Gutthi Vankaya

Stuffed Eggplant

12 small eggplants (about the size of a fist)
1 cup oil
For Stuffing
3 medium onions
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon garlic
4 cloves
1 inch cinnamon stick
2 teaspoons sesame seeds
2 teaspoons gasagasaalu (poppy seeds)
1 teaspoon red chile powder
1 tablespoon tamarind paste
salt to taste

In a skillet heat two tablespoons of oil and fry the chopped onions. When the onions are brown add all the ingredients from the above list (i.e. list of ingredients for stuffing) except ginger and garlic. Stir on medium heat for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, add ginger and garlic and let cool. Then process the whole mixture in a blender until soft.

Wash the eggplants and make two cuts through them from the bottom upward (length wise) about 2/3 the way up to the stem, so that they are each in four equal sections, held together by the uncut portion near the stem. Place the stuffing between the four sections. Next, in a wide skillet add the remaining oil and heat. Place all the stuffed eggplants next to each other and keep the heat on high. After three or four minutes turn the eggplants over. After five minutes turn them over again, lower the heat, cover the skillet and let them cook till the eggplants are thoroughly done (the skin of the eggplants should develop folds).

Note: 1. If the eggplants are large, allow more time to cook. For the very large eggplants, it's better to just cut them up into pieces, mix the pieces and the stuffing, put it all in a pan and cook till done. Will taste almost like the dish made with the small sized eggplants except that it will not look like a stuffed eggplant. Also, the big ones have more water content in them, so, it might taste a bit raw and not fry as well as the smaller ones.

2. The more ripe the eggplant the less time required to cook it. Unripe eggplants will take a very long time to cook all the way through.

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