Instant Pot Masala Eggplant Curry. Pressure cooked Indian Baghare baingan. Stuffed Baby Eggplant / Brinjal Curry. Add chickpeas to make a meal. Vegan Glutenfree Soyfree Recipe . Easily made nut-free
I make variations of stuffed baby eggplant using the traditional method of pan frying the eggplant, then stuffing it, and then cooking in the sauce. The frying or pan frying helps hold color and shape of the eggplant. But its a long process. And really its so delicious either way whether you do the frying method or this shorter pressure cooked version. Everything looks brown in the end, so use garnishes liberally and serve with colorful foods like dals, side salad etc.
Make this pressure cooked version and dress it liberally with coconut and cilantro so no one will know how you made it and serve over rice or as a side with dals and flatbread. The stuffing a a mix of roasted whole spices, nuts, chickpea flour or besan, and some coconut. Omit the nuts and use more of chickpea flour and coconut for nut-free version. The toasty mixture is ground up and blended with some ginger, garlic and lime juice to make a coarse paste. The eggplants are sliced across and filled with the paste. Place them in the Instant pot or pressure cooker, add water and done! Cook for 3 to 5 mins, natural release whenever ready to serve. You can also make them in a saucepan on stove top. See both options below.
More Indian Veggie Dishes from the blog.
- Mushroom Matar Masala GF
- Bombay Potato and Peas GF
- Aloo Baingan – Potato Eggplant Curry GF
- Veggies in Coconut Sesame Kolhapuri sauce. GF
- More Instant Pot Recipes here
Serve these eggplants with Dals like a simple everyday Lentil Chard Hariyali Dal, restaurant style Punjabi Dal Fry. Mom’s favorite Sabut Masoor – or Brown Lentil Soup, or a saucy dish like Tofu in Spinach Curry – Saag Tofu
Toast the whole spices
Toast besan, nuts and coconut.
Blend with ginger garlic lime juice.
Stuff the eggplants
Place in instant pot or pressure cooker. Add water and cook for 3 mins.
Natural release and serve garnished with coconut and cilantro. Specimen number 1 on how difficult it is to photograph brown sauces and pressure cooked veggies.
Its true that Indian food is a bit intensive. It is like art with layers of subtle flavors that work with each other and some that dont overlap at all. This applies to many other cuisines. You can play around with the recipes with whatever you have for most cases. It gets easier and faster when you cook more recipes from a cuisine. There is a shorter method in the notes.
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
- 2 to 3 tbsp chickpea flour or besan
- 2 tbsp chopped nuts such as peanuts or cashews
- 2 tbsp coconut shreds
- 1 to 1.5 inch ginger chopped
- 2 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 hot green chile chopped
- 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
- a pinch of cinnamon
- 1/3 to 1/2 tsp cayenne
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp raw sugar jaggery or sweetener
- 1/2 to 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp lime or lemon juice
- water as needed
- 4 to 6 baby eggplants
- 1 cup water
- cilantro coconut and garam masala for garnish
- Heat a small skillet over medium heat or heat the instant pot over saute. Add coriander, cumin and mustard seeds and cook for 2 mins or until the coriander seeds change color.
- Add chickpea flour and mix well. Cook for a min. Add the nuts and coconut and mix well. Roast for 1-2 mins until fragrant. Cool the mixture for a minute then transfer to a small blender or small food processor.
- Process/blend to coarsely grind.
- Add ginger, garlic, chile, lime/lemon and the rest of the ground spices and pulse to make a coarse mixture. Add a tsp or so water until the mixture easily sticks. The mixture is a small amount so you will need a small blender. Alternatively, transfer the dry spice nut mixture from earlier step to a bowl. Add finely chopped ginger, garlic, chile, rest of the ground spices, and mix in. Add lemon and water and mix and make a coarse pasty mixture.
- Make cross cuts on the eggplant, not all the way through so the whole eggplant stays put. Fill the stuffing into the cross cut. See pics above.
- Place the eggplants in an instant pot or pressure cooker. Add 1 cup or more water and 1/4 tsp salt. At this point you can also add in a cup of cooked chickpeas or other beans. Pressure cook for 3 to 5 mins depending on the size of the eggplants. Let the pressure release naturally. Garnish with coconut, cilantro and garam masala and serve with flatbread/roti or rice.
- At the last step, place the stuffed eggplants in a skillet or shallow saucepan with a lid. Add 1.5 cups water and 1/4 tsp salt. Cover and ook over medium heat for 18 to 22 mins or until tender to preference.
You can double the stuffing and make a sauce to add other veggies. Cook 1/2 cup chopped onion in 1 tsp oil until translucent, add the stuffing paste and cook for 2 minutes. Add 1 cup or more water and add veggies of choice. Cook to tender. Adjust salt and heat.
Nut-free: Omit the nuts and use more of chickpea flour and coconut
Shorter Stuffing method: Use pre roasted nuts that have been coarsely chopped. Add chickpeas flour, coconut, ground coriander, cumin, mustard powder instead of whole spice. Mix rest of the dry stuffing ingredients in a bowl. Add mined ginger, garlic and lime juice. add water to make a paste and use.
Nutritional values based on one serving