I found these purple beauties in the local market, and instantly picked them up. I was very happy to see these eye-candy like brinjals/eggplants. I am not in favor of chopping them …and came up with this idea of cooking them whole. And the recipe, that came to mind instantly is idgai, or the stuffed whole eggplant curry, a popular dish in North Karnataka.
As As a rice loving family, I decided to infuse rice with idgai recipe ….twisted to suit the rice recipe and ended up with what you have here..It’s enjoyed all of us and believe me, there is hardly any rice left after the lunch. oof..that’s a win…This is also a good lunch box item with its glorious look and taste.
I have to agree that this rice recipe is detailed..very detailed, probably one the longest posts of mine so far. May I say..one of the best slow cooked meals… But…It’s all worth it, one look and spoonful of rice is the proof..
- 8 small size eggplants
- 2 cups rice thoroughly washed
- 4 cups of water
- Salt to taste
- 2 tbsp roasted flax seeds
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- 5 tbsp bengal grams/ chana dal
- 4 tbsp split black gram/ urad dal
- 3 tbsp coriander / dhaniya seeds
- 1/2 cumin seeds
- 1 tbsp mustard seeds
- 2-3 dry red chillies
- 1/2 tbsp dry mango powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 cups fenugreek leaves
- 2 tbsp chopped ginger
- 3 green chillies – less or more as you require
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp tamarind paste
- 1 tbsp mustard seeds
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 3 cloves
- 2 cardamom pods
- 1/4 inch cinnamon
- 1/2 mace
- 1 spring curry leaves
- 10-15 cashew nuts – optional
- 1/4 tsp asafoetida/hing
- 1/2 tbsp turmeric powder
Shallow fry the green paste ingredients together, untill the water in all the ingredients evaporates completely. Grind that to coarse paste and keep it aside.
Dry roast the spice ingredients(except mango powder), together or seperately….your choice, but take care, not to burn, any ingredients. Let it cool for a minute and grind it to coarse powder. Keep 3 tbsp of the powder aside to mix with rice, and use the rest to fill in the eggplants.
Cut the eggplants in plus shape keeping the stem intact. Stuff with the spice powder.
Put the oil for seasoning in a dutch oven or thick bottomed wok. Add crushed cloves, cardamom pods, cinnamon and mace. Roast it till it becomes aromatic, almost for a minute. Add mustard seeds, and wait for it to splutter. Add rest of the seasoning ingredients and fry it for 1/2 minute more.
Add the green paste, and stir it for a minute. Add rice salt and mix it well. Fry it for couple of minutes. Add water, and cook the rice. Once the water level in rice is reduced to half of its previous level, place the egg plants across the rice, cover with lid and cook the rice untill done.
Best served fresh and hot.
Serves 5 large portions.
1- Spice powder and green chutney can be made couple of days in advance and can be refrigerated until further use.
2 – for a tastier version, sallow fry the eggplants seperately, and add to the rice, at the above said stage.
Updated on 6th March 2014.