Gutti Vankaya Koora (Stuffed Eggplants in Tamarind sesame gravy)

If you ask me what recipes comes to my mind when I think of eggplant, I would have said eggplant stir fry, eggplant parmesan, eggplant bajji or eggplant kothsu. But now a days the one sitting on top of my list is gutti vankaya. Gutti Vankaya is an authentic Andhra recipe and all the credit of introducing me to this recipe goes to N’s close friend S. When N was in the east coast, he and his friends used to order this vankaya from a take out place and that place closed down when I got married to N and moved to the east coast.

They used to tell me about the dish and the taste of it and I started the Project Gutti Vankaya. I call it a project because I thought it was Bagara Baingan or Baingan Bartha and I tried nearly 10-15 versions of it from adding onion paste to tomato paste to coconut milk to anything I can think of. The issue was that I never had tasted it but the description was mouth watering and I wanted to try it every time I heard it as,” spicy, well cooked, tangy and thick gravy”. Recreating without tasting is a headache.

Finally one day I found the perfect recipe for Vankaya from Indira. I was mesmerized by her version and how she described the dish as ” bouquet of brinjals”. I tried her version and it was a instant hit with N, me and our friends. Whenever we see green eggplants or baby purple eggplants in the market on a weekend, we look at each other and grab it. Our lunch the next day would be gutti vankaya.

Ingredients( Serves-2)

Baby purple eggplants or green eggplants- 12-14 numbers
Tamarind- one small key lime size
Salt to taste
Red chili powder- 1/2 tsp (optional)
Turmeric powder-1/4 tsp
Oil- 2 tbsp
Water- 2-3 cups

To grind: (For stuffing and for the gravy)
Peanuts- 1/2 cup
White sesame seeds- 1/4 cup
Cloves-2
Red Chilies- 6
Cinnamon- 1″ stick
Coconut- 2 tbsp
Coriander seeds- 2 tbsp
Cumin seeds- 1 tsp

Method:

Soak the tamarind in a cup of hot water for 10 minutes. Extract the juice, discard the tamarind pulp and add another one cup of water to the juice. Keep aside.

Toast the peanuts to a golden brown color. Cool, remove the skin and keep aside.

Toast the sesame seeds to a golden brown color. Keep aside.

Toast coriander seeds, cumin seeds, red chilies, cloves and cinnamon together.

Slightly toast the coconut, do not let it turn brown as it will be bitter. Keep aside.

In a blender, grind peanuts, sesame seeds, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, red chilies, cloves, cinnamon, coconut and salt to a dry coarse powder. Do not add water at any stage of grinding. Divide the powder into two parts.

Wash and pat dry the eggplants. Chop the green stem and slice the eggplant. Do not chop it fully but leave some eggplant at the end, just slice it like a flower (plus shape).

Stuff the eggplant with the one portion of the spice powder.

Heat oil in a pan and start placing the eggplants on one side or one their base. Keep the flame on low and slowly toast it on all sides. Add the remaining spice powder and slightly stir it. Add turmeric powder, red chili powder and slightly stir them in. Add the tamarind juice. Cover and let it simmer for 15- 20 minutes till the gravy is thickened, eggplants are cooked through and are soft.

The gravy should have reduced atleast 1/2 in volume and has to be thick, eggplants has to melt in the mouth like butter. Check for salt.

Serve the gutti vankaya with rice and poppadams. We had it with coconut rice and cucumber salad.

I am sending this gutti vankaya combination to Pari’s Combo event.

I am also reposting the South Indian Thali for this event. This plate contains rice, ghee, dal, Tomato Rasam, Drumstick sambhar, Okra-Cabbage Stir fry, Carrot Keer, Yogurt, Pickles and Poppadam.

My third entry to the event is Lead vessel Lemon Tomato Rasam, Cabbage-carrot Thoran and Rice.

This delicious Gutti Vankaya is also going to Anita’s Vegetable Marathon-Eggplant event.

Sivarathiri was celebrated at Meenakshi Temple last weekend with Bharathnatyam dance at the Navagraha Sannithi, with Poojas and a Homam at the main temple. Here are some photos taken during the event(Thanks to Sri. Chitoor K Ramachandran for the permission for the photos)

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the attachments to this post:

Rasam-Combo
Rasam-Combo

eggplant
eggplant

Eggplant-Boiling-Koora
Eggplant-Boiling-Koora

Vankaya-Plate-Combo
Vankaya-Plate-Combo


25 Comments to “Gutti Vankaya Koora (Stuffed Eggplants in Tamarind sesame gravy)”

  1. Thats a lovely dish using eggplants, after marriage i started eating this actually, but before that i used to hate this vegetable…if the recipe is really nice i do try it at once and this is surely one among them….Nice tempting pic of thali as well….and lovely pics too sowjanya…

  2. Asha says:

    It’s sunny and warm here! YAY!

    I LOVE Eggplants, just made Mosaru Bajji with it. I do have a dish with Eggplants, didn’t know about that event, may be next week if she has time still. Love the Thali, so yummy. I would prefer a simple traditioal thali like that anytime. Lovely pics of Pooja.

  3. do check out my next post my paneer behen, surely our fav will be there in it

  4. Jagruti says:

    Love the eggplants…used to hate it when I was very young..now one of the favorite…love the thali..looks so delicious and yummy!!

  5. PJ says:

    Ruchika, this stuffed eggplant dish looks so tempting! It is like the Marathi version of stuffed eggplants, but not quite. I’ll have to try this some day.. best is it uses green eggplants which I have been tempted to buy many times before :) Good, now you should start charging tax and tip to your husband’s friends for making their favorite takeout dish 😀

  6. what lovely clicks..the platter the bharwa brinjal.. everything looks so good.

  7. Cham says:

    I made it tuesd this one but no coconut! I Love anything with brinjal! I imagine u trying all version possible, I did for Bisebe. Bhaat to impress my sweet husb!

  8. Lovely clicks and the stuffing i like more they match well for eggplants

  9. Vankaya Kura mmm, makes me drool and I love the other pics too… It makes me hungry now!!! Lipsmacking!!!

    http://memoryarchieved.blogspot.com

  10. sumi says:

    ya, I have also tried this recipe couple of times.the taste is mezimerizing …good post.

  11. PJ says:

    Am drooling at your description of the dish.We make something similar to this but without cinnamon and cloves.Would love to try ur version!

  12. chitra says:

    Hmm..Iam a big fan of eggplant recipes..will try tis for sure :)

  13. Priya says:

    Just love anything with eggplants, slurppp koora looks fantastic..u know wat, i want that thali dear, looks yummy and its has been a long i had those dished together in one plate…

    Thanks for sharing those beautiful homam clicks and bharathanatyam clicks, really pleasant for eyes..

  14. Zlamushka says:

    Heya, i love stuffed eggplants, yums!

  15. Joanne says:

    Eggplant is one of my absolute favorite veggies! I am so going to ahve to make this because it sounds insanely amazing. I mean if you’ve spent so long trying to recreate it (not) from memory then it must be good.

  16. Shri says:

    That is such a wonderful curry!Incidentally I posted a brinjal recipe too:)

  17. varunavi says:

    Wonderful curry and a must in andhra homes.

  18. Oh! loved that thaali……. De thaali!!!!!!! (PUN INTENDED)….. 😉 But seriously loved everything in it….. I always love thaali when out for a lunch… be it veg or non-veg…… I can easily taste varieties, without having to place an order for the whole in lots…… CLEVER na! Yo! I am…… I love food…..that’s why… this cleverness…. Its like paanchon ungli ghee mein or sar kadai mein…. He! He! He! 😉

    Now coming to eggplant in the end…. because I don’t like it….. Kuku’s loves it a lot…. so I just prepare for him….. those days when I prepare brinjal for him, I only savor rice & dal….. & tell him “my food is the best”…… Aha!!!!

    But today u have posted all yummy yummy delights here… I feel like sleeping here, & not go to bed……. Khaa peeke yahi so jaoon….. Par jaana bhi to hain…… Love you….. CIA!!!!

    Ash….
    (http://asha-oceanichope.blogspot.com/)

  19. Very interesting curry! Really aromatic. i jst had my meal n that thali made me hungry again :) Superb!

  20. Koki says:

    Wow another curry with brinjal my favourite :) will try soon
    hey Ruchika I am longing to come visit Meenakshi and Sundareshwarar in Houston… Its my favourite temple …
    Thanks for the virtual darshan…
    I was telling my hubby exactly on MahaShivaratri that “How nice it would have been if we could go to Houston Meenakshi Temple today ?”

  21. RedChillies says:

    I am now out of recipes using eggplant. I like the variation that you have here.

  22. anita says:

    Hi ruchika,

    thanks for this authentic Andhra curry. I love it so much. you reminded my childhood. thanks..

  23. pari says:

    Dear Ruchika, I checked my mail box, I have not received any entries from you dear. Regarding ur problem of the logo I had answered immediately in my blog, pls check zucchini cake post. I will still accept ur entried dear. For the logo pls click on the pic and then copy it.
    mail to cookingoodfood@gmail.com

  24. priya says:

    hey…i cn pretty much identify the recipe wth hw my mom cooks and this is hw ur recipes work fr me wd simpl asumption tht u must b cookn the other recipes the homemade way and u ended up in my bookmarks..and happy to find ur site and i discovrd ur site yestrday and lookn forward fr mre ammas recipes.

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