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

Baby Brinjals in Masala Sauce (Gutti Vankaya)

Gutti Vankaya Kura (Stuffed Brinjal Curry or Baby Brinjals in Masala Sauce)

Once upon a time, like many of us in present time, a housewife was struggling with the question, “what’s for lunch?”

Adding to the stress, it was almost month end, everything in her kitchen cupboard needed refilled. To do that she had to wait until the salary comes home. What she had was few young brinjals from her backyard garden. Even the pleasant pale purple color of brinjals couldn’t lift her spirits up. Nonchalantly she plucked the brinjals and dragged herself into the kitchen to prepare something. She opened the cupboard, added everything that was available there to the skillet to roast. Wonderful aroma from roasting lifted her spirits a little. She had to powder them so pounded away her frustrations. In exercise induced endorphin daze, she thought of a novel way to cook brinjals and made a plus shaped cut in brinjals. In a big skillet, added the brinjals along with powdered ingredients and a glass of water. Covered the vessel and let it simmer while she went to freshen up. When she came back what she had in the pot was a delicious stew of brinjals. So fragrant and so pretty to look at. Her face glowed like a warm sapphire and at last she smiled at her ingenuity. Thus, a new recipe was born! Saving housewives everywhere, whenever they are low in spirits or things in kitchen cupboards.

I am sure this must be the story behind the ever-popular stuffed brinjal curry of India. Like the designers to dress stars at Oscar night, all the famous spices and ingredients in Indian kitchen come out, but here to dress the already gorgeous shiny starlets - the fresh, young brinjals. Needless to say the recipe rocks!

Ingredients for Gutti Vankaya Kura


Roast or toast in an iron skillet:
Needed: quarter cup, tablespoon, teaspoon, ¼ teaspoon and a hot iron skillet. One by one or all together, however it’s convenient for you, roast the following items listed below. Take care not to black or burn them. Ingredients quantity is for 12 brinjals.

- Quarter cup each of:
Chana dal, urad dal, sesame seeds, grated coconut and peanuts
- Tablespoon each of:
Coriander seeds and cumin
- Quarter teaspoon each of:
Cloves, cinnamon, black peppercorn and fenugreek(methi) seeds
- 15 dried red chillies (for 12 brinjals)

Once they are cool enough to touch, take them all in a mixer. Add a tablespoon each of - jaggery, tamarind juice and a teaspoon of salt. Blend them to smooth consistency.

Baby Brinjals:
12 young fresh looking brinjals. Make two cuts in each brinjal, one horizontal and one vertical Like plus (+) shape. Keep one end intact. Check this photo for reference.
(The brinjals I’ve used for this recipe are young and tender, too small to stuff. So I directly added them to the skillet after making a plus shaped cut. If these were somewhat medium size, I’d have stuffed them like I did in this method.)

Heat a tablespoon of oil in a big skillet. Do the popu (add and toast few curry leaves and a teaspoon each of cumin and mustard seeds).

Add the cut brinjals to the skillet and also the masala powder you have grinded earlier. Add about a glass of water. Stir in turmeric and salt-½ tsp of each. Cover and cook on medium-low heat for about 20 to 30 minutes, stirring in-between. When brinjals are cooked to tender and masala sauce thickens up a bit - time to turn off the heat. Let the curry sit on stove for another 10 minutes like that, giving more time for the flavors to mingle well.

Serve warm with rice or roti.

This recipe is my mother-in-law’s. Even without ginger-garlic and tomatoes, it tastes great and she usually prepares this curry with pulagam (rice+split moong dal+salt) or jonna rotte (sorghum roti) combination.

Gutti Vankaya Kura mariyu pulagam (Stuffed Brinjal Curry with Split Moong dal Rice)
Gutti Vankaya Kura mariyu pulagam (Stuffed Brinjal Curry with Split Moong dal Rice)

Stuffed Brinjal:
Gutti Vankaya Kura (Stuffed Brinjal Curry I)
Nune Vankaya kura (Stuffed Brinjal Curry II)

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Indian Vegetables, Amma & Authentic Andhra, Vankaya (Brinjal) (Friday November 3, 2006 at 3:27 pm- permalink)

The New Home of Mahanandi:

30 comments for Baby Brinjals in Masala Sauce (Gutti Vankaya) »

  1. Just thought of a search i made for a stuffed brinjal recipe which led me to your blog for the first time , and then to a couple of other Indian food blogs. I love egg plants, and will defantitely try this one out. Thank you. Nice photos as usual.

    Comment by Archana — November 3, 2006 @ 3:42 pm

  2. Wow, that looks insanely good! I love the picture’s presentation!

    Comment by Garrett — November 3, 2006 @ 3:52 pm

  3. mi vantalu anni bavuntayi

    Comment by lakshmi — November 3, 2006 @ 4:00 pm

  4. I am sure it tastes as good as it looks. Is this also known as “bagara baingan”?

    Comment by Amy Thomas — November 3, 2006 @ 4:02 pm

  5. Hi Archana: One more reason to love this already beloved classic recipe. It brought you into food blogging world. :) Thanks!

    Garrett: Thanks!

    Lakshmi: meekantena andi. Meeru chaala baga chestaru anni vantalu.:)

    Hi Amy: Yes. Some also add tomatoes, onions and ginger-garlic paste to this recipe.

    Comment by Indira — November 3, 2006 @ 4:36 pm

  6. Hi,
    Great recipe, at home amma makes a similar curry and we call it stuffed kathrikkai(egg plant) and I loved the story too!

    Comment by Nalini — November 3, 2006 @ 4:37 pm

  7. As usual one more great recipe! I just adore your presentation and attention to detail.

    Note : I tried your Buggani fro evening snack and it ROCKS!

    Thanks for sharing!

    Comment by Vijju — November 3, 2006 @ 6:02 pm

  8. Yum Indira.. I love brinjals and I cant get enough of it anytime.. Thanks for sharing this delicious dish..

    Comment by Pavani — November 3, 2006 @ 6:15 pm

  9. Very nice story I enjoyed reading it.

    Comment by krista — November 3, 2006 @ 7:44 pm

  10. Hi Indira

    All i can think of saying for this is “WOW”!!
    My hubby loves eggplant. He loves to eat anything and everything cooked with eggplant with Gutti Vankaya being his all time favourite!

    Meeru chese vantalu bhale ruchikaram ga untaayi. You have a wonderful,unique flair for cooking. I enjoy every bit of this website.

    Comment by Deepu — November 3, 2006 @ 8:27 pm

  11. Its our favorite at home Indira. Every time I make this, I miss my Dad. Its his absolute favorite. Every time mom or grandma made this at home, after she would scoop the curry out into a serving dish, my dad would put annam into the bandli (or pan) and mix rice with leftover curry in the pan. And then make muddalu for us to eat :-) We called this “Bandli Annam” and I just love the taste of that. Your bandli and vankay koora just reminds me of that :-)

    Indira replies: Latha, that’s what we did yesterday night.:) Rice and pan gravy - there is something special to it, isn’t it? Same with us also. Got the habit from parents.:)

    Comment by Latha — November 3, 2006 @ 11:50 pm

  12. Gutti vankaya kura is our family’s all time favorite dishes, in all its variations.

    Good recipe! I will try it for sure, Indira.

    Comment by sailaja — November 4, 2006 @ 6:58 am

  13. Hello Indira,

    Your curry sure looks appetising.I love it so much I make it every time I get these small vankayalu.Here in London though,I don’t find it as frequently.I miss the days when I was in the US when I made this curry regularly.I will give yours a try soon..After almost 1.5 yrs of living in London,I really crave for Indian vegetables like vankayalu,thotakura,dondakayalu etc.Would you believe this-I don’t get thotakura here as frequently!!

    Anyway,great photos as ever.

    Comment by Vinaya — November 4, 2006 @ 9:08 am

  14. Tough to tell… do I like the recipe better or the introduction :-) You make even mundane things sound glamorous.

    Comment by krithika — November 4, 2006 @ 9:18 am

  15. Really great recipe I must say….and your narration- well, that’s what I love to read the most. Take care.


    Comment by Trupti — November 4, 2006 @ 1:01 pm

  16. Mouth watering pictures. Just now I had my dinner,yet your pictures make me hungry again!

    Comment by Lakshmiammal — November 4, 2006 @ 8:33 pm

  17. Thanks for yet another wonderful and traditional recipe… (i was praying you will post this one soon!). My mom makes a stuffed eggplant too (tamil style) but we don’t do the gravy and the stuffing is the usual dhania-chana dal-red chilies-kopra. I simply adore the sesame-peanut combination in most of your (andhra) recipes. Hope to try it out soon..Latha

    Comment by Latha — November 5, 2006 @ 3:41 am

  18. Wow!… I tried it out yesterday and it came out exactly as how it looked in the photo. the taste was also excellent.Thank you so much for that lovely recipe.

    Comment by Gayathri Ragu — November 6, 2006 @ 4:58 am

  19. My MILs stuffed eggplant too is the same. She doesnt add Peanuts though - thats the only difference. Dinner and a Movie combo or Lunch and a story combo is good.

    Comment by Vidya — November 6, 2006 @ 7:26 am

  20. Hi Indira,

    I am a regular visiter of ur website . its a great site for food lovers. Thanks once again for all the classy recipies u write. i wanted to know ur personal mail id. so that i can mail u more.

    good day

    Comment by saraswathi — November 6, 2006 @ 8:17 am

  21. Mmm. Seems yummy. Infact, I stumbled upon your blog a few weeks earlier when I was searching for guttivankaya curry. Eversince, I have been a regular visitor. Keep up the good work!

    Comment by Lux — November 6, 2006 @ 10:46 am

  22. Your photos are always spectacular.

    Comment by Manju Bansal — November 8, 2006 @ 2:29 am

  23. Yummy…. i find this site kinda inspiring when i dont feel so interested to cook some day.. Thanks indira..keep posting

    Comment by sharu — March 25, 2007 @ 12:21 pm

  24. the taste was very good even though prepared in a heavy bottemed kadai with lot of water the bottom of the kadai used to attract the masala and for a coating in the bottom any tips please. thanks for the effort u have done be creating such website. very useful.

    Comment by komala — October 1, 2007 @ 5:25 am

  25. Thank you so much! The eggplants are on the stove right now and it smells sooooo good. Can’t wait to eat them :-) !

    Comment by Archana — December 23, 2007 @ 7:36 pm

  26. hi
    your brinjal curry is delicious.

    Comment by shaila — January 17, 2008 @ 12:11 pm

  27. Hi,

    We prepared for the first time and it was very delicious.


    Comment by C.Giridhar Naidu — February 29, 2008 @ 10:09 am

  28. […] Eggplant Masala (gutti Vankaya), coconut fish curry, brinjal pickle, and lemon rice. […]

    Pingback by Fresh Ginger » Menu of the week August 25th Eggplant, the King of Vegetables! — August 25, 2008 @ 9:27 pm

  29. hiiiiiii wow cool ,your recipes awesome.

    Comment by radha — April 21, 2010 @ 12:04 pm

  30. Yummy recipe… I refer back to your recipe whenever I prepare Andhra dishes. The pics you present are also very tempting…

    Comment by Gayathri Ragupathy — May 28, 2013 @ 10:24 pm

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