Saturday, March 28, 2009

Gutti vankaya curry

Ask any Andhraite what his/her favourite vegetarian curry is. With 80% probability, "Gutti vankaya" would be the answer. Its a stuffed brinjal curry with/without gravy. We love the brinjal/eggplant so much that there's even a film song from a 90's Telugu movie dedicated to it. I feel honored to post the first stanza of this song, with the English translation verbatim :)

Aaha emi ruchi
Aaha, what a taste
Anaraa maimarachi
Come on say it, mesmerized (by the taste)
Rojuu tinnaa mari
Even when eaten everyday
Moze teeranidi
The craving doesn't quench
Taaja kooralalo
Among fresh vegetables
Raja evarandi
Which is the king?
Inkaa cheppaala
Need I say more?
Vankaye nandi
It is Brinjal.

Hows that? 2 more stanzas to the song, but I'm not going to post them here.
As a publicity stunt, the film-makers launched a state-wide cooking competition, and all the Andhra women went on a brinjal marathon, dishing out several recipes with the vegetable :)

The method of preparation of the curry varies from kitchen to kitchen. In my family, it is cooked without the gravy. I prepare it in my mom's style, but use my ma-in-law's curry powder for stuffing the brinjal. I call this the "Universal curry powder" and its a must have in my pantry. Here's how its made.

Curry powder-Ingredients:
  1. Channa dal (senaga pappu) - x units
  2. Dhania - x/2 units
  3. Urad dal (mina pappu) - x/2
  4. Peanuts - proportional to the quantity of channa dal
  5. Red chillies
Heat a little amount of oil and roast all the ingredients. Add some salt and grind the mixture to a fine powder, when cooled.

If you have this powder ready, you can add it to most vegetables to make a delicious curry. Goes well with Cabbage, Beans, Carrot, Potato, and not to forget, the Brinjal. Just fry the veggies with some onions and tadka, and add the curry powder in the end.

With the curry powder ready, I'll go ahead with the actual Brinjal recipe. For my method of preparation, its best to use baby brinjals, as they cook faster.

  1. Baby brinjals
  2. Salt
  3. Chilli powder
  4. Heeng/asafoetida
  1. Add sufficient salt to the curry powder, since it can't be added later.
  2. Also add some chilli powder and heeng and mix them all with a small amount of oil.
  3. Remove the stalk and wash the brinjals.
  4. Carefully slit the brinjal as shown below. One cut on the bottom at the centre and two or more grooves on either sides on the top. The brinjal should not get sliced. The cut should almost go till the other edge, but it should not touch it. Slits are made where the fingers are positioned in the picture.                                                                                                                                                                                                
  5. Stuff the curry powder in each slit made to the brinjal.                                                                                              

  6. Heat sufficient oil (be a little generous, I'm sure you won't regret) and gently drop each brinjal.
  7. See that each brinjal is coated with oil on all sides.
  8. Cover and cook on low flame for about 20 minutes, tossing the brinjals in between. High flame could burn the vegetable. So be patient, and let them cook till tender. *Do not add water* while they cook. Its going to ruin the taste.
  9. Once done, add the leftover curry powder to the pan and gently transfer the contents to a different dish so as not to break the brinjals.

If someone can make this curry every day, I'll be more than happy to eat it. Hope you like it as much as I do.

Sending this entry to the WYF: Side dish Event.



I didnt know this was so famous in Andhra..thanks for participating with these lovely pics of the dish


@ EC,
Thanks for dropping by..

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