Thursday, April 12, 2018

Baingan Bharta / Vaingana (Gulla) Bajji with Coconut Masala.

"Baingan Bharta / Roasted Egglplant (South Indian Style) / Vaingana (Gulla) Bajji with Coconut Masala” … Awesome side dish with the addition of coconut masala along with spices … Goes very well with Dalitoy and Rice … Yummy Yumz ....... 

** Gulla Bhajji / Green Brinjal Bhajji is a very famous side dish prepared in Konkani Sarawat’s home. Gulla is actually brinjal which is freely available in southern side of India and Matti Gula is one of the famous Variety Konkani vouch on as the tastiest when prepared bajji with. Again in Northern parts of India Baingan / Vaingana / Eggplant is freely available though it is available in south too. But south Indians are partial toward gulla / green brinjal while Northern ones use large Baingan / Brinjal. The initial preparation of roasting the baingan on gas flame, though traditional it was done on coal is the same throughout the country. If you have access to coal fire in your homes, do roast them on coal, they impart a lovely smoky flavor to the dish that is not got in gas flame. 

** The roasted brinjal is allowed to cool, the charred skin then peeled and the inner flesh that has been cooked to pulp is mashed and seasoned. We Konkani Saraswats keep it simple. No cooking on gas flame except for roasting is done for this dish. Though seasoning is a matter of choice, while some love it seasoned, some don’t. I have posted many types of gulla bajji, but this is the first one with ground coconut masala. I had heard from many of my friends about addition of masala another method of preparing bhartha / bajji which was really new to me. When my friend Vanitha Bhat who has an awesome Blog of her own named Curry and Vanilla posted this in our food group “Konkani Delicacies” my joy knew no bounds. Immediately I went through her recipe and loved it. 

** Large Baingans are easy to get and I bought one immediately. This was so because, I always want to try out the awesome recipes posted by friends in the group, but by the time I go for it new one’s crop. My to-do-list just keeps on getting longer and I feel I am letting down my lovely friends who eagerly wait for feed backs. It is a joy for me when I get lovely feed backs for my dishes, so it is fair enough that I give them a try soon lest I forget. So, rest is history and I simply loved this dish. It reminded me of tambuli but the garlic flavour and the addition of raw onions simply ruled the taste. A delicious one that should be prepared fresh and enjoyed with hot rice as a side dish. The recipe remains the same and I have not done any changes. 

** The Recipe Credit goes to Vanitha Bhat who had posted this a few days back, sharing her link to the recipe at the bottom of this recipe too … Thanks dear we loved it … Yummy Yumz …

** Here is to the preparation of "Baingan Bharta / Roasted Eggplant (South Indian Style) /  Vaingana Bajji with Coconut Masala” Recipe …. 

** Ingredients : 
Baingan / Vaingana / Brinjal / Vangi / Eggplant : 1 large say about 500 gms. 
Coconut : About ½ cup freshly grated (you can use frozen one too) 
Red Chillies : 4 – 5 
Kashmiri Red Chilly Powder : 1 Tblsp (I used powder) 
Tamarind : small marble sized ball or 1/ tsp paste 
Coriander / Dhania / Kothambari Seeds : 1 tsp 
Onion / Piyav / Kanda : 1 medium sized chopped fine. 
Ginger / Adrak / Alle’ : 1 tsp grated 
Green Chillies / Tarni Mirsang / Hari Mirchi : 2-3 cut to pieces. 
Coriander Leaves / Kottambari Pallo / Dhania patta : handful finely chopped. 
Coconut Oil : 2 tsp (or any edible oil of your choice, but we always use coconut oil) 

** Wash and wipe the Baingan / brinjal. Do not cut the stem portion. Do retain it. It helps in twisting the brinjal by holding on to it. Apply lightly a little bit of oil all over the surface. With a fine needle poke the brinjal in a few places. Place the brinjal on a wire gauge over gas flame and roast it all over on medium to slow flame, till it is well cooked within and the skin in charred properly.

** Note : I am enclosing a old picture of gulla / green brinjal being roasted over flame for easy understanding of the procedure. Poking with needle is done to avoid the mishaps. As the skin of the brinjal gets roasted, it tears open and sometimes erupts / liquid from within oozes out. Poking avoids it to certain extent as the gas that forms within is given escape routes through holes. Well, I have been following this for a long time now and I really forget who suggested the same to me. 

** Once the brinjal has been evenly roasted and cooked properly within, you can check by piercing the same with a skewer or a knife, which should pass through easily, it is done. Remove from fire and put it in a bowl and keep it tightly covered aside for 10-15 minutes or till it has slightly cooled and is easier to handle. Now gently remove the stem and the skin that has been charred or roasted. Rinsing with a little bit of water helps in removing it properly. 

** Put the cooked fleshly portion of the baingan / vaingan / brinjal in a wide bowl and mash it properly with your hands. You can use a potato masher or a fork. Usually we mash it with hands coz. we do not want the seeds from the brinjal to get mashed too. For the same reason do not grind it in a mixer, I have seen many people do it. Not at all a pleasant dish to be seen. The seeds should remain intact, that’s the beauty of a well made bajji / bharta. For the same 

** Masala to be ground : Roast the red chillies if using whole red chillies, I avoided it as I always use powder form as I am allergic to roasted of red chillies. You may follow any method suitable to you. Put the red chilly powder, coconut, coriander seeds and tamarind in a mixer grinder and grind to a smooth paste. The paste need not be made into a very fine paste. A little bit rava textured is ok, however do not add much of water. 

** Add the ground masala to the mashed baingan / vainagan in the bowl along with finely chopped onion, grated ginger, green chillies pieces and salt to taste. Mix all together well till well blended. Lastly add in coconut oil and mix well and then garnish with coriander leaves. Though you can use any edible oil of your choice, we Konkani Saraswats always use coconut oil which imparts a flavor of its own. Try it once, I assure you that you will love the same. 

“Baingan Bharta / Roasted Eggplant (South Indian Style) / Vanigana Bajji with Coconut Masala” is done and ready to be served. Always serve Bharta / Bajji freshly prepared as it looses taste if stored, also when prepared in south Indian style it is not cooked, which may lead the same to getting spoilt if kept outside. You can put the same in fridge remove and bring it to room temperature before serving. But personally I suggest serving this freshly prepared for best taste. You can relish this as a side dish with Dalitoy~Rice or Roti/Chapati too. 

** You can use the search option for "Bajji or Vaingan or Gula" where you will get many more dishes prepared using it. Do try out various types of dishes to relish with dosa / Idly / roti etc. or with dal-chawal too. Enjoy the dishes with your family and friends and do give me a feedback if possible. 

** You can also check out my link below for Bajji 

** You can also check out Vanitha Bhat’s Recipe of the same by following the link given below … 

** An Earnest Request : There are many more recipes of similar type in the blog. For all my Recipes, use the search option or the label section in the Blog. If you are still not able to find it please leave a message in comment section or mail me the same. You can also go to my page (add on the left side of blog) and leave a message and I will try my best to get back to you as soon as possible … Thank you. I have also started a food group for "Konkani Saraswats" by the name "KONKANI DELICACIES" the link of which is posted on the left side of the blog page. Do join us in our culinary journey. I strongly believe in Sharing and always endorse that "Sharing Is Caring".

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