Since late last year I’ve been on a mission to add to my repertoire or vegetarian Parsi dishes. And one of the conditions was that the dishes I learn should not contain potato because all the vegetarian dishes I make end up having potato and hence are not the most healthy of dishes to eat.
In this pursuit I came across Ravaiya.
Even though Parsis claim this dish as ours, Ravaiya is traditionally a Gujarati dish where baby brinjals are stuffed with different things. Some stuff them with spiced crushed peanuts and some simply marinate them and cook it along with a tomato gravy of sorts. The Parsi version is quite different to this and is a more dry preparation with the brinjals being stuffed with a green coconut chutney.
The first time I ate Ravaiya it was at my friend K’s house where her mom had made these for my vegetable-loving mum. She used the long thin light purple aubergines and had lightly tied them with twine to keep the chutney in. Before this I had only really eaten brinjals sliced and fried or in a moussaka so this was quite a revelation. Since then, I’ve tried making Ravaiya with various different aubergines and with different kinds of chutney until I’ve narrowed down to the version I like best – made with small dark purple brinjals, first fried and then cooked in the chutney itself.
And finally, before I share the recipe a special thank you to my friend Alok Verma for styling the above shot – he blogs at All About The Palate – and to Smita Vinchurkar for the lovely food shot.
- 1 coconut, grated
- 1 bunch of coriander
- 10 chillies
- 2 garlic pods
- 2 tbsp cumin seeds (jeera)
- 4 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp vinegar
- 1.5 tbsp sugar
- 2 tsp salt
- 20 mint leaves
- 20 dark purple baby brinjals
- 1.5 tsp turmeric
- 1.5 tsp red chilli powder
- 2 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp oil
- Take all the chutney ingredients and blend to make a smooth chutney using just enough water to make a smooth paste
- Wash the brinjals and in each make two slits lengthwise keeping the stems on
- Mix the turmeric, red chilli powder and salt and rub this masala into each of the brinjals
- Now take the chutney and stuff each brinjal with about a tablespoon of the chutney taking care to ensure the brinjals don't split
- Let these rest for about 30 minutes to ensure the masala seeps in
- In a pan heat the oil and shallow fry the brinjal to sear the skin lightly. I recommend using a broad deep pan so that you don't have to mix too much as this will cause the chutney stuffing to leak out
- Once the brinjals are seared, add in the remaining chutney along with a cup of water
- Cover and let the Ravaiya cook for about 15 - 20 minutes until the brinjals become tender
- If the chutney dries up add a little water. You want to end up with a thick consistency at the end so not too much though
- Serve hot with warm chapattis as a main or as a side with some Dhandar