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  How to prepare Baingan Masala/Stuffed Brinjal Recipe?


**Baingan Masala (Stuffed Brinjal) Recipe**

 **Preparation Time:** 20 minutes 

**Cooking Time:** 40 minutes 

**Total Time:** 1 hour 

**Servings:** 4-6

**Introduction:**

Baingan Masala, also known as Stuffed Brinjal, is a beloved South Indian dish renowned for its aromatic spices and rich flavors. This vegetarian delight features tender brinjals stuffed with a tantalizing masala mixture, making it a favorite among spice enthusiasts and those seeking a hearty meal.

**Importance of Ingredients:**

Baingan Masala derives its distinct flavors and textures from a blend of essential ingredients:

- **Brinjals (Eggplants):** These versatile vegetables are not only rich in fiber but also absorb the aromatic spices during cooking, offering a tender and flavorful experience.

- **Groundnuts (Peanuts):** Provide a nutty undertone and contribute a protein-rich element to the dish, enhancing both taste and texture.

- **Spices (Coriander Seeds, Red Chilies, Mustard Seeds, Cumin Seeds):** Each spice brings its unique flavor profile and contributes medicinal properties that aid digestion and add warmth to the dish.

- **Tamarind:** Adds a tangy twist that balances the richness of the spices, lending a refreshing acidity to the overall flavor profile.

**Occasions and Who Can Enjoy It:**

Baingan Masala is well-suited for various occasions, whether it's a festive gathering, a family dinner, or a weekday indulgence. Its appeal extends to both vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike, promising a satisfying and flavorful culinary experience.

**Benefits and Uses of Having This Recipe:**

This recipe offers a nutritious way to savor brinjals, packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It can be served as a wholesome main dish accompanied by rice or Indian breads, or as a delectable side dish complementing a range of meals. 

**Ingredients:**

  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 1 cup groundnuts (peanuts)
  • 50g dry coconut, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons Bengal gram (chana dal)
  • 2 tablespoons black gram (urad dal)
  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 4 dried red chilies
  • 20g sesame seeds (optional)
  • Salt, to taste
  • 500g brinjals (eggplants)
  • 4-5 tablespoons oil
  • 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind paste or juice (extracted from lemon-sized tamarind soaked in water)
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Few curry leaves
  • Fresh coriander leaves, chopped, for garnish

**Detailed Cooking Instructions:**

1. **Preparation of Masala:**

   - Begin by dry roasting groundnuts in a pan over medium heat until they turn golden brown and release a nutty aroma. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

   - In the same pan, dry roast black gram (urad dal), Bengal gram (chana dal), coriander seeds, dried red chilies, and dry coconut slices until they become aromatic and lightly browned. Allow these ingredients to cool completely.

2. **Preparation of Brinjals:**

   - Wash the brinjals thoroughly and pat them dry. Make a cross-shaped slit in each brinjal, ensuring not to cut through completely, keeping the base intact. Soak the slit brinjals in salt water for 10-15 minutes to reduce bitterness. Drain and set aside.

3. **Making the Masala Paste:**

   - Once the roasted ingredients have cooled, transfer them to a blender or food processor. Add salt to taste and grind into a fine powder or a slightly coarse paste, depending on your preference. This aromatic masala paste forms the heart of the dish and will be used to stuff the brinjals.

4. **Stuffing the Brinjals:**

   - Take each brinjal and generously stuff the prepared masala paste into the slits and any openings. Ensure the masala is evenly distributed and packed within the brinjals. Set aside any leftover masala for later use.

5. **Cooking the Stuffed Brinjals:**

   - Heat oil in a deep pan or kadai over medium heat. Add mustard seeds and cumin seeds, allowing them to splutter and release their flavors.

   - Introduce chopped onions and curry leaves to the pan. Sauté until the onions turn golden brown and aromatic, enhancing the base flavors of the dish.

6. **Adding Stuffed Brinjals:**

   - Carefully place the stuffed brinjals into the pan with the sautéed onions. Arrange them in a single layer and cook over medium heat for 5-7 minutes, turning occasionally. This initial cooking allows the brinjals to absorb the flavors and begin the tenderization process.

7. **Simmering the Dish:**

   - Once the brinjals have softened slightly, add any remaining masala paste to the pan. Gently mix to coat the brinjals evenly with the flavorful masala.

   - Adjust the consistency by adding water as needed to create a gravy-like texture. Cover the pan with a lid, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the brinjals are fully tender and cooked through.

8. **Final Touches:**

   - Stir in tamarind paste or tamarind juice to impart a tangy twist to the dish, balancing the richness of the spices.

   - Sprinkle turmeric powder evenly over the dish and continue cooking for an additional 5-10 minutes. This allows the flavors to meld together beautifully, resulting in a harmonious blend of tastes.

9. **Garnish and Serving:**

   - Before serving, garnish Baingan Masala with freshly chopped coriander leaves for a burst of freshness and vibrant presentation. Serve hot alongside steamed rice or a selection of Indian breads such as chapatti or naan.

**Health Benefits and Uses:**

Baingan Masala offers a myriad of health benefits, boasting a rich nutritional profile that includes fiber, vitamins (particularly vitamin C and B6), minerals (such as potassium and manganese), and antioxidants. This wholesome dish promotes digestion, enhances immunity, and supports overall well-being when enjoyed as part of a balanced diet.

**Cooking Tips and Variations:**

- To mitigate any bitterness in brinjals, soaking them in salt water before cooking is highly recommended.

- Adjust the spice levels of the masala paste by varying the number of dried red chilies used, catering to your personal taste preferences.

- Ensure to slit the brinjals deep enough to accommodate the masala stuffing without splitting them apart during cooking.

- For a richer flavor, consider adding a dollop of ghee towards the end of cooking or just before serving.

- For a creamy variation, substitute groundnuts with cashews, imparting a luxurious texture to the dish.

- Explore healthier cooking methods by grilling or baking the stuffed brinjals instead of frying them.

Enjoy this flavorful Baingan Masala as a main dish in your next meal, packed with the goodness of spices and the unique texture of brinjals!

**Nutritional Information (per serving):**

- Calories: 320 kcal

- Carbohydrates: 25g

- Protein: 8g

- Fat: 23g

- Fiber: 9g

- Sugar: 6g

- Sodium: 580mg

**Presentation and Servings:**

Serve Baingan Masala hot, presented in a traditional Indian serving dish and garnished with fresh coriander leaves for an enticing visual appeal. This recipe serves 4-6 individuals, making it ideal for family dinners or gatherings where it can be enjoyed as a flavorful centerpiece.

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