Spicy Peanut-Stuffed Eggplants

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8 small Japanese eggplants (1 pound)
3 tablespoons mild peanut or vegetable oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 jalapeno peppers seeded and minced
1/8 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1/2 cup crushed roasted peanuts
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro

Slit eggplants lengthwise with 2 cuts, about 1/2 inch apart, keeping the stem end intact. Place them in a bowl of cold water for about 10 minutes to open cuts slightly and to avoid discoloration.

Meanwhile, in small heavy skillet, heat 1 1/2 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Add onion and jalapenos and cook, stirring often, until onion is soft, 5 minutes. Add turmeric, coconut and peanuts and cook, stirring often, 4 minutes. Add cumin, coriander, curry powder, salt and cilantro and cook, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.

Remove eggplants from water and pat dry. Stuff each eggplant with about I tablespoon of stuffing mixture by gently inserting it into the slits.

Heat a nonstick skillet, large enough to hold all eggplants in a single layer, over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil; when oil is hot, transfer stuffed eggplants to pan. Drizzle remaining 1/2 tablespoon of oil over eggplants. Cover and cook until lightly browned on one side, 6 to 8 minutes. Gently turn eggplants, reduce heat to low, cover and cook until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Serve immediately.



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