Eggplant is a popular vegetable in India. It is found in Sambar and in many poriyals and different curries as the main ingredient or just one of many. It can be roasted until the skin is charred and used in Baigan Bharta, which is a popular item on North Indian menus or cooked as part of the curry making process.
The variety that is available in India is the Indian eggplant. It looks like the traditional American eggplant but it is very small, about 3 inches long. I like using this variety in my recipes since the skin is tender, seeds are barely visible and have a more delicate flavor.
One of my favorite eggplant recipes is stuffed eggplant. Indian eggplants are ideal for this since one or two make a perfect serving size. The recipe for Roasted Stuffed Eggplant is based on the Indian version but it is roasted in the oven so it can be cooked evenly and without requiring constant attention. The filling is made with tomato and onion puree and ground peanuts, which give it the signature flavor. I add various spices and a bit of tamarind to add a slightly sour flavor. When the filling is ready, the eggplants are cut into quarters, up to the stem, and then stuffed and roasted.
Stuffed Roasted Eggplants make an impressive presentation. Serve them as a side dish along with any rice dish.