What's the best way to cook brinjal in South Indian cuisine? It was this question that sparked a fascinating discussion with Munichandrudu E, Chef De Cuisine Hilton and Hilton Garden Inn at Bengaluru Embassy Manyata Business Park. We were at Neer, the hotel's poolside restaurant that rounds up coastal specialties from across South India. Our menu for the night Neer was full of interesting twists to classic South Indian recipes like an elaneer payasam. During my visit to the hotel, I also tried the classic Andhra-style Gutti Vankaya Kura, a flavourful dish with stuffed baby aubergines. This thick curry tastes equally good with rice or rotis and is quite similar to the Enne Badanekai from Karnataka. It was this dish that made me believe that stuffing brinjal with a paste or masala is one of the best ways to cook brinjal. Peanuts are a recurring ingredient in Andhra cuisine and this dish incorporates the flavours of peanuts and sesame seeds.
Now, check out the two delicious stuffed brinjal recipes from Karnataka that you must give a try.
Recipe 1: Gutti Vankaya Kura
Recipe courtesy: Munichandrudu E, Chef De Cuisine, Hilton and Hilton Garden Inn at Bengaluru Embassy Manyata Business Park.
For Coarsely ground masala:
20 gms Peanuts
10 gms Sesame Seeds
10 gms Whole Coriander
10 gms Whole Red Chilly
5 gms Fenugreek Seeds
5 gms Cumin Seeds
5 gms Black Peppercorn
60gms or 4 tbsps. of Gingelly oil
5 gms whole Red Chilies
5 gms Mustard Seeds
3 gms Fenugreek Seeds
5 gms Cumin Seeds
10 gms chopped Garlic
5 gms Curry Leaves
50 gms Shallots
30 gms chopped Tomato
30 gms Tamarind pulp
10 gms Red Chilli Powder
5 gms Coriander Powder
5 gms Turmeric Powder
20 gms Salt – adjust to taste
20 gms Jaggery
60 gms or 3-4 small Brinjals with stalk
60 gms coarsely ground masala
•Slit brinjals and soak in salted water.
•Roast all dry ingredients for masala powder one by one. Grind to a coarse paste.
•Stuff half of the coarsely grounded powder into slit brinjals and keep aside.
•Add 30 gms gingelly oil to a pan.
•Add red chilies and mustard seeds to hot pan. Let them splutter.
•Add fenugreek, cumin, chopped garlic and let it turn deep golden brown.
•Add the curry leaves and shallots and sauté until it turns brown.
•Once it changes its colour to brown, add chopped tomato and tamarind pulp and some water to cook tamarind till it is not raw anymore.
•Now add red chilli powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder and salt.
•Finally finish with jaggery and left over coarsely grounded powder.
•While the gravy simmers, in another pan shallow fry the stuffed brinjals till soft.
•Once the brinjals are soft add them to gravy slowly along with the excess oil.
•Garnish with chopped coriander and serve hot.
Also Read: Brinjal, Aubergine Or Eggplant? Know The Fascinating History Of This Powerhouse Vegetable
Recipe 2: Ennai Kathirikai
Recipe courtesy: Chef Ashish A Kumar, Sous Chef, Four Seasons Hotel Bengaluru
During my last visit to Cur8, the all-day diner at The Four Seasons Hotel Bengaluru, I tried out one of my favourite brinjal dishes from Tamil Nadu. This dish stood out in their Sunday brunch buffet that features an extensive selection of dishes from South India. Ennai Kathirikai translates to brinjal cooked in oil, the flavours of gingelly oil combine with a generous quantity of shallots and garlic in this delicious curry. Again, this is a dish where the masala is ‘stuffed' into baby aubergines.
Shallots: 50 gm
Garlic: 50 gm
Tomato: 30 gm
Baby aubergine: 150 gm
Curry leaves: 1 gm
Gingelly oil: 30 ml
Mustard seeds: 2 gm
Fenugreek seeds: 2 gm
Kashmiri red chilli powder: 8 gm
Turmeric powder: 8 gm
Coriander powder: 8 gm
Tamarind pulp: 2 ml
Salt: to taste
Onion: 50 gm
Jaggery: 100 gm
For the stuffing:
•Cut the Baby Aubergines into two halves and fry. Keep aside.
•Use the inner contents of the baby Aubergine to add the stuffing.
•Saute the garlic and finely chopped onion in oil till they turn golden.
•Add the chopped tomatoes with coriander powder and tamarind pulp. Also add salt (to taste) was added to it. Salt was added as per taste.
•Add the baby aubergine to the above mixture.
For the gravy:
•‘Temper' the mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds and curry leaves.
•Add the finely chopped shallots and garlic were added and sauté till they turn golden.
•Add the chopped tomatoes and cooked until they become mushy.
•Add the spices - turmeric powder, Kashmiri chili powder and coriander powder.
•Add tamarind pulp, and jaggery water, stir well and cook on a low flame for 8-10mins with the lid on.
•Serve the ennai kathirikai with rice or dosa.
About Ashwin RajagopalanI am the proverbial slashie - a content architect, writer, speaker and cultural intelligence coach. School lunch boxes are usually the beginning of our culinary discoveries.That curiosity hasn’t waned. It’s only got stronger as I’ve explored culinary cultures, street food and fine dining restaurants across the world. I’ve discovered cultures and destinations through culinary motifs. I am equally passionate about writing on consumer tech and travel.