Thursday, June 14, 2007

Guthivankaya (with Thai eggplants)

(Stuffed eggplants in poppy seed-peanut sauce)Ask a group of four people from Andhra how to make guthivankaya, you'll be bombarded with at least 25 recipes. Brinjal, the way eggplant is referred in India, is very dear to a person from Andhra. Since old times, at least one variety of brinjal dish would make appearance in small or large feasts. "Pappannam", playfully referred to wedding lunch/dinner, is incomplete without a brinjal dish. Such is importance of eggplant in Andhra.
It is a delight to know that this month's JFI vegetable is eggplant. JFI, started by Indira of Mahanandi, hosted by Sangeeta of Ghar ka Khana
This dish is made by my sister, LP, who is visiting me at present; and, is my entry for JFI-Eggplant.

What you need to make this dish:
8 Thai eggplants
3 tbsp cooking oil
1/2 medium onion, chopped finely
1 medium tomato, chopped finely
2-4 green chilies, slit
Salt to taste
tadka items: 1tsp each of chana dal, urad dal, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and curry leaves from one sprig
Fresh cilantro, for garnishing

To be ground into paste:
1 fistful peanuts/groundnuts
4-6 dry red chilies
1 tsp coriander/dhania seeds
1/2 tsp cumin/jeera seeds
2 tbsp khuskhus/poppy seeds
1 + 1/2 tbsp raw tamarind or 1 tsp tamarind paste
2 cloves garlic
Salt to taste
Prep Work:
Soak Tamarind in 1/2 cup warm water for 10-15 minutes. Mash little bit before adding it to the blender.
Soak poppy seeds in 1/4 cup water for 10-15 minutes. Discard the water.
Dry roast peanuts. Remove skins if any. Keep aside.
Dry roast dhania seeds, jeera seeds, red chilies until done.
Take all items listed for the paste in a blender, blend to get a semi-smooth thick paste. Do not add too much water. Add only the amount required for the blender to move (this includes the tamarind water).

  • Wash eggplants, cut into quarters without separating. Place the cut eggplants in a salted water bowl to keep them from discoloring.
  • Take one eggplant out, squeeze well, stuff it with the paste made. Keep aside. Repeat this with rest of eggplants. Keep aside the remaining paste.
  • Heat 2 tbsp oil in a skillet on medium heat. Add eggplants, stir carefully to coat them with oil. Cover and cook until the eggplants are almost done, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove the eggplants from the skillet, keep aside.
  • In the same skillet, add remaining oil, heat it to medium heat. Add tadka items one by one. When the mustard seeds stop spluttering, add onions, green chilies, little salt (keep in mind that the paste has salt too). Saute until the onion is cooked to light-brown color.
  • Add tomato pieces, cover and cook for 3 minutes or until done.
  • Add the remaining paste and 1/4 cup water. Return the eggplants to skillet. Mix gently. Once the sauce starts simmering, reduce heat, simmer for 7-9 minutes or until the eggplants are completely done.
  • Remove from heat, garnish with fresh cilantro, serve with steamed rice or roti.

Served with rice
Shopping Notes: Choose young Thai eggplants with thick stems. The ones with thin stems are old ones, which are bitter and have tough seeds, not suitable for this dish. The color of the stems should be dark green, not brown with fungus :-)


anusharaji said...

am telling u
thats gorgeous
simply wow
waiting for the recipe ;)

Jyothi said...

Hey its really great recipe. This is my favorite recipe. Looks lovely. Thanks for sharing. Waiting for the recipe.

Suganya said...

The pic looks gorgeous.. Its not fair to tease us :(.. Love the dripping masala on the eggplant.

Dee said...

I adore vankaya. I can eat it raw! Thanks for the recipe!

Kajal said...

WOW very simple and nice presentation with great photo.
Lovely post.:)

Sia said...

LOL @Ask a group of four people from Andhra how to make guthivankaya, you'll be bombarded with at least 25 recipes.
same in karnataka, u ask for badane ennegai and u will get atleast 3 recipes from same person;)
loved the way u have cooked these young brinjals. i have not seen any thai eggplants here, just the ordinary purple ones:(

Sharmi said...

yummy looking guthi vankaya. you have so many nice recipes!!

Asha said...

I love Ennegayi too,excellent dish.

Priyanka said...

Lovely recipe. will give it a try.

Archana said...

this eggplant has been lying in my frige for about a week, wrapped nicely in cloth and inside a plastic bag and still fresh. I have a friend coming over, going to make your version tomorrow> will let you know how it turns out.