Ennegai or Small eggplant/Bringal curry! Today when I opened my refrigerator I saw the small round eggplants or bringals, as we say that in India. Always my husband makes ennegai, which is a very special curry you make out of small round eggplant. But today I thought I will make this curry and surprise my husband. But I never have paid any notice to what is the exact ingredients or method he makes so was not sure about the recipe, and since my idea was to surprise him, I did not want to ask him the recipe. So I went through his recipe notes, but I did not find this curry recipe!
Then I google searched for ennegai recipe and went through many of them but some how was not happy with any one of them!! So finally when my husband came downstaris, he was working from home, I had to ask him the recipe, so there was no more a surprise for him!!!!
Of course the recipe is my mother in law's and it came out very well for the very first time. I just added tamarind juice which my mother in law does not add, and it came out very well. And my husband approved that it was the best ennegai!! After a long time I had made from scratch, chapathis, and ennegai goes very well with chapathis and "ondu lota majjige", a glass of buttermilk, would make a compelte satisfying meal!
10-12 Small round eggplants/Bringals/gundu badnekai
2 medium size onions
Small lemon size tamarind(Optional but recomended)
1/4 Tsp jaggery(optional but recomended)
4-5 Tbsp Vangibath powder(adjust according to taste)
Salt to taste
3-4 Tbsp oil
1/4 Tsp Mustard seeds
Few curry leaves
Few coriander leaves
Wash the eggplants and dry them on a towel and keep aside. Finely chop onions and put that in a bowl. Add Vangibath powder(if you don't have Vangibath powder,its very easy to make it,dry fry,5-6 Tbsps of Channa dal,Urad dal, 4 Tbsp desicated coconut,in 1/4 Tsp oil fry 4-5 red chillies, 1/4 inch cinamon stick and once the ingredients are cooled powder them in the mixer) to the onions and mix well, add salt,finely chopped curry and corainder leaves and mix well.
To this add tamrind juice, this was my addition, my mother in law does not do this, but I had seen this in some other recipes and thought it would taste great, so I added this. Mix well and keep aside.
Now take the eggplant, cut the stem and make a slit like a "plus" mark from the knife and cut it deep but do not cut it full, just enough to fill the onion mixture. Fill the onion mixture and keep it aside.
Once you are done with the fillings, take the pressure pan, add oil and once the oil is hot add mustard seeds and when it splutters, switch off the stove. Now place all the eggplants in the pressure pan and if onion mixture is remaining, after filling up the eggplants, you can add that on the eggplants, add some more tamrind juice or sprinkle some water and some sprinkle some more salt and now add jaggery!
I want to tell something about the jaggery here! Its not added to make it sweet, its only added to make the curry very "ruchi"/ tasty!! By adding 1/4 tsp of jaggery it does not make it sweet but the sour-spicy-salt, all the things get very well blend and makes it very tasty! So when ever you use tamarind my suggestion is add a very little of jaggery, which would makes it very tasty, not sweet!!
Close the lid and steam for 10-12 minutes, on a medium heat. DO NOT put pressure weight. You can take off the lid in between to check if there is not water you can sprinkle some water, to make sure that onions and eggplant won't get burnt.
Once its cooked well, take off the lid, mix well the curry and serve very hot with chapathis and enjoy!