This is a delicious eggplant dish for all you eggplant fans looking for a different kind of recipe.
About the recipe
Yennegayi is a stuffed eggplant curry that my friend Basanthi shared that was positively delicious. The curry was so good folks that I would have had all of it but wanted the family to try some too.
Called- yennegayi, South Indian eggplant curry in which little eggplants are stuffed with a combination of onions, garlic, fresh coconut, cilantro, ground peanuts and spices, which are then cooked until tender. Yummy 😋🍆!
The stuffing tastes amazing
There is so much flavor in the stuffing that it takes the humble eggplant and makes it over the top delicious! Onions , garlic, cilantro, fresh grated coconut (you can buy this frozen), brown sugar, ground peanuts, tamarind, and aromatic spices such as cumin powder, coriander powder, fenugreek powder, turmeric and chili powder all make this a phenomenal stuffing.
Eggplants for stuffing
For the cute little eggplants I stopped by the Indian store as these little eggplants are perfect for stuffing. If you can’t find the little eggplants, you can use Japanese eggplant. Cut them into three equal parts and then stuff them by making shallow slits.
In Basanthi’s recipe the stuffed eggplants are cooked on the stove top. But I found that process difficult as the eggplant fell apart as I moved them around to prevent them from burning. Instead I steamed the stuffed eggplants first and then shallow fried them on the stovetop. This works with the same wonderful outcome.
Here is my friend Basanthi’s recipe for South Indian stuffed eggplant called yennegayi.
Yennegayi. South Indian Stuffed Eggplant
recipe courtesy of Basanthi
- 6 small eggplant or 3 Japanese eggplants
For the stuffing
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 6 cloves garlic chopped
- Cilantro finely chopped about 4 tbsp
- 10 curry leaves (optional, if you have)
- 1/4 cup fresh coconut grated
- 4 tbsp ground peanuts or cashews
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 1/2 tsp fenugreek powder
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- Chili powder (as much as you want)
- 1 tbsp tamarind pulp (if you don’t have tamarind that’s fine)
- Salt to taste
Make the stuffing: In a bowl combine all the stuffing ingredients until well mixed.
Stuff the eggplant: Cut eggplants with 4 slits. Stuff the eggplants with the stuffing mixture, it maybe very little inside – that’s okay. Once all the eggplant are stuffed, you will have stuffing leftover. Save this to use as a sauce for the eggplant curry.
Steam the eggplant. In a steamer place the stuffed eggplants. Steam for 10 minutes until the eggplants are tender. Gently test with a knife, it slides through the eggplant they are ready.
Make the curry. In a big vessel warm 2 tbsp oil. Gently place the stuffed eggplants on the pan and shallow fry gently for about 2-3 mins being careful not to break the eggplants too much. Next add all the remainder of the stuffing mixture and 1 cup water. Cook the eggplants in the sauce for about 5 minutes stirring gently. The sauce will become thick and coat the eggplants creating a thick sauce. After 5 minutes turn the stove off.
Yennegayi is ready
Garnish with fresh cilantro and coconut and serve warm for a delicious stuffed eggplant that you can have with naan or a side of dhal and rice.