This is a curry prepared with brinjals of the smaller variety by adding ground masala to it. You can use any brinjals available in your place. However to ensure that the brinjals are firm and not mushy. Do not overcook the brinjals, as when you add the masala they should bind / coat the brinjals. Overcooking of brinjals will make them limp and mashed with the masala and the taste and looks are both lost. Also to not grind the masala with lots of water. You can always add later on if necessary.
Remove the stems of 500 gms of Gula (Vaingana) / Brinjal and cut into big chunks. I have used the small light purple ones which I have cut into 4 equal pieces. Wash and drain in a colander. Put cut brinjals in a thick bottomed kadai, add half cup of water and cook on low heat till 75% done.
To be Ground : Heat 2 tsp oil in a small pan, when hot add ¼ tsp of methi seeds, fry a bit, then add 3 tsp of coriander seeds and fry till slightly colour changes. Add 7-8 red chillies cut into pieces and fry for a minute or two. Remove and grind this with 2 cups of freshly grated coconut and a small marble sized tamarind. Do not make the masala into too fine paste. It should be a little bit coarse only. Say about 90% finely done.
Add the masala and salt to taste to the brinjals and mix well. Add water if necessary, the texture of sagle is thick, so be careful in adding of excess water. Bring to full heat, lower and cook till all the masala has mixed in well with the brinjals and bubbles start appearing on the gravy.
The Brinjal sagle is done and now all you have to do is the seasoning. Remove and keep it aside.
For seasoning : Heat 2 tsp oil in a small kadai, when hot add 1 tsp of rai (Sasam), when they begin to splutter add 10-12 curry leaves, mix well for a minute and then pour the seasoning over the curry. Mix, cover and leave the curry aside for 10-15 minutes before serving. This ensures the curry infuses the seasoned flavors. Serve hot with Dal-Chawal or Roti.
** Note : You can add a lemon sized grated jaggery to the masala when cooking. It is however optional and as per individual’s taste / liking.