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 Amma & Authentic Andhra,Indian Vegetables,Vankaya (Brinjal) (Friday November 3, 2006 at 3:27 pm- permalink)
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