Mahanandi

Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Gutti Vankaaya Kura (Stuffed Brinjal Curry)

From Telugu to English, The literal translation of Gutti vankaaya is ‘bouquet of brinjals’. As its name suggests stuffed brinjal curry is not only an Andhra classic, it is also very pretty to look at and the taste is pure fiery heaven. Greenish white brinjals are perfect for this curry. I make this curry only with this particular variety of brinjal. Unlike the purple brinjals, the green ones have a very delicate skin, cook very easily and taste great.

First part of the recipe is selecting the right brinjals:
If you are going to try this recipe with green brinjals like me, for two people, buy at least 15 to 20 very fresh looking, small size, and perfectly round green brinjals. The brinjals should look shiny without any blemishes, or holes and the stem that they are attached to should be in lively green without having that dried, black look. The tender the green brinjals are, the tastier the end result is. The ones with black seeds are very mature (at least half of your pick will be like this), don’t even bother to cook them, they taste bitter. Because they mature very rapidly, cook them on the same or on next day. Trying to keep them fresh and young in the refrigerator, it’s useless.

It takes at least 30 to 45 minutes to prepare the ingredients and another 30 minutes to cook the curry so attempt this curry only when you have the freshest green brinjals.

Second part is preparing the stuffing:
Ingredients for the stuffing change from home to home. Every home has their own recipe for stuffing. I can make five different kinds stuffing. The one I am going to post today is the family recipe.

Roasted Peanuts, Sesame Seeds, Red Dry Chillies, Coriander seeds, cumin, cloves, cinnamon.

Dry roast:

1 cup peanuts - roast them, when they are cooled, rub and remove the skins
1 cup sesame seeds - dry roast them

8 to 10 dried red chillies
One tablespoon of coriander seeds
Half teaspoon of cumin
4 cloves, one small piece of cinnamon stick
5 to 6 fenugreek seeds (menthulu)(They taste bitter so limit the number)
1 teaspoon of salt
Tamarind
Soak key-lime size tamarind in half cup of water and microwave it for about 15 to 30 seconds. Let the water cool down and squeeze the tamarind to get the paste.

Make a tight paste: Grind all of the above ingredients to a fine, smooth paste. You have to stuff this paste into brinjals so while grinding, under any circumstances, do not add water. Take this paste onto a plate and divide it into two portions. One is for stuffing and the other half is for sauce/gravy.

Brinjals stuffed with peanut, sesame paste

Thoroughly wash and dry the green brinjals. Even the freshest ones are not so fresh here, so I depart from the norm and remove the stems of brinjals. If you want, keep the stems. Take each green brinjal and on the end, opposite of stem, make a plus shape slit towards stem side but not all the way through (one vertical and one horizontal slit).

Fill up the plus shape slit (gap) with stuffing. Using your left hand fingers separate the quarters gently, push the stuffing inside with right hand fingers, again gently. Filling up all the slit green brinjals takes time, so have a seat, keep the stuffing and brinjals in front of you. Do it patiently and slowly without breaking the beautiful brinjals. If you do, you won’t get a bouquet but only the petals.:)- So have patience and treat them like a fragile art project.

Just placed stuffed brinjals in Pressure cooker Stuffed brinjal curry in pressure cooker after one whistle

Cooking:

How I cook them again is different from that of home. Here I use a pressure cooker. What? I know.. my method may be new to you but the results are way better. Pressure cooker makes it fast with less oil and the green brinjals are cooked thoroughly, you can’t find not one hard uncooked piece of brinjal, cooked in this way.

Do the popu or tadka(toasting the black mustard seeds and cumin in one teaspoon of oil). Add half of the peanut-sesame paste that was kept aside and half to one glass of water and one teaspoon of turmeric. Mix them up thoroughly without any lumps. Make the gravy/sauce more on the thin side or watery. Taste it, add salt, red chilli powder and tamarind paste if needed. I also add jaggery, very tiny amount to the gravy (making it mildly sweet). Arrange the stuffed brinjals neatly in the gravy, slit side up. Cover and cook them until the green brinjals are very tender to touch.
I pressure-cook them until one whistle on medium low heat. After the whistle sound, I immediately and slowly release the pressure from the valve by lifting the weight. Resulting in very wholesome, thoroughly cooked stuffed green brinjals.

To serve, with a big spoon gently lift the stuffed brinjals, place them on a plate and pour the sauce around. Tastes great with rice or roti.

Stuffed Brinjal Curry(Gutti Vankaaya Kura) with Rice

Stuffed brinjal curry (Gutti Vankaaya Kura) with rice.

Recipe Source:Amma

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I am going to write it down four other types of stuffings that I know for this cury. The proportions of the ingredients are not specified because there are no hard and fast rules and people at home add a little of this, little of that. So feel free to try various proportions as per your taste.

Type 1:
Dry red chillies + dry or fresh coconut+ chana dal & urad dal + cumin, coriander, fenugreek seeds and salt. Sauté and make a paste of them without adding water. Add cashews to make it rich.

Type2:
Besan or gram flour+onions+green chillies+ginger garlic paste+dry coconut powder+coriander powder and salt, make a paste by adding little bit of water.

Type 3:
red onions + dried red chillies roasted in oil then make a paste of them.

Type4:
Fresh coconut+ roasted peanuts+ roasted sesame seeds+dried red chillies+Coriander seeds+Cumin seeds+cloves+cinnamon stick+ chana dal+ urad dal+tamarind +jaggery and salt. This is my favorite of all.

Before me, some other Indian food bloggers also posted their recipes for this curry. More choices from three other fabulous blogs… always a good thing.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Peanuts, Sesame Seeds, Amma & Authentic Andhra, Vankaya (Brinjal) (Monday October 24, 2005 at 11:31 pm- permalink)
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