Baine Barthad

Asha’s Bainé Barthad (Stuffed fried brinjal/eggplant)3_bainebarthad

  • 1/2 kg brinjal, preferably a thin skinned variety


Grind together to a coarse paste:

  • 1 1/2 cups freshly grated coconut
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander seed
  • 1 –1 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp tamarind paste
  • 1 tbsp jaggery
  • Salt to taste
  • 2-3 tbsp oil (untoasted sesame oil, or peanut oil are good choices here)

This quantity of oil will give you a drier finished dish. If you want a more luxurious dish, feel free to use more oil. Brinjal loves oil and will happily drink whatever you send its way!

Trim the brinjal, leaving the stems intact. Score a deep cross into the flesh, going about 2/3 of the way through.

Spoon the coconut and spice mixture into the cuts and press in firmly.

Heat the oil in a wide, shallow pan and put in the brinjal, carefully moving them around to brown the outsides.

Cover and cook on medium low for a few minutes, then cook uncovered until tender.( If there is any coconut mixture left over, add it now and continue cooking.)

This recipe works well with the thin skinned japanese eggplants available here. Cut them into 3-4″ lengths, then score about halfway through before stuffing.

If you’re using the denser fleshed variety of eggplant, you could try baking them instead. Brush with oil and bake at 350 F for 15 minutes until the skin turns brown.Then cover and bake for another 30 minutes.

Finish by cooking them uncovered for another 10-15 minutes, or until done.

Asha’s notes: The coconut mixture should not be ground too fine. To help prevent the brinjal from absorbing too much oil, keep the heat on high initially, until the skin is lightly browned.


Baimbalé curry

Baimbalé curry (Tender bamboo shoot curry) 2_baimbalecurry

½ kg thinly sliced bamboo shoot

(if the bamboo is very tender, you can cook it directly into the curry. Otherwise, it is usually parboiled before use with a little turmeric and salt and using the sour soaking water*.)

2 medium onions, finely sliced

  • 5-6 cloves garlic, lightly crushed
  • A small sprig of curry leaves
  • ½ tsp mustard seed
  • 2-3 dry red chillis,
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder, or to taste
  • 1 ½ cups grated coconut, ground to smooth paste.
  • 1 tsp dark jaggery (optional)
  • A dash of kachampuli** or ½ tsp thick tamarind extract
  • 2-3 tbsp oil.

Grind together:

  • 1/2 tbsp dark roasted cumin
  • 1 tsp roasted mustard seed

Heat the oil on a deep pan, kadhai or wok and put in the mustard. When it sputters, put in the red chillis, curry leaves and garlic. Sauté briefly, then add the onions and cook until they are soft and beginning to brown.

Put in the bamboo shoot, all the remaining spices and 2 cups of hot water. Bring to a low boil and then simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until the bamboo is tender but still firm to the touch.

Add the jaggery if using, followed by the ground coconut paste and simmer for a few minutes more. Stir in kachampuli or tamarind two minutes before removing from the heat.

A perfect pairing with akki ottis and a touch of ghee.

* For more on the preparation of fresh bamboo shoot, refer to


** a souring agent made from the fruit of Garcinia gummi-gutta.