01 April, 2009

Rhengan Reveya: Rural, Rustic Charm!

Rhengan Reveya, Rustic and Delicious
Rhengan Reveya

Will it be called too much of bragging if I were to say I cook very mean Indian food?
Will it be called blowing your own horn, little too loudly perhaps, if I am to say I cook better than the chefs at well known Indian curry houses?
Will I be kicked out from the restaurant for asking the chefs to change their career because they failed to cook one decent pot of rice?
Err, will I be?

I think I am in trouble! Who am I kidding; I am in deep $h1t!!! It is becoming difficult for me not to compare the food served in Indian restaurants with the ones I make at home. Most the restaurants have standard vegetarian menu of Aloo Gobi, Aloo Palak, Palak Paneer, Paneer Makhani, Channa Masala, Malai Kofta and some lentil dishes. And I cook all these at home with less oil, less fat and more flavour! Over 3 years of testing and experimenting in my small 10X8 feet kitchen, I feel I can give good competition when it comes to making most of the Indian foods served in restaurants. And there are times when I can’t help but compare the food they serve and feel I cook better than that! I am my worst critic and yet I feel this way. You have no idea how miserable I feel when faced with situations like this where I end up twisting my nose and giving lectures as what is missing or what went wrong with that bowl of food!

The problem is food menu in any restaurants is limited few items which anyone can cook better at home provided you have right ingredients and know how to use them. We can’t blame westerners if they think that Indian cuisine begins and ends with ‘Curry’. Think about it! One country, more than forty languages, over 1500 dialects, hundreds of festivals, 28 states and 7 union territories and yet first thing that comes to mind when you talk of Indian food is ‘Curry’! It can’t get more ironic than this, can it?

India is a pluralistic, multilingual and multi ethnic society as you will find that every state with its own traditions, culture, lifestyle, and food is no exception. Then why limit your menu to just handful of things? It’s not like people like only those foods. I am sure they will enjoy tasting different regional cooking that not only tastes wonderful but also healthier. I have seen my western friends relishing simple lemon rice and mango rice with raitas. I have seen that content look on their face when they are served fluffy and soft Idli with coconut chutney. And it didn’t take long for them to fall in love with lightly spiced Kichidi when served with pickle, yogurt and papads. Yes, if given choice and chance I am sure that everyone will enjoy discovering regional cuisines of India.

Among so many curry houses, we have very few favourites who have unique food items listed in their menu. One among them is a small vegetarian Guajarati restaurant that serves authentic regional cuisine to its customers. This restaurant is run by family members of four and mother and daughter in law team is in charge of kitchen. This is the only restaurant that we visit almost every month for their simple yet delicious Gujarati Thai that has selection of one starter, two vegetarian sides with Pulkas, Dal with rice or Kichidi with Kadhi, roasted papad, and dessert (either plain or mango Shrikand). We have been visiting this place since one year yet we are not tired of eating same food! The main reason is it tastes more like home food prepared by someone who really cares for you. Yes, it’s like any food prepared by your mother or grandmother who keep in mind to cook food that not only tastes great but it is lot healthier and good for you. The food served there is simple, rustic and without any frills in a friendly environment with great service. I am really thrilled to find one restaurant that serves exceptional food at reasonable price and leave you feeling satisfied and content!!!

One such lovely food served there is Rhengan Reveya which is a simple and rustic stuffed baby aubergine and potato satay. When asked for the recipe, Kaushi, the mother in charge of kitchen, gave me this rough recipe of this traditional Gujarati dish which involves skilful marinating and stuffing of baby aubergine and potatoes with ground spices and peanuts. After few trial and errors I have successfully managed to create Rhengan Reveya that same tastes very close to what is cooked by dear Kaushi. Kaushi says you need lot of patience when it comes to master the art of creating a truly scrumptious dish of Rhengan Reveya, or any food for that matter, to bring out all the delicate flavours of a traditional satay marinade and follow the delicate cooking procedures involved in creating this magic! I totally agree with her!!! If you are looking for cooking and eating authentic, rustic and delicious Gujarati food then this recipe of Rhengan Reveya is definitely for you. Don’t get daunted by the long list of ingredients as it is really one simple dish that doesn’t take more than 20 minutes of your cooking time. I highly recommend this dish of Baby Aubergine and Potatoes if you love this king of vegetables for its amazing texture and phenomenal taste when cooked right!

Spices & Peanut powder for stuffing Rhengan Reveya
Groud Peanuts & Spices for Stuffing

Marinated Vegs for Rhengan Reveya
Stuffed Baby Eggplants & Potatoes for Rhengan Reveya

Photobucket Print This Recipe
Rhengan Reveya (Baby Aubergine and Potato Satay, rustic food from Gujarat)
Prep Time: 5-10 mins
Cooking Time: 15-20 mins
Serves: 4-6
Recipe Source: Kaushi
Recipe Level: Basic/Beginner to Medium
Spice Level: Medium
Serving Suggestion: With any Indian flat breads or with flavoured/steam cooked Rice

8-10 Baby Purple Eggplants, washed, dried
8-10 Baby Potatoes or 2 medium Potatoes, peeled and cut into bite sized pieces

For Tadka/Tempering:
½ tbsp Oil
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
¼ tsp Hing/Asafoetida

For the Stuffing & Marinating:
1/3 cup Roasted Peanuts, ground to fine powder
¾-1 tbsp Roasted Coriander Powder
½-¾ tsp Roasted Cumin Powder
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
1-1½ tsp Red Chilli Powder (Adjust acc to taste)
½ tsp Turmeric Powder
½ tsp Aamchur/Dry Mango Powder (Optional)
1-2 tsp Sugar
A big pinch of Hing/Asafoetida (Optional)
1 inch Ginger, peeled and grated
3 tbsp Coriander Leaves, finely chopped
2-3 tbsp Oil
Salt to taste
Rhengan Reveya

Grind roasted peanuts to fine powder and transfer it into a mixing bowl. Mix in all dry spice powders one by one. Next add grated ginger, finely chopped coriander leaves, salt to taste and oil and mix them well. You will get a crumbling mixture. Keep it aside till needed.
Make ‘+’ marked slits ¾th way on baby eggplants keeping their stems intact. Stuff the eggplants with prepared mixture. Make sure that you don’t break the eggplants while stuffing. Once you have stuffed all the eggplants with mixture, add chopped potatoes to remaining stuffing and mix well so that potatoes are coated well. Mix eggplants with potatoes and keep them aside to marinate for 5-10 minutes.
Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds and hing. When cumin starts to sizzle and turn golden red, mix in stuffed eggplants and potatoes. Add about 1-1½ cups of boiling water and cover the lid. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let it cook undisturbed for 5 mins.
Open the lid after 5 mins and gentle mix all the vegetables. Add little more water if needed and cover and cook again for 10-15 minutes, mixing in between, till both eggplants and potatoes are cooked though.
Garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves and serve with steam cooked rice or Roties and enjoy this rustic, delicious Rhengan Reveya.

Rhengan Reveya
Rhengan Reveya

For this batch of Rhengan Reveya I went on to prepare freshly roasted and ground coriander and cumin powder and without any doubt they tasted amazing when combined with other ingredients for stuffing. So I would strongly recommend you to prepare fresh batch of coriander and cumin powder if you have enough time and see the whole world of difference it makes when it comes to flavour and aroma. Just lightly dry roast them on low heat for 1-2 minutes to bring out their heady aroma and grind them to fine powder once cooled completely.


  1. Hey sia the very name was so curious and i never heard the name before and was wondering from which part of india the dish is from....

    Looks very yummy being a brinjal fan a must try,

  2. I am drooling over the pics. Will come back again to note the recipe. Bookmarked.

  3. I can tolerate 'curry', but I am ready to shoot them when they ask me if I can make lamb Vidaloo! I get very annoyed that they don't know idli, dose, chutney..all they can think of is Naan bread and Lamb Vindaloo!!! Abhaaa....

    This one I shall definitely try. I made your Malai Kofta- heavenly. If you open a restaurant I will be your regular customer!!

  4. Very true..... Many a time, we simply pay a huge price for some stupid dish, which when prepared at home would actually taste a lot better!
    I couldn't see the pics here, as Flickr is blocked :( Will check it out from home later!

  5. that looks soo much like yenngai alwa? very pretty those are sia

  6. Sia, exactly true. You are not blowing your horn you are stating a fact. Here is an example, I saw dal on the hot food bar in a grocery store here, the rest of the items on the bar looked really good but the dal looked so pathetic and the 10 minutes I was there nobody even made a second glance at it. Looked that bad. Just need a bit of patience and love I guess.

    This Rhengan Reveya, from the name on I am hooked.

  7. Wow this looks so so yummydelcious, if baby aubergines were available here i would have rushed to the shops and made this super yummy deish.
    I totally agree with you, about indian restraunts. I have stopped going to Indian here as I am always sitting there and critizing could be also i don't have a huge choice of good indian places here.

  8. I totally agree with you Sia, the restaurants limit their menu list and undoubtedly the home food is much more tastier than theirs. They think they can fool the westeners but the desis definitely can find a huge difference. That's what is hard being abroad.

  9. I can't more agree with you ...most of the time I endup having the same feeling that I cook better than restaurants....and bloody paying so high for such lousy food....the recent was today's lunch!!....Well we can't change something..can we ;)..now coming over to your Rhengan Reveya ( I didn't said brinjal curry :p)...looks dead gorgeous... bookmarked!

  10. That looks spicilicious. I haven't had baby brinjals for ages now :-(

  11. Lovely, sounds really delicious.

  12. I know this must be yum...I once had a cook who had worked in a gujju household, she used to make something very similar!

  13. My mouth is watering just looking at the pics. We have a Udipi restaurant close to us that is very good and tastes almost homemade. But I dont understand why food at most of the Desi restaurants tastes the same, oily & bland.

  14. Hey Sia,
    No, it will not be called bragging because you sure do make mean meals. I believe that if you are really good at what you do, you have the RIGHT TO BRAG.
    I have the same problem, I choose diffrent indian restaurants evrytime, only to find that all of them have the same menu. Butter masala, naan, pulao etc etc. BORING!
    When you start your own restaurant, I will be a regular there:)

  15. Sounds delicious....can't wait to try this one !

  16. Lovely looking dish...love brinjals...Moved to Gujarat close to a year back and totally love the thalis here...simple and nice tastes...Your pictures are mind-blowingly good !!

  17. i love Gujarati food. can you provide the details of he restaurant name and location.

    btw ur pictures are scrumptious!

  18. This is exactly my kind of recipe, love traditional/authentic foods. I have marked few recipes from your blog yet to try them.

  19. For the same reason, I dropped eating Indian food here :( Those brinjals are just calling me to pick one! Real charm the way u made up stand!

  20. Sia, nice to see my region's recipe in ur blog. Yeah...it's our signature dish of Gujarat. Mine recipe is different and I cook it simply in pressure-cooker yet come out very flavorful.
    Hope you had enjoyed fully.

  21. Ooooohhhh, I just had a growly hunger pang!!! Those delicious little eggplants did it! Yum!!!

  22. Thats a lovely dish Sia, looks so yummy :)

  23. the brinjals look so good! how do you get such uniform ones with same sized stalks? very cute and i have bookmarked the recipe :)

  24. I love Gujju food man! This is heavenly! Will try for sure

  25. I totally agree with you, when it comes to eat out in Indian Restaurent very limited choices are there. We are cooking everyday and still there is so much there to discover and learn, and they still have those 10 curries to chose from.
    Eggplant recipe is really nice, already bookmarked and ready to try..

  26. Those are making my mouth water.

    We rarely go to Indian restuarants, hate that pathetic orange sauce that makes every darn thing taste the same. Yuck!

  27. this is absolutely delicious. I am going to try this weekend :)

  28. looks yummy as usual..i am not able to pronounce it even...ha ha...new dish to me...:)

  29. I really feel nostalgic after reading this recipe because my mom used to make this curry and I love it. She used to add besan (chickpea flour) also in the stuffing.
    I am completely agree with you regarding restaurent food outside India.

  30. I do that all the time... if I feel that I can dish out stuff that's better than a restaurant... I'd never go there again.

    Have you watched Cheeni Kum? :-)

    I love brinjal... and can bookmark as many recipes as I find...and try them :)

  31. You are not blowing your trumpet Sia .. just stating facts. Food served in the most high class of restaraunts often do not match up to our expectations ... which is actually simple yet flavourful food. :-)
    Am bookmarking this recipe ... and awesome clicks Sia! :-)

  32. Sia,
    looks so delicious , with roti or paratha it will taste evn better ..
    hugs and smiles

  33. I can't agree more..I am getting bored to eat out, as I am a vegeterian, and everytime I eat the same thing..Nothing like homemade food.Baby brinjals look so cute and awesome..Just drooling over the pictures.

  34. mmm..brinjals never looked so gorgeous before.bookmarked:)
    The desi restaurants have the same pathetic saga here....

  35. Looks delicious..never heard this name b4.

  36. Solution. Open a restaurant seriously. You already have clients to serve :)

    The baingan looks stunning, from the name I thought it was Indonesian

  37. Tut tut Sia..you bragger you!
    Just kidding..see that's the problem with being a food snob. I do that too, I'd rather eat bread and cheese at home than go and pay good money for horrible grease laden food. The gujrati restaurant sounds great and so does this yummy dish (in spite of the fact that I'm not a baigan person)

  38. Will it be called too much of bragging if I were to say I cook very mean Indian food? - Not at all!

    Will it be called blowing your own horn, little too loudly perhaps, if I am to say I cook better than the chefs at well known Indian curry houses? - Definitely not!

    Will I be kicked out from the restaurant for asking the chefs to change their career because they failed to cook one decent pot of rice? - Maybe not kicked out but you can't be sure what they would put in your food, so tread carefully.

    Now you know that the only way I eat eggplant is as a choka (fire-roasted), similar to Bigan Bharta. Thanks to a recipe from Trupti, I also cook the roasted eggplant in a dry curry with potatoes. I have to tell you though that if I were at your house and you made the dish you have here I would be tempted to give eating eggplant another try. OMG! Just look at those photographs. It is a pity that we don't get these nice small eggplants, this is a dish, I would love to make for my mother.

    You are the best!

  39. Such an unusual recipe! This one's something I absolutely want to try.

  40. Hello Sia,
    Great Site, Everything looks good ...love the picure presententation. Will definitely try some recepies....

  41. Looks delicious! Peanuts in stuffing? must taste yummy according to me. pictue reminds me of our yengai palya... Talk about that 'curry' thing and I have enough stories to tell! anyways people here know 2 things naan and curry and some are crazy about garlic naan and their Indian food starts and ends there!

  42. Hi Sia, the eggplants look so yummy. Love that spice powder :)

    I agree with you about the indian restaurents. They have a very standard menu.. :(

  43. Looks great! We make a similar stuffed brinjal curry with peanuts but am sure the potatoes and freshly ground spices would create a wonderful taste! You are true Sia, nowadays I hardly get any satisfaction even in the costliest restaurants :( Home cooked food is lot better and my family don't like cakes that is brought from any of the bakeries here, they say mine taste a lot better :)

  44. they look more like yennegayi right? for yennegayi, we dont add potatoes. They look heavenly Sia..

  45. Feel like grabbing one and eat it,never tried like this before!

  46. Hi Sia, I have been reading your blog from sometime now..you have some lovely collection of recipes..m drooling over it :) Will definately be trying lots of your recipes..will let you know. thanks for sharing them :)

  47. That looks super yummy :) bookmarking to try this.

  48. Sia, this looks so delicious...Though i make a similar preparation w/ baby eggplaants...you tempt me to give this a try... Pictures look gorgeous.

  49. Eye catching pictures Sia!!I agree with you, I hate to go to Indian Restaurants in US.This looks similar to yenngai...I am sure using peanuts will make them tasty..Great post..

  50. Hello,

    We bumped into your blog and we really liked it - great recipes YUM!!! YUM!!!.
    We would like to add it to the Petitchef.com.

    We would be delighted if you could add your blog to Petitchef so that our users can, as us,
    enjoy your recipes.

    Petitchef is a french based Cooking recipes Portal. Several hundred Blogs are already members
    and benefit from their exposure on Petitchef.com.

    To add your site to the Petitchef family you can use http://en.petitchef.com/?obj=front&action=site_ajout_form or just go to Petitchef.com and click on "Add your site"

    Best regards,


  51. Never heard that name before. Awesome presentation and the dish looks just mouthwatering. Kind of like Engaayi rite?

  52. Amazing as all the baby brinjals stalks have uniformly covered with masala. Pls respond how you did. Only its name is different but I too looked like u and didnt add more spicy. So cute. Pls reply my email

  53. Thanks for sharing the recipe Sia, looks wonderfully delicious!

  54. This looks delicious, Sia. I have had eggplant stuffed with different things, but never peanuts.

    As for preferring home cooked food to that served at many restaurants, its not surprising. We get the same feeling when we get what is popularly served as "punjabi" or "south Indian" food in many restaurants here.

  55. lovely pics, sia. in my town we have three indian restaurants and all three serve disgusting food. greasy and just disgusting. i went to each once and never again.

    in california we had very authentic mom and pop restaurants serving home-style indian food - gujju, mallu, punju, you name it. in my town, heck in my whole state, you can't buy a dosa.

  56. What a co-incidence. I made these this week :) A little bit different.. but similar! You are so right about restaurants serving sub-par Indian cuisine! We normally try other cuisines whenever we eat out.

  57. you're absolutely right... this is true Gujarati rustic cooking at its best! When my mom made this growing up, we used to make faces... now everyone asks for the recipe, lol... Love your photo - how you stood them up lollipop style :)

  58. Wow ! ia am drooling over the pics ..wow ! i have bookmarked all ur recipes :)

  59. Ever since I saw this recipe, I was very eaer to taste this. I tried it this weekend. It was very delicious with simple flavours, love the combo of brinjal and aloo.
    Thanks Sia for gettin the recipe from Khushi.

  60. i m trying this recipe out now!!!! Ur recipes r awesome!

  61. That looks absolutely mouth-watering, Sia! I'd down it with a bhakri or a slice of bread right now!

    Love the blog layout, functionality, and pictures!

  62. I have tried this and it came out very well.
    Thanks you very much Sia


  63. lovely pics ,making me hungry! i love eggplants. and i have some now at home. Will try this recipe..


Namaste! I am Sia and welcome to Monsoon Spice, my virtual home. Thank you for all your comments, inputs and feedback. I really appreciate the valuable time you spent browsing through my recipe repertoire.

I hope you have found what you are looking for today. Feel free to leave any questions or queries you have on the recipes posted here. If you have any recipe requests, please drop a line at Ask Sia page. I will try to respond to all your queries as soon as possible to best of my knowledge.

I welcome all your valuable inputs and constructive criticism as long as it is meant to help and improve the blog. I reserve the right to delete any comments that are rude, abusive, written with the intent to advertise, contain profanity or considered spam.

I hope that you will stop by again to read my rants, learn new recipes and share your ideas. Have a good look around and enjoy your time here. Thank you once again!