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Brinjal (eggplant) is a very common vegetable around the globe. People consume it in various ways like in dry vegetables, soups, curries etc. I will be presenting a dry vegetable dish in this article and I have named it Brinjal Stuffed Cups. We will go through the ingredients, preparation, and detailed method for preparing this dish in a step by step manner.
Please note that we have to take small to medium sized Brinjals around 2 to 3 inch size for making these stuffed cups.
We will be using microwave oven for preparing this dish though one can make them using the conventional cooking modes also like gas stove or hot plate etc.
Those who are not familiar with microwave cooking can refer to the notes in last para of this article for learning the basics of microwave cooking.
The following ingredients will be sufficient for 2-3 people when taken alongwith other food items during the main meals.
Preparation time 40 minutes
- Brinjal - 4 to 5 numbers (small to medium - around 2 to 3 inch size would be ideal).
- Potato - 1 to 2 Nos.
- Onion - 2 Nos.
- Garlic cloves - 10 Nos.
- Capsicum - 1 No.
- Cooking oil - 1 tbsp.
- Coriander powder - 1 tsp.
- Cumin seeds - 1 tsp.
- Red chilly whole (optional) - 1 No.
- Turmeric powder (optional) - 1/2 tsp.
- Mango powder - 2 tsp.
- Fennel seeds - 1 tsp.
- Green coriander leaves - 1 cup.
- Salt to taste.
For decorating the dish a little amount of following items would be required.
- Chopped green coriander leaves.
Peel and chop onions and garlic cloves. Cut capsicum in small pieces. Also cut red chilly (optional) in small pieces. Mix together and keep aside.
Remove the stem from the head if it is there and then cut each Brinjal in two parts from its head to bottom. Now scoop out some inner soft material from each half part and shape the part in cup or bowl shape. Do not scoop out much and see that at least 1/4 inch or so thickness of the bowl remains. Chop coarsely the scooped out parts removed from all the halves and keep aside.
Prick the potatoes with a thick needle at places and put them in a glass bowl and cover them fully with water and keep it inside microwave and cook for 5-6 minutes in 1st heat range which will soften the potatoes. Let them cool down and then peel them and keep aside.
Mix chopped inner part of Brinjal with boiled potatoes and mash them together. Keep aside.
Take a microwave glass bowl and pour cooking oil in it. Add chopped onion, garlic, and capsicum pieces. Now add coriander powder, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, mango powder, half cup of chopped green coriander leaves, red chilly pieces (optional), and turmeric powder (optional). Mix all the items and put the glass bowl in microwave for 3-4 minutes in 1st or 2nd heat range. I prefer 2nd range as the spices do not get dried or charred which often happens if we keep the 1st range for 4-5 minutes instead of 3-4 minutes. Take the bowl out of microwave.
Now add mashed potatoes, chopped inner part of Brinjal, and salt to taste to this and mix well. The filling is ready.
Now fill each Brinjal cup with this filling upto top. Each cup will accommodate about 2-3 tsp of filling. Keep them in a flat glass bowl side by side. If they are not accommodated in one layer then make another layer above the first one. If any amount of filling remains after stuffing all the cups then sprinkle it on the sides and in between the cups. Add half cup water in the sides and in between the cups taking care that water does not fall on fillings in the cups.
Keep the flat glass bowl in microwave and cook for 13 to 15 minutes in 1st or 2nd heat range. It is strongly suggested to check the dish about 3-4 minutes ahead of the end time. In case the dish seems to be dried up much then we have to sprinkle little water on it so that it does not get burnt or charred in those remaining 3-4 minutes of cooking. Normally 1 tbsp water will do the trick.
The dish is ready now.
Two pieces of these stuffed cups can be served to each person as a serving. It can be served directly on the platter.
Decorate each stuffed cup with chopped green coriander and cream pieces.
Stuffed Brinjal cups
1. Cottage cheese (about 100 gram) can also be added for making filling.
2. For those who do not like taste of capsicum can avoid using it in this dish.
3. Fennel has its characteristic flavour and if it is not available then star anise can be used in its place.
As per the calorific values of the ingredients used, one stuffed cup will provide approximately about 60 calories.
Stuffed cups is not an usual dish but can be prepared on special occasions. It would serve as a good dish for the special guests. People who relish Brinjal as a vegetable would definitely like this dish.
Basics of microwave cooking
Many people use microwave just for heating the food and that is all. But microwave is a very powerful device for cooking and preparing many dishes.
Microwave oven generally has 4 to 5 ranges of heats - very high, high, medium, low, and very low. For cooking the vegetables generally very high or high range is used. The only precaution to be used in microwave cooking is to add the correct quantity of water before keeping the dish, especially dry vegetables, for cooking. Another important thing is time of cooking. Most of the vegetables get cooked in a time band of 10 to 15 minutes.
As a rule of thumb about half cup of water will be required for small quantity of vegetable (for 2-3 persons) while about 3/4th of a cup will be required for medium quantity of vegetable (for 4-5 persons). For gourds and leafy vegetables the quantity of water can be reduced as these vegetables already contain good amount of water.
With a little experience one will learn adding water and keeping the appropriate cooking time for a particular dish. One important thing in microwave cooking is that whenever there is a doubt about the quantity of water and timing then one should pause the microwave cooking about 3 to 4 minutes before the end time and check the dish for consistency and if it is dry then add a little water to it so that it does not get burnt or charred.
While preparing curry vegetables one can add sufficient water as per the requirement of curry consistency and quantity and in that case there is no danger of charring and one can prepare the curries confidently. Preparing curries is relatively easier than preparing dry vegetables in a microwave oven.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2022 Umesh Chandra Bhatt