Ravaiya (Chutney Stuffed Brinjals)

Ravaiya - Chutney Stuffed Baby Brinjals

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.

If you’re thinking of making this at home know that Ravaiya is a great dish by itself by typically I like to serve it with Dhandar or even as a pre-cursor to a brilliant plate of Kaju Chicken.

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.

Ravaiya

A Gujarati classic reinvented by the Parsis, Ravaiya are chutney stuffed baby brinjals. A rare Parsi dish that has no potato, Ravaiya is a must try for the Parsi food loving vegetarian.

  • Prep Time: 15m
  • Cook Time: 30m
  • Total Time: 45m

Ingredients

Chutney Stuffing

  • 1 coconut, grated
  • 1 bunch of coriander
  • 10 chillies
  • 2 garlic pods
  • 2 tablespoons cumin seeds (jeera)
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 20 mint leaves

Ravaiya

  • 20 dark purple baby brinjals
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons red chilli powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons oil

Instructions

  1. Take all the chutney ingredients and blend to make a smooth chutney using just enough water to make a smooth paste
  2. Wash the brinjals and in each make two slits lengthwise keeping the stems on
  3. Mix the turmeric, red chilli powder and salt and rub this masala into each of the brinjals
  4. Now take the chutney and stuff each brinjal with about a tablespoon of the chutney taking care to ensure the brinjals don't split
  5. Let these rest for about 30 minutes to ensure the masala seeps in
  6. 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
  7. Once the brinjals are seared, add in the remaining chutney along with a cup of water
  8. Cover and let the Ravaiya cook for about 15 - 20 minutes until the brinjals become tender
  9. 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
  10. Serve hot with warm chapattis as a main or as a side with some Dhandar

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