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Brinjal Overdose!

Time was, I used to hate this veg with a passion. My dad loved it so it featured with irritating regularity in the house menu. Turns out the pater's body sided with me all those years. One fine day, it decided enough it had silently borne this brinjal overdose long enough but now it was time to put the foot down. So it did with a vengeance the next time he popped a few down the gullet and that was the end of that.

As luck would have it, the lack of the ubiquitous veg invoked a craving in me and I developed a liking for it. Soon enough, I had no less than five entertaining ways of cooking the once damned vegetable. So I decided to make up with this former enemy in the best way possible - by filling a whole blog post about it.

The featured recipe is known as 'ennai kathirikkai' in Tamil and 'guthi vankaya' in Telugu. First is ennai kathirikkai, the way my mum and gran make it.

Ennai Kathirikkai Karamadhu

Brinjals, small - 250 gms

Red chillies - 5
Dhaniya - 1 tbsp
Peppercorns - 1 tbsp
Channal dal - 1 tbsp
Dessicated coconut - 1 tbsp

Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - a few sprigs

Salt - to taste
Oil - 3 tbsp

To make this very simple preparation, first wash the vegetables well in water and dry them free of water. Make + shape slits into them and dunk them into salted water.
Next, roast red chillies, dhaniya, peppercorns and channa dal in half a tablespoon of oil for a few minutes. Add the dessicated coconut last and allow them to cool for a while. After a few minutes grind them coarsely, add salt and stuff them inside the cut brinjals, taking care not to break the vegetables.
In the same kadai, take couple of tablespoons of oil and toss some mustard seeds and curry leaves in. Once the seeds stop spluttering, add the spice-coated brinjals to the kadai and mix well in the oil. Cook in a slow fire, tossing the shiny vegetables every so often till it is well cooked.
Serve hot with rice and onion sambhar.

The next one is how my MIL makes it. It is as different to the previous way of preparing the same veg as the proverbial chalk and cheese.

Guthi Vankaya

Brinjals - 250 gms
Onion - 1, chopped finely
Channa dal - 3 tsp
Urad dal - 1 tbsp
Dhaniya - 1/2 tbsp
Methi seeds, mustard seeds, jeera and mustard seeds - 1 tsp each
Dried red chillies - 6
Dessicated coconut - 1 tbsp
Tamarind - as needed
Oil - 4 tbsp
Salt - to taste
Jaggery - tiny piece

Soak a big lime-sized ball of tamarind in warm water for 15 minutes, till it tenderises completely. Strain and keep aside.
Fry all the masala ingredients (except for onions, brinjal and coconut) in a tablespoon of oil.
Once it is cooled, grind in a dry jar along with the grated coconut. Mix with the tamarind pulp.
Add finely diced onions to this paste and season with salt.
Make + shaped slits into the fleshy part of the brinjal, taking care to retain the green stem and stuff with the paste.
Heat the oil in a kadai and gently drop in the stuff veg one by one. Coat in oil and cook for a few minutes. Pour the rest of the paste over this, dilute with water, cover with a tight lid and cook over a slow fire.
After 15 minutes, add some powdered jaggery and cook some more.
Check seasoning and take off the flames.
Serve with rice.

Vankaya Masala

I learnt of this Hyderabadi way of preparing the same dish from a friend's visiting MIL. This is slightly fiery compared to the former, tamer versions. Avoid if you have asthma or peanut allergy.

Brinjals - 500 gms
Onion - 2, medium
Methi seeds - 1/4 tsp
Jeera - 1/2 tsp
Dhaniya powder - 1 tsp
Sesame powder - 2 tsp
Roast groundnut powder - 1 tbsp
Cloves - 2
Red chillies - 6
Ginger-garlic paste - 1 tsp
Salt - to taste
Turmeric powder - a pinch
Tamarind - a lime-sized ball
Jaggery - a small piece
Oil - 3 tbsp

In a dry jar, powder finely the jeera and methi seeds.
Make the now famous + shape cuts into the brinjals and put them in salted water.
Cut the onions into rough pieces and fry them in oil till they are translucent.
Grind along with jeera-methi powder, dhaniya powder, sesame powder, groundnut powder, red chillies, cloves, ginger-garlic paste, turmeric and salt.
Fry the brinjals in two tablespoons of oil till they are partially cooked. Add the masala paste to the vegetables and mix well. Let it cook for a couple of minutes. Now add the strained tamarind and cover and cook for 15 minutes.
Add some powdered jaggery, check for seasoning and cook for couple of minutes.
Serve hot with rice.

Submitted a day late to JFI: Brinjals, hosted by Sangeeta of Ghar Ka Khana

Posted by DesiGirl 09:16  


  1. Asha said...
    Brinjals are NEVER overdose for me,bring them on girl:))
    Both dishes look fab.Thanks:))
    Sarah said...

    Just wanted to say great blog-- I'm enjoying it and posted a link on my own. Beautiful photography as well.

    Cinnamon said...
    yummy recipe.... I love brinjal in form, and this one is the best... !!!
    zlamushka said...
    Oh my god, what a great curry. I love eggplant, this one is a must-try. I am so glad i found your blog. Bookmarking your new location, then :)
    Shella said...
    Both dishes look great. My story is same as your, younger years saw me loathing this dish, but now I can never have enough!!

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