May 8, 2009

Rhengan Reveya Recipe - Brinjals in Peanut Sauce

I bookmark about 3 recipes each day on an average. I end up cooking about 4-5 of them each month, if its a good month, simply because there are way too may of them and just weekends for me to experiment and try out new stuff. But the moment I saw this recipe on Sia's site, I knew I'll be trying it out as soon as I could lay my hands on some good baby aubergines / Indian eggplant aka kathirikkai. I decided to give Little India a shot and I was not disappointed. I picked up some real beauties!

Rhengan Reveya is a traditional Gujarati recipe that is a delicious satay of baby aubergines and baby potatoes marinated in a spicy peanut paste. I have not yet tried peanut-based curries and that made this all the more exciting. Also, aubergines are my weakness, as you can see from the number of kathirikai recipes on this blog :D

Anyway, on to the recipe now.

Rhengan Reveya Recipe

Original recipe inspiration from here
Serves 4
6 baby brinjal / kathirikai
2 potatoes, cubed (or 8 baby potaoes, halved)
For Spice Powder / Marinade:
1/2 cup peanuts
1 tbsp coriander seeds
2 tsp cumin seeds/ jeera / jeerakam
4 dry red chillies
1 pinch turmeric powder
1/2 tsp amchur / dry mango powder (optional but recommended)
1 tsp sugar
A big pinch of hing / asafoetida / kaayam
1" piece grated ginger
A bunch of coriander leaves, finely chopped
3 tbsp oil
Salt to taste
For Tempering:
2 tsp oil
1 pinch hing / asafoetida / kaayam
A few cumin / jeera seeds

How I Made It:

1. In a wide pan, dry roast peanuts, coriander seeds, jeera seeds, red chillies, hing, turmeric powder and amchur. Grind this to a powder. The oil from the peanuts will make this mixture a bit pasty.

2. Make slits in the brinjal from the bottom until the base of the stem. Make sure you keep the stems intact to make sure the aubergine stays in one piece. Scoop the spice powder into the slits and stuff as much of it in as you can.

3. Once all the aubergines are stuffed, mix this with the cubed potatoes, add the remaining spice powder, ginger, chopped coriander leaves, sugar and salt and keep aside for 10 mins.

4. Heat oil in a pan and add ingredients for tempering. Once the cumin seeds start sizzling, add the aubergine-potato mixture. Add 2 cups boiling water to this, keep fire on medium and cook closed for 5 mins.

5. After 5 mins, mix the vegetables, add more water if needed (the peanuts make this dish quite thick so I added about 1/2 cup water at this stage) and cook again closed for about 15 mins more. Mix in between to ensure uniform cooking, just make sure you don't break the aubergines while mixing.

6. Garnish with more chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with steamed white rice.

- While picking the baby brinjal, try to make sure they are of somewhat similar sizes. This is to ensure uniform cooking. Remember, we are not chopping them up but cooking them whole!

- Instead of using coriander seeds, jeera seeds the whole red chillies, you can use their powders. This could bring down the flavour, as Sia points out. If you ask me, go with the whole masala and grind them up, its really worth the effort :)

We absolutely loved our Rhengan Reveya and TH is not even a huge fan of peanut-based gravies! We licked our plates and the pan clean during lunch so basically we wiped out what can actually feed four people :D