Spicy Eggplant In Ginger-Tamarind Sauce (Masala Vangi)
- 1.00 1/2 -inch-round ball tamarind
- 0.25 c -Boiling water
- 1.00 lb Thin, long eggplant
- 3.00 tb Light vegetable oil
- 1.50 ts Minced garlic
- 2.00 ts Ground coriander
- 0.25 ts Ground cinnamon
- 0.13 ts Ground cloves
- 0.50 c Packed flaked coconut — fresh or canned, — unsweetened
- 1.00 ts Cayenne pepper (or more)
- 0.50 ts Coarse salt; or to taste
- 2.00 tb Unsulphured molasses -OR- Brown sugar
- 0.50 ts Black mustard seeds –GINGER-TAMARIND SAUCE—
- Tamarind residue from above
- 0.50 c -Boiling water
- 0.50 ts Cornstarch
- 1.00 tb Shredded fresh ginger
Put the tamarind in a nonmetallic bowl. Add 1/4 cup boiling water and let it soak for 30 minutes. Mash the pulp and extract as much juice from it as possible. Pour all liquid into a bowl, and save the fibrous residue for making the sauce.
Slit the eggplants lengthwise to within 3/4 inch of the stem end so that each eggplant remains in one piece.
Measure out the spices and place them right next to the stove in separate piles. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large frying pan or skillet over medium-high heat for 1 minute. Add the garlic and fry for 30 seconds. Add the coriander, cinnamon, and cloves; fry for 15 more seconds. Stir in the coconut and cayenne pepper; continue frying, stirring, until lightly toasted (about 2 minutes). Turn off the heat and stir in the salt, tamarind liquid, and molasses, and mix well.
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Stuff the eggplants with the spicy coconut mixture. Secure them by wrapping thread around them.
Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the same pan over medium-high heat. When it is hot, add mustard seeds. Keep a pot lid handy, as the seeds may spatter and fly all over. When the seeds stop spattering, add the eggplants in one layer. Fry the eggplants, turning them often, for 3 or 4 minutes. Reduce heat to medium or medium low and cook them, covered, for 10 to 12 minutes or until they are soft and cooked through. Turn off heat. Transfer them to a serving platter, pour Ginger-Tamarind sauce over them, and serve immediately.
Put tamarind residue in a nonmetallic bowl, add 1/2 cup boiling water, and let soak for 30 minutes. Mash the residue and extract as much tamarind essence as possible, squeezing it hard, into a bowl. Discard the fibrous residue.
Put tamarind water in a nonmetallic pan along with cornstarch, mix well and bring to a boil. Cook for 2 minutes. Turn off heat and stir in ginger shreds.
Note: For a hotter flavor, stir 4 chopped hot green chilies into sauce.