Winter comfort food

G Magazine

Far removed from the Indian food you might pick up from your local takeaway, these recipes serve up a taste of the traditional home-cooked meals of Mysore, India.

Stuffed Egglant Palaya

Stuffed Egglant Palaya



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Stuffed Egglant Palaya

The smaller eggplants (brinjals) are ideal for this recipe, as they look nice when served. Keep the stem while cooking and discard before eating. Brinjals have a bitter taste and the spices eliminate this. This is a delicious dish served with rotis or chapattis.
Serves 4

1 capsicum, chopped into ½ inch pieces
500 g small eggplants (brinjals)
250 ml water
2 tomatoes, chopped into ½ inch pieces
1 tablespoon coconut, grated
1 teaspoon fresh coriander, finely chopped

Ingredients for stuffing
2 tablespoon peanuts
2 tablespoon white sesame seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
¼ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
¼ teaspoon red chilli powder
¼ teaspoon coriander powder
¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
salt to taste

3 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
8–10 curry leaves
1 pinch asafetida (an Indian herb)


Roast the peanuts without oil. Set aside. Roast the sesame seeds, cumin and fenugreek seeds, without oil, until they turn golden brown. Set aside and allow to cool. Once cool, grind ingredients and combine with the red chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder and salt to taste. Set aside.

Slice the eggplants lengthwise four times without cutting through to the middle. Fill with the stuffing and set aside. Prepare the tempering by heating the oil over a low heat in a heavy-bottomed pot.
Add the black mustard seeds, and when they start to splutter add the curry leaves and asafetida.

Add the capsicum and fry for 2-3 minutes. Add the stuffed eggplants and fry for 5 minutes turning them gently. Add the water and cover with the lid. Cook for 10 minutes or until eggplants become soft. Add the tomatoes and coconut and mix well. Stir delicately so that the eggplants do not break. Fry for a few more minutes.

When ready, transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with coriander leaves. Salt to taste. Serve hot with rotis, chapattis and dosa or with rice.


Makes 10–12

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
¾ cup warm water (enough for a kneadable dough)


Combine all ingredients and knead into a smooth dough. The dough is ready when it is not sticky anymore and your fingers leave a smooth impression. It should feel soft and pliable. Cover and let sit for one hour.

Before rolling out punch the dough and knead again. Divide the dough into 10–12 balls, flatten lightly by hand and dip each ball into some more flour. Roll out into circles of approx. 15 cm diameter. Lightly oil the top of the chapatti and fold over twice until you have a triangle. Lightly flour the topside and roll out again.

Heat a crepe pan or traditional Indian flat pan without oil on medium-high. When hot place a rolled out chapatti “right side” up onto the pan (the “right side” is the one facing you when you roll it out). When bubbles appear turn the chapatti over and cook until tiny brown spots appear on the side facing the pan.

Remove from pan and butter.

Recipes extracted from Mysore Style Cooking by V. Sandhya, $27.95, now available at bookstores.