Almost every summer vacation from my childhood was spent at my grandmom’s house. One thing that I always looked forward to is the food made by my grandmother. She had magic, and she could cook a meal for more than 20 people in no time, with each and every dish tasting just wow. Though it was hard to pick one, this particular brinjal/eggplant curry she used to make was my favourite. Different from the regular stuffed brinjal most ‘Andhraites’ make, and this tastes amazing with hot piping rice and a dollop of ghee.
Andhra Style Eggplant (Brinjal) Curry
Small and tender brinjals are roasted well and are then cooked with dry Indian masalas. It is important to cook the brinjals right to obtain that flavour and aroma. I normally use a special variety of brinjals from my terrace garden and pluck them when they are still young so that there are no seeds inside. One tip to choose brinjals is to choose the ones that are nice purple, and the calyx looks green and thick.
Where Is the Dish From?
This unique recipe of eggplant curry has been passed over from my grandmother, who is from Andhra Pradesh, in South India. I learnt it from my mother after I grew up. You can find various recipes for eggplant/brinjal curries online, especially from South India as it is one of the favourite vegetables of many people here. I have five varieties of brinjals in my terrace garden.
More About the Dish
My grandmother used to stuff the ground masala into the brinjals and cook them over low flame for 20-25 minutes. However, there are times when the brinjals get overcooked or the masala gets a little overfired, ruining the taste. Hence, I came up with an easier version of this curry, which is easy to make and tastes equally delicious. Well, this upgrade also happened after several failed attempts of mine.
- Purple Brinjals (Eggplant) – Medium Sized – 15-20 (300 – 350 grams)
- Onion – Medium Sized – 1 - Finely Chopped
- Turmeric Powder – ½ tsp
- Red Chilli Powder – ½ tsp
- Tamarind – Size of a small lemon
- Roasted Peanuts – ½ Cup
- Fresh Coconut – ¼ Cup
- Sesame Seeds Powder – 2 tbsp (If you do not have this, you can take the same quantity of white sesame seeds, dry roast them and use it instead)
- Coriander Powder – 1 tsp
- Cumin Powder – 1 tsp
- Cashews – 6-7
- Poppy Seeds – 1 tsp – Roasted
- Cinnamon – 2-inch stick
- Oil – 1 ½ tbsp
- Salt to Taste
- Roast the brinjals
- Prepare your favorite masala.
- Remove the calyx of the brinjal, and slit the brinjals. Do not completely cut them. Keep them in a bowl of water.
- In a wide bottomed pan, add 1 tbsp of oil. Add brinjals to it. (Make sure the oil is not too hot, if not it can splutter)
- Once the brinjals are slightly cooked, add turmeric powder and salt.
- Cover and cook them till they are tender.
- While the brinjals are cooking, you can prepare the masala for the curry.
- Make a powder of tamarind, roasted peanuts, fresh coconut, sesame seeds/sesame seeds powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, cashews, roasted poppy seeds, cinnamon & required amount of salt. Do not make it as a paste. It needs to be dry and like a powder. Remember that we are adding salt while frying brinjals, and in the masala too.
- Take a frying pan, and add ½ tbsp of oil to it. Once the oil heats up, add the chopped onions, and fry them.
- Once the onions are fried, add turmeric powder and red chilli powder. Fry till the oil leaves the sides.
- Next add the ground masala powder and cook it well. You know that the masala is well cooked when you smell the aroma. (Trust me, the aroma just fills the whole house).
- Now, add this cooked masala to the cooked brinjals, and combine them well. Be careful while mixing as you do not want to mash the brinjals.
- Cook it on low flame for 5 minutes, and serve it hot with rice.
Tastes Amazing with Hot Rice, and Ghee 😊
This recipe conatins Peanuts