3 tbsp safflower oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tsp coriander, ground
½ tsp cinnamon, ground
pinch of ground cloves
½ cup flaked coconut
1 tsp cayenne pepper (or more)
½ tsp sea salt
1 1tbsp tamarind paste
2 tbsp molasses, brown or demura sugar
½ tsp black mustard seeds
½ tbsp tamarind
1 tsp kudzu made into a slurry with ½ cup water
1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
Slit the eggplants lengthwise to within 3/4 inch of the stem end so that each eggplant remains in one piece.
Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a large frying pan or skillet over medium-high heat for 1 min. Add the garlic and fry for 30 sec. Add the coriander, cinnamon, and cloves; fry for 15 more sec. Stir in the coconut and cayenne pepper; continue frying, stirring, until lightly toasted (about 2 min). Turn off the heat and stir in the salt, tamarind and molasses, and mix well.
Stuff the eggplants with the spicy coconut mixture. Secure them by wrapping thread around them or using skewers.
Heat the remaining 1 tbsp oil in the same pan over medium-high heat. When it is hot, add mustard seeds. Keep a pot lid handy, as the seeds may spatter and fly all over. When the seeds stop spattering, add the eggplants in one layer. Fry the eggplants, turning them often, for 3 or 4 min. Reduce heat to medium or medium low and cook them, covered, for 5 – 7 min or until they are soft and cooked through. Turn off heat. Transfer them to a serving platter and pour the Ginger Tamarind sauce over them. Serve immediately.
GINGER-TAMARIND SAUCE: Place the tamarind in a pot with the kudzu slurry then bring to a simmer for 2 min. Turn off heat and stir in ginger shreds.
Serves 4 as a side