Today I’m so excited to present one of my most favourites among Vegetarian dishes. When talking about Andhra vegetarian Cuisine, Stuffed Indian Eggplant or Gutti Vankaya is the one that will surely jog your memory. This particular recipe works best with either the tiny purple eggplants or the small round green eggplants. But I prefer the purple ones. The typical purple eggplant aka Aubergine (The really big one) is boring when compared to the very appealing little Indian eggplants. This authentic recipe is made with small, stout, soft skinned Indian eggplants, filled with a spicy ginger coriander paste and shallow fired in oil. It is also very low in calories because it uses only herbs and vegetable. It features in our menu at home whenever we get good, fresh and soft eggplants in the Indian stores or Asian super market, but you know it is rare .
This simple recipe for Stuffed Indian Eggplant or Gutti Vankaya needs a few basic ingredients, and depends solely on the quality of the tender eggplants and herbs to take the recipe to the next level. The only dry spice I used for tempering is mustard seeds and I think one could even leave those out. Coriander is by far the most common herb used in Indian cooking, usually chopped and added towards the end. This is however one of the few Indian dishes that I make in which coriander is neither an afterthought nor the main ingredient as in coriander chutney, but it plays a key role with its own distinct flavour. It is also one of the few dishes in which the coriander is cooked with other things. I would encourage you to use as much coriander as you can in this recipe. Trust me, you will never regret .
Like many other Indian dishes every family and cook gives a different twist to every dish depending on the region they belong to. There are numerous ways to prepare Stuffed Indian Eggplant or Gutti Vankaya and the difference lies in the stuffing. I couldn’t pick one for today’s post because all of them are amazing in their own way. But I finally decided to share my own recipe, which I made inspired by a Telugu movie song….Now, all my Telugu friends..Start guessing the song!!…. …..
So there you go with the recipe for Stuffed Indian Eggplant or Gutti Vankaya!
Step-by-Step Process in making Stuffed Indian Eggplant or Gutti Vankaya:
The process is simple and involves just 4 steps-
- Cleaning eggplants and making a slit
- Grinding the paste for the stuffing
- Stuffing the eggplants with the paste
- Shallow frying the stuffed eggplants
1. Cleaning eggplants and making a slit:
Note: I have used only 4 eggplants for this recipe. The remaining 4, saved for another recipe which I will be sharing very soon!!…It’s hard to find these in the market;-)
- Wash the eggplants well under running water.
- Each eggplant is cut with a deep cross to make a plus (+) slit on the bottom of the eggplant. Keep the end with the stalk intact.
2. Grinding the paste for the stuffing:
- These are the ingredients required to grind.
- Grind coriander, green chillies, ginger, cumin seeds along with salt in an electric blender to a coarse paste.
3. Stuffing the eggplants with the paste:
- Stuff each eggplant with the spicy ginger coriander paste.
- You can use up one teaspoon of the paste for each eggplant.
- Add the remaining stuffing over the eggplants later and cook.
4.Shallow frying the stuffed eggplants:
- Heat oil in a deep non-stick pan over medium heat.
- Once oil is hot enough, add mustard seeds.
- Let the mustard seeds splutter and then place the stuffed eggplants into the pan.
- Cover it with a lid and cook over medium heat.
- After about 2 to 3 minutes, remove the lid and turn the eggplants to the other side and cook another 2 to 3 minutes.
- At this stage add the remaining paste over the eggplants and cook over medium heat.
- Now add the remaining paste over the eggplants and gently mix without destroying the shape.
- Shallow fry till the eggplants cook evenly and all the paste blends well into the eggplants. It may take about 8 to 10 minutes.
- Turn off the heat once it is like how you see in the picture. There should not be any moisture and it will be completely dry.
- Turn off the heat and serve.
- I like to have it with plain rice and sambar or rasam but it also goes well with roti or paratha. It would also be equally delicious as a stuffing for pita bread or other sandwiches.
A Quick Summary:
- 4 Tender Indian Eggplants
- To grind:
- 2 cups chopped coriander
- 1 inch ginger grated, cut into small pieces
- 4 to 6 green chillies
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- Required salt
- Other Ingredients:
- 1 Tablespoon oil
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- Wash the eggplants and make a plus (+) slit on the bottom of the eggplant. Keep one end intact.
- Grind all the ingredients under the section "To grind" to a coarse paste.
- Each eggplant is then stuffed with this spicy ginger coriander paste.
- You can use up one teaspoon of the paste for each eggplant and the remaining stuffing can be added over the eggplants later.
- Heat oil in a deep frying pan over medium heat.
- Once the oil is hot enough, add mustard seeds.
- Place the stuffed eggplants into the pan once the mustard seeds splutter.
- Cover the pan with a lid and cook over medium heat on each side for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Now add the rest of the stuffing covering the eggplants. Adjust salt if required.
- Shallow fry till the eggplants get evenly cooked and all the added paste blends well into the eggplants.
- Turn off the heat once there is no moisture left and the curry is dry.
- You need to ensure that the Indian eggplants (brinjals) are absolutely fresh, shiny and tender with out a dry withered look.
Cover over medium heat.
- Adjust spice levels to suit your taste with green chillies.
- Cook till oil separates but as you can see I have used very little oil. Feel free to adjust quantity of oil.
You might also like other popular vegetable curries on my blog-
- Ivy Gourd stir fry
- Potato fry
- Stuffed Okra
- Arbi fry
- Eggplant stir fry
- Capsicum masala fry
- Okra stir fry
- Bitter gourd stir fry
More to come….Stay Tuned!!
Happy Cooking 🙂