Masalebhat with Stuffed Eggplants

(Link to the Marathi Recipe

Every year Maayboli celebrates 'Online Ganeshotsav'. In 2005 I participated in cooking competition held in this 'online Ganeshotsav'. Theme was to make something using ingredients given in the list. We could use ingredients for tempering. I was declared as a winner at the end after counting the votes I got. Original recipe is from one of m father's aunt, but I have changed few things according to the list of ingredients given to me.

Stuffed Eggplant Masale Bhat

Masala -
1/2 cup dry shredded coconut
1/2 cup Sesame seeds
2 tbsp Garam Masala
Red chili powder and Salt per taste
1/2 tsp Turmeric

For Rice -
4 small eggplants
1 cup Rice
salt, red chili powder - per taste
1 tsp garam masala (optional)
1 tbsp oil for tempering
1 masala cardamom, 1" cinnamon, 1-2 bay leaves, 1-2 black peppers, turmeric, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, Asafoetida.
2 cups warm water

Preparation - 
Wash the rice and keep aside for at least 1/2 hour. Dry roast shredded coconut and sesame seeds separately. Let them cool a bit. Grind coconut and sesame seeds. Mix red chili powder, salt and garam masala and grind in the mixer just to mix them well. Add chopped cilantro if you want to.
Wash eggplants and cut the tops off and then slit them without cutting them all the way just like we cut these for stuffed eggplants. Stuff the mixed masala in the eggplants and set them aside.
Heat oil in a thick bottom vessel. Add black peppers, cinnamom, cardamom, bay leaves and let them sizzle. Add cumin seeds, mustard seeds, asafoetida and turmeric let it sizzle.
Add washed rice and roast for for 5-6 minutes. Add the remaining stuffing masala if any, while roasting rice. Add warm water to the roasted rice and cover the lid and let it cook for about 5 minutes. Now add the stuffed eggplants upside down in the half cooked rice. Do not stir rice often. Let the rice cook properly. Do not take off the lid. There will be enough steam to cook the eggplants properly. Decorate with coconut (dry or fresh) and cilantro and enjoy.

Tips -

  1. You can use only dried coconut instead of sesame seeds.

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