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

Brinjal with Blackeyed Beans ~ for Jihva

Pedatha Avva (My grandmother)
Jigyasa and Pratibha’s Pedatha …………… My Avva (Grandmother)

In my unremarkable childhood, the only remarkable thing was the summer holidays I used to spend at my grandmother’s home at Nandikotkur every year. My grandmother, a mother of four daughters and four sons is a ritubidda (farmer’s daughter), and a saint like person. She was my guru and a friend growing up, and I learned devotion from her.

Like Jigyasa and Pratibha’s Pedatha, my grandmother is also from a “do one thing at a time” generation. This philosophy was more evident in the kitchen than anywhere else. Cooking was an unconsciously clever and creative act, and done in a unhurried manner to everyone’s satisfaction. One of my favorite recipes from my grandmother is brinjal with black-eyed peas. Seasoned with ginger and green chillies, and served with sorghum roti, this simple preparation with heavenly aroma was a daily breakfast for us. Science has shown that our sense of smell is the first one to be associated with memory. I have to agree, and I still associate ginger flavored brinjal smell to my grandmother’s kitchen. The same recipe has also been featured in the award winning Pedatha’s cookbook.

I prepared this dish with reverence to my beloved avva and in memory of Pedatha.

“From food all creatures are produced. And all creatures that dwell on earth, by food they live and into food they finally pass. Food is the chief among being. Verily he obtains all good who worships the Divine as food.”
-from Upanishads

Brinjal and Blackeyed Beans (Vankaya , Alasanda) Vankaya Alasanda Kura, Photo Taken Before our Lunch today

Alasanda Vankaya (Brinjal with Black-eyed Beans)
(for Jihva Love ~ A Tribute to Tradition)

10 -12 round variety green or purple brinjals, cut to thin pieces lengthwise
Half cup black-eyed peas. Soaked in water overnight, and cooked to tender
4 small variety Indian green chillies and one inch piece of ginger – coarsely grind
¼ teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon salt or to taste
1 tablespoon peanut oil and tadka ingredients

Place a wide skillet on stovetop. Add and heat peanut oil. Add and toast tadka ingredients (garlic, cumin, mustard seeds and curry leaves) to golden. Add the brinjal pieces to skillet. Cover the skillet. The round variety brinjals cook to tender within minutes. After about five minutes of cooking time, remove the lid. Add the black-eyed peas and green chilli-ginger paste. Also turmeric and salt. Mix. Sauté on medium heat for another five to ten minutes. Serve hot with sorghum roti or chapati, for a filling meal.

Busy days. See you again on Sunday.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Amma & Authentic Andhra,Blackeye Beans,Ginger & Sonti,Jihva For Ingredients,Vankaya (Brinjal) (Monday April 28, 2008 at 5:27 pm- permalink)
Comments (35)

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35 comments for Brinjal with Blackeyed Beans ~ for Jihva »

  1. Kind of hard to say what I liked best about this post – your loving thoughts about your grandmother or the extract from the upanishads or the tasty brinjal dish. All of them warmed my heart.

    Brinjal and blackeyed beans seems like a must try recipe! Thanks!

    I had the same effect reading your comment. Thank you Deepthi!

    Comment by Deepthi — April 28, 2008 @ 5:52 pm

  2. Lovely tribute Indira to your Avva… Tasty looking Brinjal dish.

    Thanks Sarada.

    Comment by Sarada — April 28, 2008 @ 7:05 pm

  3. Very nice post, Indira.

    How lucky are those grandmothers whose grandkids remember and talk about them with such love and reverence.
    And how lucky are those grandkids who had such loving, caring and talented grandmothers to guide them.

    truly lucky are those who appreciate all the good things in themselves and in others without any reservations. Thank you Anjali.

    Comment by Anjali Damerla — April 28, 2008 @ 7:56 pm

  4. Everything is lovely in this post as usual Indira!…thanks for sharing your memories with your avva!

    It’s my pleasure. thanks Srivalli.

    Comment by Srivalli — April 28, 2008 @ 11:14 pm

  5. One acquired variation is to add cashews(yes they are!) and tomatoes(1-2) sliced to it and little chillie, turmeric in addition. You can see/feel heaven so close. (i mean sense gratification). Memories and recollection of childhood days are nostalgic,and time spent with beloved ones, i can say. I feel like really running into the past and replay those days again to cherish and re-enjoy every minute of it.

    Thanks for sharing your family recipe, R.
    Running into the past, into that particular time period, to relive all those memories again, it would be great fun.:)

    Comment by R — April 28, 2008 @ 11:16 pm

  6. Beautiful post Indira. I can’t wait to see the round-up. Jhiva for Love is such a special blog event in so many ways.

    I make a curry, that my grandmother would make, with brinjal and black-eye peas. In addition to the ingredients you’ve listed, it also uses ground coconut, garlic, tamarind and is seasoned with “vadimu”.

    With tamarind and coconut, it sounds very good. I’m going to try your version Mamatha. Vadimu is vadiyalu, (small, round snakcs made with rice and deep fried like papads, right?

    Comment by Mamatha — April 29, 2008 @ 5:27 am

  7. Lovely tribute to your grandmother.

    Thanks Ranjan.

    Comment by Ranjan — April 29, 2008 @ 6:00 am

  8. Grandmas are so special..and so is the bond that we share with them. A lovely post, Indira.

    Thanks Trupti.

    Comment by Trupti — April 29, 2008 @ 6:56 am

  9. What a thoughtful and warm gesture Indira….Grandmas are always special to ones heart.

    thanks Rashmi.

    Comment by rashmi — April 29, 2008 @ 8:12 am

  10. Thank you for a heartfelt and moving post. The recipe is appealingly simple.

    Thanks, glad that you like this recipe, ms.

    Comment by ms — April 29, 2008 @ 8:32 am

  11. Growing up in a small village in Cuddapah (now Kadapa!) Vankaya by itself or with combination of other vegetables was all that I knew. My mother could make such delicious meals out of just these vegetables available in the village was remarkable. Sorakaya, alasanda and vankaya ——– my mouth is watering!!
    Thanks for great memories. Nirmala

    Hi Nirmala, it’s good to know that you are from Kadapa. My father is from chagalamarri village in Kadapa.
    and beerakaya, they are daily food, aren’t they?:)
    Thanks for lovely comment. – Indira

    Comment by Nirmala Premakumar — April 29, 2008 @ 9:19 am

  12. I felt like I was right there watching your avva cook, and you relishing it, when I read your post. Your writing style, your respect and love for people, it is amazing. Most of all the simplicity and authenticity of the recipes, is just superb. I wasn’t fortunate enough to enjoy any time with either of my grandparents, but I enjoyed every detail from your post. Thanks again for sharing.

    Thank you for your good words, Sudha.

    Comment by Sudha Rajagopalan — April 29, 2008 @ 12:48 pm

  13. Hi Indira,
    After reading your post, you reminded me of my grand mother.
    Wonderful post…….simple dish by a humble lady!


    ammamma abhimanan manaku chaala ekkuva kada.:) chaala santhosham Rajani.

    Comment by Rajani — April 29, 2008 @ 3:05 pm

  14. Oh my God! AVVA! What a lovely appellation! That’s what we’d call our grandmother too and it sounded so nice………..and my avva was a fine woman too- ran a tight ship with 11 children- she brought them up so well! Oh the tales she would tell us about her 7th born (my dad!)and make us “boruguluntalu” and “chikki” Your Avva looks like a wise and kind person. Thanks for such a heartwarming tribute to your Avva- it gave me a chance to give one to my own……….


    Hi Usha, it’s good to know that you are also from a big family. yep, avvalu are not only great sweet/snack makers but also excellent story tellers, which make all the snacks they dish out even more delicious.:)

    Comment by USHA — April 29, 2008 @ 3:15 pm

  15. e combination nenu yeppudu chesukoledu Indiragaru. it looks so post chadivina taruvata, hyd lo unna ma ammama baaga gurtuvacharu.. great post from indira as always!

    and many many thanks for ur support and love towards our effort to revamp your brainchild – Dining Hall!!


    Baaguntundi Siri, chesi chudandi. Dining Hall chaala bagaa chesaaru meeriddaru. Keep up the good work.

    Comment by Siri — April 29, 2008 @ 4:11 pm

  16. Your lovely reminiscence of your grandmother made me go back to mine. They leave such a deep impact wrt to traditions and customs which they imparted on us with so much love and affection. Lovely post Indira.

    My special thanks for your kind support on the revival of DH. We only hope it make better and better.

    Thank you for your lovely comment and also for starting a new forum for us all food bloggers, DK.

    Comment by DK — April 29, 2008 @ 5:20 pm

  17. […] Ran across this on a post at Mahanandi, which is probably my favorite food blog right now. I’m back on a bit of an Indian food kick, when I’m cooking at all. […]

    Pingback by i love this quote. — champignon food — April 30, 2008 @ 8:06 am

  18. Indira, My grandmother is the only ‘one ‘responsible for what I am today. She is courageous, intelligent, determinated, strong-willed, loving, caring, generous…what not-I feel words are not enough to describe her. I lost my grandmother 6 months back and that is the saddest thing in my life. She brought up all her 5 children very well. I was the first grandchild in the house and she loved me more than anything in the world. She travelled to US after I came here just because I was doing my Masters and was homesick. She showered me with so much love that I cant express.I learnt all my cooking from her. I used to call her day and night for recipes, chit chat, this and that…Oh how much I miss her. Her dishes are filled with love more than anything else…She is a culinary expert and all of us relished anything whipped up from her hands. She is the source of hundreds of wonderful recipes that fill my cooking dairy.
    Thanks Indira for taking me down the memory lane.

    Hi Isha, your grandmother seems like a remarkable woman. I am truly sorry for your loss.
    Thank you for sharing your memories of her with me.
    best wishes,

    Comment by Isha — April 30, 2008 @ 1:45 pm

  19. Indira, thank you for sharing your insights. My life and cooking were also strongly influenced by my grandmother. Even though she is gone now, I feel very close to her when I cook, remembering what she taught me by example and preparing the foods she made.

    I use some of the kitchen tools that she used when I watched her cook years ago — a special mixing bowl and her rolling pin are my favorites. Food is full of nostalgia and love for me and I really enjoyed reading this post in particular.

    I always look forward to your new posts — you are a great inspiration to me as a blogger. Each topic you cover is both interesting, heartfelt and beautiful. And I love how you take the time to create foods from their origins: the handmade soymilk, almond milk and yogurt posts are standouts to me.

    I’ve always wanted to know how to make these, but everything in the U.S. starts with “buy a machine.” Or worse, “buy it at the grocery.” I’ve always wanted to know how to start from the beginning with these but did not know where to look until I found you.

    You write about the value of using your own knowledge and skills and you seem to produce superior results every time. And the photos are breathtaking! I will keep reading as long as you continue to write!

    Also, thank you so much for listing my blog, Learning To Eat, in your Food for Heart list. It is an honor and a kind gift.

    Best wishes,

    Dear Julie,
    I love your blog title and your writings, and when I read that you are also from Youngstown, it made me very excited. I have lived in Youngstown for about three years and it’s very rare to find people who are familiar with this small town.
    Grandmothers are great teachers, and how lucky you are to have your granny’s kitchen tools!
    Also, thank you for the good words and for your appreciation. Coming from you, it’s a big deal to me.

    Comment by Julie Cancio Harper — May 1, 2008 @ 4:31 am

  20. Indira, there is always something authentic/genuine about your posts. And I always wonder how Mahanandi Indira looks :). You encapsulate everything pristine, beautiful and innocent about old times.

    You showed your grandmother and there might be a hint of you in her. But I still cannot imagine how you look. Can you post a picture of you when you were a child? please please 🙂

    Thank you Preeti.:)
    I love to share, but with the way net-interactions, these days, it’s getting difficult to feel safe and I don’t like to see personal photos fall into wrong hands. Even writing those few words about my grandmother and sharing a photo of hers, I had to think about it. I hope you understand.

    Comment by Preeti — May 1, 2008 @ 6:28 am

  21. On my recent trip to India i picked up this book after seeing it featured in your website. Great book. Thanks.

    Pedatha’ cookbook is a godsend to foodlovers of all ages. Glad that you like it.

    Comment by Priya — May 1, 2008 @ 7:36 am

  22. Indira Garu,kudos on the warm tribute for your avva. thanks to Jigyasa and Pratibha for choosing such a wonderful theme and help us express our love to those who made us or had a profound influence in our lives. Thanks for introducing Veda Books to us. It really is a good site!!

    Dear Dee,
    It’s a great way to pay tribute to tradition and to people we love. I’m glad P and J chose this theme for Jihva to celebrate Pedatha’s memory.
    Veda books chaala bagundi kada. Finally, mana pustakalu online lo. vanta pustakala section chusaara? chaala pustakalu unnayi. Anni 5 dollars below. dharalu kooda baaga takkuvuga unnayi. Nenu order cheddamani anukontunnanu.

    Comment by Dee — May 1, 2008 @ 8:42 am

  23. Thanks indira for this recipe.bobbarlu and vankaya curry is new to me and looks like classic recipe!And taking us down the memory lane with ur grandmother had brought similar memories of ours. Though i didnt have enough opportunity to spend with my grandmother, those i did i cherish. i feel sad and wish i spent more time with her. living in another state, i met her once or twice a year.

    Hi Srividya, I too share the pain of not seeing her often. It’s been almost 6 years now since I last saw my avva.
    Bobbarlu, vankaya baguntundi, chesi chudandi. Like Mamatha mentioned you could also add coconut, and tamarind, and make it little bit pulusu like.

    Comment by srividya — May 1, 2008 @ 2:44 pm

  24. Lovely post! Made me remember my loving grandmom who used to be the best cook in the world for me. She has moved on to eternity many many years ago, but your post brought back those years.

    Thanks Mystic.
    Also, thanks for your informative comment and links on rice shortage post.

    Comment by mystic — May 1, 2008 @ 5:11 pm

  25. My question is not related to the current recipe, but I realized that, you have never posted on “junnu”. This was a familiar item to us when we visited our grandparents in coastal andhra – , but when my mother requested the milkman (in Hyderabad)to bring ‘juunu palu’, he admonished her for consuming the “baby – calf’s milk!!… and that they would discard what the calf didn’t drink. However business sense prevailed, and the milkman began to supply juunu palu periodically. I have since had some ambivalence about it and haven’t tasted it in years. I find the mexican dessert “Flan” to be reminiscent of Junnu.

    Hello Venaru, junnu is a great rare treat and I used to like it a lot when I was a child.
    It’s difficult to get junnu here in US, unless you live close to a cow farm.

    Comment by venaru — May 1, 2008 @ 8:11 pm

  26. […] Indira of Mahanandi about her Avva and Alasanda Vankaya Like Jigyasa and Pratibha’s Pedatha, my Avva (grandmother) is also from a “do one thing at a time” generation…Cooking was an unconsciously clever and creative act, and done in a unhurried manner to everyone’s satisfaction. […]

    Pingback by Jihva for Love - Round-up « whose food we eat, their song we sing — May 1, 2008 @ 9:18 pm

  27. Lovely post Indira. I am my grandma’s girl and was after her all the time till I left home for colege. You would laugh if I tell that I would hold her saree tip during my night’s sleep till that age. You made me remember her a lot. Since I wanted to post something of her recipes in a great hurry I couldn’t make it in the last minute. thanks for the lovely recipe and your avva’s photo reminds of mine!

    Such close relationship with grandma is a beautiful thing, and I love it. It’s good to see you back, dear Nirmala.

    Comment by Nirmala — May 1, 2008 @ 10:40 pm

  28. Hi. I’m a Buddhist with a great respect for the wisdom of the Upanishads. We have a saying in Buddhism: “Take a lettuce leaf. Turn it into a Buddha as large as the universe. Now, turn it back into a lettuce leaf.” We are mindful of this so that we can see the interconnectedness of all things and that our life is because of the sacrifice of another life.

    I must add that the recipe was delicious; I made it yesterday, and thought of my grandmother while making it.

    Thank you.

    Dear Valerie,
    Without that interconnectedness, life would be nonexistent. Great religions of the world are united in thier teaching about respecting and being mindful of even the smallest things.
    Thank you for trying out the recipe and letting me know. I am glad to read that you had good time while making it.
    Thank you also for all your lovely comments on other posts, and all the best with your charity effort.
    Best wishes,

    Comment by Valerie — May 2, 2008 @ 9:39 am

  29. Made this brinjal curry with blackeyed peas. Delicious. Thanks for the recipe.

    Hi Nidhi, it’s so good to see you back and hearty congratulations on your baby.:)
    Glad to read that you tried and liked this recipe.

    Comment by Nidhi — May 2, 2008 @ 10:00 am

  30. I love the photos. Such beautiful women. You can see the universe in their eyes.

    BTW, a little present for you in my latest .

    Hi Jennifer,
    Thank you for the lovely present. I greatly appreciate the award!

    Comment by Vegeyum Ganga — May 2, 2008 @ 9:05 pm

  31. Great to see your avva! They are always our best cooks!

    Comment by kalva — May 5, 2008 @ 9:38 am

  32. Hi Indira,
    searching for brinjal recipes came across this article. Very happy to come across Nadikotkur. My parents used to live in a nearby place called Kothakondapatur back in the early 1970’s(long ago). They frequently visited some family friends in Nandikotkur. Feel happy to know that you are from a place where my parents have been.

    Comment by Vineela — January 22, 2009 @ 4:41 pm

  33. Hi Indira, I have become an ardent fan of your site. You have an amazing collection of recipes…many of them quite simple and quick and tasty. I wanted to start somwehere and made your alasanda vankaya first yesterday. Came out very tasty. Quick to make too.

    Comment by Lakshmi — April 20, 2009 @ 10:20 am

  34. Hi,
    Thanks for all your wonderful receipes. It is great to find receipes for all kind of vegetables in this site.
    Do you know how to make vadimu(used for seasoning) if yes, Can you please post it?

    Thanks again.

    Comment by anu — April 21, 2009 @ 8:37 pm

  35. Really Yummy recipe. Love it. Thank you for sharing

    Comment by web developer in Jaipur — March 9, 2018 @ 3:31 pm

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