Mahanandi

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

Brinjal~Jaggery Chutney (Vankaya Bellam Pacchadi)

Cooking is an ultimate balance act, isn’t it? Take time to learn and practice to achieve that balance, the rewards are high. Not only good health, but also a balanced mood. Some ingredients and recipes are easy to balance and master. But for some, one needs yogi’s kind of patience and sadhana. Jaggery, particularly in savory recipes, is one such ingredient that I needed to practice a lot to achieve the balance. Consistency and quantity are difficult to explain and I had to rely on my flavor senses for guidance in my beginner days of cooking. I hope you do the same when you cook with jaggery in savory recipes, like the one I am posting today, as part of my weeklong Jihva jaggery journey.

Brinjal-Jaggery chutney (Vankaya-Bellam pacchadi) is a classic Andhra (Nandyala) recipe where young brinjals, dried red chillies and ginger are first roasted and then grinded together with jaggery, tamarind and salt. The result is a mouthwatering side dish with all 5 flavors and some extra smoky flavor, usually eaten with rice, ghee and dal or sambar. If you like baingan burtha, baba ghanouj style brinjal preparations, where brinjal is grilled and mashed, then this chutney is also your style.


Brinjals, Jaggery and Dried Red Chillies

Recipe:

8 young brinjals - ends removed and sliced lengthwise
8 dried red chillies
1 rupee coin sized ginger
1 red onion or shallot - sliced lengthwise
1 tablespoon each of powdered jaggery and tamarind juice
¼ teaspoon of salt or to taste

Heat two tablespoons of peanut oil in an iron skillet. Bring the oil to smoking point. Now add brinjal, onion and ginger. On high heat, grill them. Do not cook and soften but brown them -secret to tasty chutney. If you are one of those ‘gifted’ with charring or blackening all things you cook, then you need to use that gift here, my friend. Leave the care to the world and char the brinjals’ white flesh to your hearts content. Remove them to a plate. Add and grill dried red chillies for few seconds.

In a food processor or blender, take grilled brinjals, onion, ginger and dried red chillies. Add salt, tamarind juice and jaggery. Hit pulse button and coarsely puree. Remove to a cup. Traditionally popu or tadka (toasting cumin, mustard seeds and curry leaves in one teaspoon of oil) is added to the chutney at the end but this step is entirely optional. Sometimes I do it, sometimes I don’t, depends on my time and patience.

Serve with rice, ghee and dal or with pappu chaaru/sambhar.


Brinjal-Jaggery chutney mixed with Rice in Pappu chaaru - Savory Jaggery Entry to Kay’s JFI

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Amma & Authentic Andhra, Jaggery, Vankaya (Brinjal) (Wednesday November 29, 2006 at 9:40 pm- permalink)
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