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Stuffed Vegetable Recipes, Indian Style!


Indian stuffed vegetable dishes are always an instant crowd pleaser when entertaining. These versatile recipes can be served as an appetizer, main entrée or side dish and they always make for a unique and creative presentation.

Stuffed vegetable recipes are quite common throughout India and the possibilities and variations are endless. The recipes I have provided below are my personal favorites, straight from my grandmother’s own recipe collection. I hope your family enjoys them as much as mine do.


SPICY STUFFED BAINGAN (EGGPLANT)

Serves 4

Ingredients:

8-10 small round Indian baby eggplants (roughly all the same size)
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 cup grated dry unsweetened coconut
1 tbsp kala masala (also called goda masala, if unavailable use garam masala)
1 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp tamarind concentrate (or ½ tbsp tamarind powder)
salt & pepper to taste
water as needed
3 tbsp oil (coconut, vegetable or canola)

METHOD:

In a skillet, add a tbsp of the oil and sauté the onions and the coconut. Let cool and transfer to a blender. Also add the tamarind, red chili powder, turmeric, salt and pepper to the blender and grind to a smooth paste. This will be the filling used to stuff the eggplants.

Wash and dry the eggplants. Make a partial slit in each eggplant once, turn and then again so you end up with four equal parts WITHOUT separating them from their stem. Stuff the eggplants with the cooled onion, coconut and spice mixture. Any remaining paste will be used later during cooking. Be careful not to overstuff the eggplants, set aside until needed.

In a large skillet, add the remaining oil and when hot, carefully add the stuffed eggplants. Add any extra filling with a little water and cover. Cook this on very low until the eggplant is tender. Serve with hot chapathis and fragrant Basmati rice.

VARIATION:

This dish tastes equally delicious when made with potatoes (baby potatoes or fingerlings work well). Just add a few pieces of potato initially to the hot pan before adding the eggplant. Stir fry for a few minutes, cover and cook until just tender. Then add the eggplant and proceed as directed in the recipe above.

You can also add a little coconut milk for a richer, thicker, creamier curry.

*********************************************************************************************************

SPICY STUFFED SIMLA MIRCH (BELL PEPPERS)

Serves 4

Ingredients:

4 medium sized bell peppers (any color will do)
2 tbsp besan (chickpea or gram flour)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 large garlic clove, finely minced
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely minced
2 small Thai green chilies, finely minced
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp turmeric
1 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp kala masala (also called goda masala, if unavailable use garam masala)
¼ cup unsalted peanuts, roasted and coarsely ground
salt & pepper to taste
2 tbsp oil (vegetable or canola)
water for boiling, ice bath for cooling
freshly chopped cilantro leaves

METHOD:

In a large pot, bring salted water to a good boil and blanch the bell peppers for just a minute. Remove and submerge in an ice bath. Dry them well. Remove the stem end and discard any inner membranes and seeds. Set aside until needed.

In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp of the oil on medium high and roast the besan. Stir for a few minutes and then add the onion. Sauté until translucent and then add the garlic, ginger and green chilies. Stir fry for a few minutes and then add the turmeric, ground cumin, red chili powder, kala masala, ground peanuts, salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and add the cilantro leaves. Mix well and set aside to cool. This will be the filling for the bell peppers.

Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Rub the outside of the bell peppers with a thin layer of the remaining oil. When the filling has cooled, stuff the bell peppers. Place them on a lined baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes until tender. Serve with hot chapathis and fragrant Basmati rice.

*********************************************************************************************************

SPICY STUFFED BHENDI (OKRA)

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of fresh tender okra (medium size)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
½ cup of freshly grated coconut (or you can use dry unsweetened coconut)
1 tsp red chili powder
½ tsp turmeric
1 tsp kala masala (also called goda masala, if unavailable use garam masala)
1 tbsp sesame seeds, dry roasted and coarsely powdered
2 tbsp oil (vegetable or canola)
salt & pepper to taste
juice of 1 lime
freshly chopped cilantro leaves

METHOD:

In a large skillet on medium high heat, add 1 tbsp of the oil. When hot add the onions. Sauté until translucent and add the coconut. Stir fry and add the spices (red chili powder, turmeric, kala masala, salt & pepper). Cook for 2-3 minutes and transfer to a blender. Blend and add the lime juice, coarsely powdered sesame seeds and cilantro leaves. Blend to make a smooth paste. This is the filling for the okra.

Wash and dry each of the okra completely. Make a partial slit in the bottom about halfway towards the stem and then stuff the okra with the onion and coconut paste. Set aside until needed.

Heat a large skillet on medium heat and add the remaining oil. When hot, add the stuffed okra and fry on all sides until golden brown. Serve hot as an accompaniment to any Indian meal.
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Content copyright © 2014 by Sadhana Ginde. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Sadhana Ginde. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Sadhana Ginde for details.

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