This is one of my absolute favorite dish, but I’ve never made it myself before. You can call me a lazy practical cook, as I like to take short cuts while cooking. As a matter of fact, I’m constantly thinking about how to maximize the efficiency of whatever I do (now don’t ask me if I’m successful in increasing the efficiency of everything I do, but it works may be 50% of the time---for the other 50% I say to myself “there’s nothing wrong in trying”).
For example, I wash my dishes while sautéing onions. I don’t like babysitting my dishes, but I know a lot of people who would stir and hover around the stove until the onions turn translucent, then red, then brown. I don’t have time for that.
Well anyway coming back to the gutti vankaya curry, I’ve never actually stuffed the eggplants before; I cook the pieces in the gravy and call it a day. The fact of the matter is, when you are eating you eat the piece with the gravy anyway, so why spend time on the stuffing part.
But this past weekend, I bought these tiny eggplants that were begging to be stuffed. I couldn’t turn my back on these beauties, so I succumbed and made this awesome stuffed eggplant curry.
It did take some time to cook the dish, but I thought the end result was worth the effort – at least in the looks category. May be I’ll try stuffing if the vegetable really forces me to; otherwise I’m back to my quick & easy route.
Here’s how I made it:
Baby eggplants – 12, washed and dried
Tamarind pulp – 1tbsp
Salt – to taste
For the masala:
Roasted Peanuts – ½ cup
Sesame seeds – ¼ cup, dry roasted until golden
Cumin seeds – ½ tsp
Coriander seeds – 1tbsp
Cloves – 4
Cinnamon stick – 1” piece
Dry red chilies – 6
- Make a “X” cut on the bottom of the eggplant, about 3/4th of the way up, making sure that the eggplant still holds together and does not become pieces. Keep aside.
- Dry roast the ingredients listed under masala and grind along with tamarind pulp, salt and a few drops of water to make a smooth, thick paste.
- Gently open the eggplants and stuff the masala inside. Continue doing it for the remaining eggplants. Set any remaining stuffing to the side as this will be used to make the gravy for the dish.
- Heat 2tbsp oil in a sauté pan; arrange the stuffed eggplants in the pan. Cook covered on medium low heat until eggplants are about ¾th cooked.
- Add ½ cup of water to the left over masala and pour it into the pan, cover and cook until the sauce is bubbly and the eggplants are cooked all the way through.
- Check seasonings and serve.
This dish is usually served with steamed white rice, but I served with some pongal (khichdi) and it was DELICIOUS.
Have a great Work Week everyone.