Gulla Sagle/brinjal in coconut sauce
Eggplant, aubergine or brinjal all are same. Though they come in different shapes, sizes and colors as well, like Green, purple and White! I don’t know if there are any more colors.You can read more about it here.
This special variety that I have used in this recipe is the small green brinjals that I found in the local Indian store. I had come across this few years back in a Chinese store and bought it but they were full of seeds unlike the one available in the Udupi dist area called Matti gulla.Even then when I saw this vegetable again I couldn’t stop myself to buy these little brinjals. The first crop of Brinjal size weighs over a kilo and the last crops come in small sizes like the one in this picture.
They were so tasty and in our house it was prepared in some form either in sambhar, deep fried, or gulla bajji/gozzu, sagle, bharta, talasane or stir fry etc., every single day from the first day it’s in the market to the very last day!!! Growing up we used to hate it after the first few days of its arrival, but now I really want them so badly. All the things which we hated then are the most loved things now especially food related things. In this particular dish brinjals & drumsticks are cooked in a thick coconut sauce along with other spices; they form a very good combination in this particular recipe.
But sometimes the brinjals can be bitter with too many seeds in them. It’s ideal to soak the chopped brinjals in salted water to let it sit for about 30 minutes to 1 hour and then drain out all the water. This process helps in removing the bitterness.
For preparing the sagle you will need
7 small green eggplants chopped into small cubes (you can use the purple ones as well)
10 Drumstick pieces
¼ tsp jaggery
4 tsp Cooking oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
5 to 6 curry leaves
Salt to taste
½ cup coconut gratings
5 to 6 fried red chillies
¼ tsp tamarind concentrate
To be fried:
¼ tsp fenugreek/ methi seeds
1 tsp coriander/dhania seeds
1 tsp cooking oil
1. Firstly trim the stem and clean the brinjals and cube them. Soak the brinjals in salted water (about ½ tsp salt) for about 30 minutes. Drain the water and wash again in 2 or 3 changes of water.
2. Heat a small tadka pan and add 1 tsp cooking oil, add the fenugreek/methi and coriander/dhania seeds and fry on a medium heat till you smell the aromas.Set it aside.
3. In a blender take coconut gratings, tamarind, red chillies and the fried fenugreek and coriander seeds. Add little water and make a fine paste.
4. Heat oil a kadai or a deep sauté pan and add the mustard seeds, when they start sizzling add curry leaves. Now add the brinjals and drumsticks and fry on high for about a minute.
Add water about 1 cups to cook the brinjals, cover and cook till they are soft. Add salt, jaggery and mix well. (Check in between and add more water to cook)
5. Lastly add the grounded masala/paste and mix well. Adjust the consistency by adding little water to make a thick gravy. Mix well and adjust the salt and cover and cook for one last time for about 6 to 8 minutes so that the masala cooks well and gets combined with the brinjals.
6. Serve hot with rice or chapathis.