Gutti Vankaya Koora is one of my most favourite preparations using brinjals or eggplant. This is an Andhra Pradesh specialty, where baby eggplants are stuffed with a spice mix and then cooked in a fragrant, flavourful gravy. It tastes absolutely heavenly with some hot phulkas or rice.
There are a whole lot of variations to the Gutti Vankaya Koora, from what I understand. Different families cook it in different ways, use different types of stuffing. This particular version, taught to me long back by a Telugu neighbour of ours, uses a groundnut and garlic stuffing. It is so simple to make, yet so rich and bursting with flavour!
Our neighbour made the Gutti Vankaya Koora in a pan, though, cooking it in a lot of oil. With time, I began making it in a pressure cooker, with just 1 spoon of oil. It still tastes the same, but is healthier and makes me feel less guilty afterwards.
Here is how I make Gutti Vankaya Koora in a pressure cooker.
Ingredients (serves 4):
- 8-10 baby eggplants
- 1/2 cup raw groundnuts
- Salt to taste
- Red chilli powder to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 5-6 fat cloves of garlic
- A gooseberry-sized ball of tamarind
- About 1-1/2 tablespoons powdered jaggery or to taste
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 teaspoon mustard
- 2 pinches asafoetida
- 3-4 dried red chillies
- 1 sprig fresh curry leaves
- A few stalks of fresh coriander leaves
1. Soak the tamarind in a little boiling water for some time. When it is cool enough to handle, extract a thick paste out of it, adding a little more water if needed. Keep aside.
2. Peel the garlic. Take the garlic cloves, raw groundnuts, red chilli powder and salt to taste, and the turmeric powder in a small mixer jar. Don’t add in any water. Pulse a couple of times, for a second each, stopping to scrape down the sides of the mixer. You should get a pasty, coarse powder. Keep aside.
3. Remove the stems from the baby eggplants. From the bottom towards the stem, make two long slits in the eggplants, in a + shape. You should cut half-way through the eggplant, leaving it intact towards the stem.
4. Stuff a generous amount of the groundnut-garlic mixture into the slits, in each baby eggplant. Keep aside. If there is any extra groundnut-garlic stuffing left over, do not worry – we will be using that later too.
5. Heat the oil in a small pressure cooker. Add in the mustard seeds, and let them pop. Now, add the dry red chillies, curry leaves and the asafoetida. Let them stay in for a couple of seconds.
6. Add the stuffed baby eggplants to the pressure cooker. Stir gently, ensuring that they do not break, for a couple of seconds.
7. Now, turn the flame to low. Add in the tamarind paste, about 3/4 cup water, any leftover groundnut-garlic stuffing you might have, and jaggery powder. Mix well. Taste and adjust seasonings (salt, red chilli powder or jaggery) if needed.
8. Close the pressure cooker and put the weight on. Allow 3 whistles on high flame. Switch off gas immediately.
9. Chop the coriander finely and keep handy. When all the pressure from the cooker has released naturally, mix in the finely chopped coriander. Your Gutti Vankaya Koora is ready – serve it hot with rotis or with any rice dishes of your choice!
1. For best results, use fresh baby eggplants that are neither too big nor too small.
2. Gingelly oil works best in the making of this Gutti Vankaya Koora. If you don’t have it, you may use any other kind of oil that you prefer.
3. Adjust the quantity of garlic, tamarind, salt, red chilli powder and jaggery as per your personal taste preferences.
4. I make this Gutti Vankaya Koora in a 3-1/2 litre pressure cooker.
5. I prefer cooking this curry for 3 whistles, which yields soft but not overly cooked eggplants. If you want the eggplants to retain their exact shape, you can cook for 2 whistles on high flame.
6. Add in less water if you want the eggplants to be drier. We prefer this curry with a bit of gravy, so adding in 3/4 cup of water works perfectly for us.
7. Be careful while stirring the eggplants. Stir gently, making sure they do not break.
8. You may increase the quantity of oil in this curry, if you want to.
Did you like this recipe? I hope you will try this version of Gutti Vankaya Koora out, and that you will love it as much as we do!
This recipe is for the Foodie Monday Blog Hop. The theme for this week is ‘stuffed vegetables’.