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Tumgai Palya or Ennegayi Palya in Kannada refers to stuffed brinjal or Bharli Vangi as its called in Marathi.
In Dharwad we have special places where they sell jowari rotti, tumgai playa, kaal playa and somehow Pappa always brought mirchi bhaji with it.
My granny used to always say that Ghatprabha vegetables and dals are tasty. What she meant that food grown in Ghatprabha river basin is tastier. Maybe she was biased. I had all but forgotten about it till Mammi reminded me about it. Mammi had cooked yummy food as usual, and was explaining why she insists on carrying vegetables to Bangalore.
Whatever the basin I cannot forget the taste of the Tumgai Palya made by my aunts in Dharwad. No matter how much I help them and how many times I have made it under their supervision it better in Dharwad.
Basically the question that was asked was” do the brinjals have seeds?” Meaning : Are they tender, removed from the plant before the seeds have a chance to form. Then they proceeded to choose unmarked brinjals, absolutely no holes in the outer skin. Choose straight small ones the one that the stalk is a bit crooked maybe spoilt.
There is a green and white variety of brinjals that do not look attractive but they taste better. Buy them if you get a chance. Actually the once which have small thorns are now a dying breed they are the best.
To choose go for unmarked brinjals, absolutely no holes in the outer skin. Choose straight small ones the one that the stalk is a bit crooked maybe spoilt. Choose a few more than what you need. Why? The insides of the brinjal should be clean, no black marks or holes are good ones and can be used. The rest need to be discarded.
“Tum” is filling or stuffing and any vegetable or fruit that is not ripe is kai but t is pronounced as gai when referring to brinjal.
Forget it and enjoy the stuffed brinjal or “aubergine stuffed”!
Tumgai Palya,Veggies that are Fruits
- 500 Grams Grams Brinjals small
- 3 Onions
- 1/2 Teaspoon Haldi/turmeric powder
- 1/2 Teaspoon Red Chilli powder
- 2 Teaspoons Kanda Lasun Masala
- 3 Tablespoons Coconut freshly grated
- 2 Tablespoons Groundnuts roasted and powdered (I do not use)
- 1 Tablespoons Til/sesame seed roasted and powdered (I generally use very little)
- Tamarind a lemon sized ball
- Jaggery to taste
- Salt to Taste
- 2-3 Tablespoons Oil
- 1/2 Teaspoon Mustard
- 1/2 Teaspoons Hing/Asafoetida
- Soak the tamarind and extract thick juice.
- Wash and slit the brinjals. To slit cut off the stalk and cut with a knife but do not go all the way down.
- Turn the brinjal and at 90 degrees make a similar slit. Drop the brinjal in water else it will discolour.
- Mix the onion, coconut, the groundnut powder and Til powder (if using), the masala, jaggery, salt and the tamarind extract.
- Stuff in each of the brinjal. Set aside.
- Heat the Kadhai/wok add oil and splutter the mustard. Then add the hing.
- Lower the flame and arrange the brinjals in the kadhai.
- Any leftover masala paste can be added to make the gravy.
- Stir gently for about 3 minutes. Then add about a cup of water.
- Cover with a lid; I generally use a concave lid or plate. Add water on the lid.
- Cook on low flame till done.
- Serve garnished with coriander.
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