Friday, 7 June 2013

Currying favour

Bharela Ringan Bataka

All my favourite ingredients – the usual suspects – the seed/nut triumvirate, eggplant, potatoes and besan. My latest proud possession, my Tuffware langdi pan and a traditional cooking technique that intrigues me - the panyachey zhakan or “lid filled with water”. The recipe from my favourite cuisine - Gujarati…

This dish is simply currying favour.

As it did with Suranga Date, my very wise, witty and wonderful blogger friend from Mumbai - who has this knack of capturing the soul and spirit of a recipe and story and presenting it in a fabulous fable... 

Do visit her blog Strewn Ashes to see how Suranga paints a milieu of a mass wedding ceremony of delicate vaangi ben (and other brides) and robust bataka bhai (and other grooms) at the Langadi Function Hall...

Tuffware Langdi

I have seen many variations of this dish; some make it with tomatoes, others without. This one with tomatoes is possibly a Kutchi variation. The combination of all these ingredients makes this typically Gujarati – but there is one key ingredient missing.

Can you guess what is it that gives it the Gujarati-ness?


6 small sizes ringan (eggplants)
6 baby bataka (potatoes)
2 tbsp thick tomato puree or two small tomatoes, finely chopped

For the stuffing

1 tbsp coarsely powdered roasted peanuts
1 tbsp toasted and roughly crushed sesame seeds 
1 tbsp toasted desiccated coconut
2-3 tbsp besan
1 tsp garam masala/goda masala/ Badshah undhiyu masala
½ tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
½ tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chili powder (or more)
Salt to taste
2 tbsp oil

For the tempering

4 tbsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp cumin seeds
A pinch of hing


Heat a pan and add 2 tbsp oil and roast the besan until light brown and fragrant.  Cool and mix all the other ingredients for the stuffing. Check to adjust the taste to your liking.

Parboil the potatoes in salted boiling water (only about 50 % done) and when cooled, cut each potato into half almost all the way down, so the two halves are not separated. There is no need to peel the potatoes if the skin is clean and unmarked.

Wash eggplants and slit into quarters, almost all the way to the calyx.

Stuff the eggplant and potatoes with the stuffing, pressing the cut veggies together to keep the stuffing in.

Heat 3-4 tbsp oil in a langadi pan (squat and wide bottomed pan) and add mustard seeds to crackle. Then add hing, turmeric, chilli powder, potatoes, and eggplants and shake gently to coat the stuffed vegetables with the tempering. Sprinkle any remaining stuffing over the eggplant and potatoes. Cook covered with a water bath- a deep dish filled with water, until you see the water in the dish steaming.

Remove the lid and gently move the vegetables around the pan. Now add tomato puree or finely chopped tomatoes. Add a little salt to taste – only for the gravy. If required, add a little water to keep the mobility in the gravy. Cover again and cook till done. Check the potatoes and eggplants for doneness and for the tomato gravy to release the oil.

Remove from the heat and let it stand for a few minutes.

Some people make this in a pressure cooker or pressure pan.

Garnish with coriander (I didn’t have any when I made this!)

Serve hot with roti, bhakri or puri.

And the missing ingredient is 1 tsp of sugar or grated jaggery... to be added to the stuffing!

1 comment:

  1. Ooh-awesome! I have never tried this variation with tomatoes and undhiyu masala. I shall try soon!


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