Havejia is a North Indian, specifically from the region of Gujarat in India, that is truly a special dish. The term Havejia basically means “Stuffed potatoes and eggplants.” It’s probably my #1 favorite Indian curry since I was young. (My mom made it the best, in my opinion.) Unlike a lot of traditional curries you may have seen or even had the opportunity to taste, this dish is seasoned prior to cooking. It is made by stuffing the eggplants and potatoes in this recipe with a hearty and super-spiced up masala mix. The stuffed vegetables are then placed in a simple onion saute and allowed to cook on medium-low heat till they are fork tender. The masala stuffing slowly cooks down into each potato and eggplant and creates this most luxurious and rich sauce that coats everything. It is then eaten with your favorite Indian bread, some rice and lentil dal. I personally love to mix in a big dollop of plain yogurt into the curry when I eat it with my bread because the gravy becomes thicker and creamier. Whether you eat it with yogurt or not, it is just soo good! You need to make this soon!
HAVEJIA (Stuffed Eggplant & Potato Curry)
- Masala Stuffing Mix:
- 1/4 cup tomatoes (finely diced) – about 4 Tbsp.
- 2 Tbsp. fenugreek leaves (fresh or dried)
- 1 Tbsp. salt
- 1.5 tsp. chili powder
- 1 Tbsp. coriander powder (freshly ground if possible)
- 1 Tbsp. cumin powder (freshly ground if possible)
- 1.5 tsp. turmeric powder
- 1 Tbsp. of freshly chopped cilantro
- 1 Tbsp. ginger paste
- 1 Tbsp. garlic paste (minced garlic works too)
- 2 Tbsp. sugar
- 1 tsp. garam masala
- 1 Tbsp. oil
- 2 Tbsp. gram flour (chickpea flour)
- 2 Tbsp. crushed peanuts (*optional)
- Sauté Mix:
- ¼ cup oil
- ¼ cup tomato ketchup
- ¼ tsp. asafetida
- 1 cup water (1.5 cups for a more liquid curry sauce)
- 8 baby eggplants
- 10-12 small potatoes (a little bigger than baby potatoes)
- 1 medium onion (finely diced)
- ¼ cup cilantro (for garnish)
- You can use medium size potatoes and larger eggplants for this recipe, but try not to get them too big, as they will need to be stuffed with the masala mix prior to cooking.
- You can use large chunks of potatoes and eggplants with this recipe if you do not wish to stuff them. Simply sauté all ingredients and masala stuffing mix together in oil, add veggies, water and allow to cook till fork tender.
- Add more chili powder and salt as per desired taste.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine all masala stuffing mix ingredients and mash together till fully incorporated. (Mixture will be chunky and loose). Set Aside.
- Clean and peel potatoes. Soak in water to avoid discoloration.
- Clean eggplants and remove the leaves and thin part of the stem.
- Once cleaned, cut the eggplants and potatoes by making a crosscut ¾ down the middle, keeping the whole vegetables intact. (You should be able to open the veggies and see them in fourths till the middle.
- Stuff each eggplant and potato with the masala mix. Stuff them gently to avoid the vegetables breaking into half. Set Aside.
- In a large pan or pot, add oil and heat on medium. Once oil is hot, add asafetida, onions and ketchup. Allow to cook for about 30seconds to 1 minutes.
- Gently add potatoes and eggplants into the pot and allow to sauté in the onion mixture for about 1 minutes.
- Cover pan/pot and allow to cook for about 10 minutes on medium-low heat (stir in between)
- Open pot add 1 cup water. Cover and allow to cook for about 20-25 minutes or until everything is fork tender.
- When the potatoes are cooked and eggplant is tender, remove from heat. Transfer to serving dish and garnish with extra cilantro.
- Serve hot with desired Indian bread, rice and plain yogurt on side.
Below are how the vegetables are cut, as per step 4 in the recipe.
I guarantee you will love this dish once you make it! This is a perfect example of how Indian vegetarian foods can be the main dish on the table and because of its flavors and heartiness, you won’t miss eating “meat” sometimes! It is a great option for individuals trying to add more vegetables into their diet or just looking for another way to make their vegetables more exciting! Plus, this dish is perfect for a weeknight or special event.
This dish has a special place in my heart because it comes from my childhood and I’m happy to share a piece of my family table with you!
If you like this recipe and would like to share your own pics after making this recipe, feel free to comment below or tag me on IG or Twitter @cmspiceculture, or FB at “Spice Culture Cooking.”