This is an improvement of the Stuffed Eggplant Poriyal recipe, which is cooked on the stove. I tried that, but my spices burned, so I decided to bake the eggplant dish instead.
2 tsp oil
2 tbsp coriander seeds
2 tbsp urad dal, picked over and rinsed
2 tbsp yellow split peas, picked over and rinsed
2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp hing
3-4 dried red chillies, seeds removed
1 c flaked coconut, dry roasted till brown
salt to taste
1.5 tsp tamarind concentrate
1/2 c water
Blend it all together into a thick paste.
STUFF paste into 12 baby eggplants.
Eggplants should be slit into quarters lengthwise, and not cut through entirely.
Fill the eggplant slits with stuffing and set aside. NOTE: Slit eggplants only AFTER stuffing is ready, or eggplants will become discolored.
Preheat oven to 250 F.
Arrange stuffed eggplants in greased pyrex.
Take leftover stuffing, add water (around 1 c) to make a stuffing that is just slightly more runny than pancake batter. Pour over eggplants.
Cover with foil and bake 30 min. Check. Bake for longer as needed until cooked. (Mine took just over 2 hours).
Serve hot with rice.
ALTERNATIVE: Can stuff green peppers instead of eggplant if you want.
NOTE: Tastes great, turned out well. Missed the roasted eggplant taste. Next time will split the difference — will cook the eggplant on the stove FIRST (after it has been split, before it has been stuffed) and then dunk it in the watered down stuffing and let it simmer on the stove or in the oven. A local South Indian place serves its veggies like this, and now I know why.