Though I have spent a part of my childhood days in North Karnataka, I didnot have the recipe of this. I got this recipe from my friend who has literally grown up eating them. Thanks a lot for the recipe.
Ingredients: (Serves: 4-5)
For stuffing (Spice powder)
Coriander seeds/dhania: 1 tbsp
Ground nuts: 2 tbsp
Urad dal: 1 tsp
Roasted channa da(gram)l/hurigadale: 1 tbsp
Cinnamon: 1 inch stick
Clove: 3 nos
Cumin seeds/jeera: 1 tsp
Black sesame: 1 tsp
Niger seeds/hucchellu: 1 tsp (Thanks a lot for correcting me Jayasri)
Dry coconut: 1-2 tbsp (grated)
Red chilli: 12-15 (I like it hot & spicy)
Red chilli powder: 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves: 3 strings
Asafetida: 2 big pinches
Salt: According to taste
For the gravy:
Small eggplant: 14-18
Tamarind: 1 big grape sized
Powdered Jaggery: 1 tsp(optional but recommended)
Onion: 1 big
Garlic: 2 pods (optional)
Oil: 3-5 tbsp
Water: 1.5-2 cups
Mustard Seeds: 1 tsp
Cumin seeds: 1 tsp
Curry leaves: 2 strings
Coriander leaves: 2 tbsp (finely chopped, for garnishing)
For the masala/spice powder
Dry roast all the ingredients mentioned (except coconut, roasted channa dal, asafetida & salt). Allow the spices to cool.
After dry roasting the peanuts, peel the skin & keep them aside. Mix roasted channa dal, coconut, asafetida, salt to the other spices & prepare a fine powder. Finally add peanuts & run the mixie for 5secs (idea is to powder the peanuts to a coarse powder).
- Wash the eggplant & pat dry. Make a slit of the eggplant as shown below.
- Fill a tbsp or less of the spice powder to each of the eggplant. Keep the stuffed eggplant aside.Heat oil in a broad pan (ensure to take a very broad one, as it has to fit all the eggplants). Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds. When they splutter, add curry leaves, garlic & onion. Saute until onion turns golden brown.
- Add tamarind extract, remaining spice powder, stuffed eggplants & stir well. Oil should coat on the eggplants. Add water, salt (check the taste & then add, because we have already added salt to the spice powder), jaggery & mix well.
- Cook the eggplants on a low heat sitrring occasionally. Add few tbsps of water if required. Cook until the gravy becomes thick & eggplants soft. (It takes around 10-15 minutes).
- Turn off the heat, garnish with coriander leaves & serve it with hot rotis.
- Yennegayi literally means kayi(vegetable) cooked in yenne(oil). The more oil you put, the tastier the dish would be.
- The dish would tast equally good without garlic & onion too. My mom doesn't add them & I love that version too.
- Try to take equal sized eggplants as all of them get cooked evenly.
- Nigella seeds are a must to get an authentic taste to the dish.