Spicy Eggplant in Ginger-Tamarind Sauce (Masala Vangi)

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Title: Spicy Eggplant in Ginger-Tamarind Sauce (Masala Vangi)
Yield: 6 Servings
Categories: Indian

Ingredients:

1 1/2-inch-round ball tamarind
1/4 c Boiling water
1 lb Thin; long eggplant
3 tb Light vegetable oil
1 1/2 ts Minced garlic
2 ts Ground coriander
1/4 ts Ground cinnamon
1/8 ts Ground cloves
1/2 c Packed flaked coconut fresh
-or canned; unsweetened
1 tb Cayenne pepper; (or more)
1/2 ts Coarse salt; or to taste
2 tb Unsulphured molasses -OR-
-Brown sugar
1/2 ts Black mustard seeds


---------------------------GINGER-TAMARIND SAUCE---------------------------
Tamarind residue from above
1/2 c Boiling water
1/2 ts Cornstarch
1 tb Shredded fresh ginger

Put the tamarind in a nonmetallic bowl. Add 1/4 cup boiling water and let
it soak for 30 minutes. Mash the pulp and extract as much juice from it as
possible. Pour all liquid into a bowl, and save the fibrous residue for
making the sauce.

Slit the eggplants lengthwise to within 3/4 inch of the stem end so that
each eggplant remains in one piece.

Measure out the spices and place them right next to the stove in separate
piles. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large frying pan or skillet over
medium-high heat for 1 minute. Add the garlic and fry for 30 seconds. Add
the coriander, cinnamon, and cloves; fry for 15 more seconds. Stir in the
coconut and cayenne pepper; continue frying, stirring, until lightly
toasted (about 2 minutes). Turn off the heat and stir in the salt, tamarind
liquid, and molasses, and mix well.

Stuff the eggplants with the spicy coconut mixture. Secure them by wrapping
thread around them.

Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the same pan over medium-high heat.
When it is hot, add mustard seeds. Keep a pot lid handy, as the seeds may
spatter and fly all over. When the seeds stop spattering, add the eggplants
in one layer. Fry the eggplants, turning them often, for 3 or 4 minutes.
Reduce heat to medium or medium low and cook them, covered, for 10 to 12
minutes or until they are soft and cooked through. Turn off heat. Transfer
them to a serving platter, pour Ginger-Tamarind sauce over them, and serve
immediately.

GINGER-TAMARIND SAUCE: Put tamarind residue in a nonmetallic bowl, add 1/2
cup boiling water, and let soak for 30 minutes. Mash the residue and
extract as much tamarind essence as possible, squeezing it hard, into a
bowl. Discard the fibrous residue.

Put tamarind water in a nonmetallic pan along with cornstarch, mix well and
bring to a boil. Cook for 2 minutes. Turn off heat and stir in ginger
shreds.

Note: For a hotter flavor, stir 4 chopped hot green chilies into sauce.

Recipe by: Classic Indian Vegetarian and Grain Cooking, by Julie Sahni

Posted to FOODWINE Digest by Sharon Raghavachary on
Feb 17, 1998