!
You will find the similar dish made in the border districts of Karnataka. It's called Badane Yennagai and very commonly made in northern districts of Karnataka like Hubli and Belgaum. It's traditionally had with jolada rotti. The recipe is almost similar with very little or no variation in the ingredients. There are 1000s of recipies for the same, with a litte variation in the ingredients used.
10 small brinjals/eggplants
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp asafoetida/hing
1 large onion, finely chopped
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
A sprig of curry leaves
Few fresh coriander leaves
Dry Roast the following:
6-7 whole red chillies
1/4 cup dry coconut/copra
1/4 cup roasted peanuts
4 tbsp sesame seeds/till seeds
1 tbsp each coriander-cumin seeds
Grind to paste the following ingredients with the above dry roasted mixture :
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste (optional)
2 tbsp Maharashtrian goda Masala (optional)
1 tsp tamarind pulp
1 tbsp jaggery
Salt to taste
With the stems intact, give four vertical slits (like +) to the brinjals from the top to the bottom. Keep them in salt water for 10 minutes and rinse to remove any bitterness. I avoid this step.
Dry roast coconut, sesame seeds, coriander-cumin seeds and whole red chillies together till light brown. Grind the roasted mixture with tamarind, jaggery, peanut powder, ginger-garlic paste, goda masala and salt to taste. Stuff all the brinjals with above masala. A little masala may be left over. Do not discard.
Heat oil in a kadai or a non stick pan. Add mustard seeds. When it splutters, add asafoetida, curry leaves, onions and turmeric powder. Fry till the onions brown. Add the brinjals and fry for sometime. Add the leftover masala and 1/2 cup water. Cover and cook for few mins till the brinjals are cooked. I cook mine in a pressure cooker as it saves a lot of cooking time. Give one whistle on pressure cooker so that the brinjals are just done and don't turn too mushy. Remove into a serving dish.
Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot with bhakar, roti or rice.