Saturday, June 10, 2017

Vankaya Kura-a Tangy Andhra Style Eggplant Recipe

Entering the kitchens of Hyatt Hyderabad Gachibowli, during the mid-day, you actually feel yourself a part of a battle ground. With the sounds of rustling knives, the steam horns or the call of the restaurant manager order, there is a lot of activity going on. Each and every individual doing a bit to bring out the best he or she can. Amidst this, we see one person moving around with all smiles, creating wisps of magic and settling the odds.  This is more than just a help, an inspiration to everyone.

Chef Anand Kumar, the man behind this magic, started his career in 2002, with JW Marriott Mumbai as a kitchen management trainee. A young lad, who initially picked up knives in the magnificent property, would have never thought what he would become. Now, Chef Anand serves as an Executive Chef at Hyatt Hyderabad Gachibowli. He believes in sharing his knowledge and know-how with one and all. He specializes in Arabic, Thai, Chinese, Indian, Italian and western cuisine, although today as per our request, in order to get the local flavour of Hyderabad, he shares a delicious Andhra style eggplant recipe. I have often mentioned in my earlier blogs that eggplant to me is the litmus test of a good chef. If he can make eggplant taste tantalising and exotic, he certainly is super talented. This is indeed one of the best eggplant recipes tasted by us:

Vankaya Kura (Small eggplant curry)

For soaking brinjals:
Ingredients                                                                  Quantity
Small purple or green brinjals                           250 grams
Salt                                                                                  ½ teaspoon
Water                                                                              Enough for soaking the brinjal

Other ingredients:
Ingredients                                                                  Quantity
Large onion chopped                                           1no
Ginger garlic paste                                                  ½ tablespoon
Mustard seeds                                                         1 teaspoon
Urad dal                                                                       ½ teaspoon
Cumin seeds                                                              ½ teaspoon
Curry leaves                                                               1 sprig
Oil                                                                                   2 tablespoon
Water                                                                              cup
Salt                                                                                  as required
Chopped coriander leaves                                2 to 3 tablespoon

For tamarind pulp:
Ingredients                                                                  Quantity
Tamarind                                                                     ½ tablespoon
Warm or hot water                                                   ¼ cup

For masala:
Ingredients                                                                  Quantity
Peanuts                                                                        60 gms
Desiccated coconut                                              2 tablespoon
Coriander seeds                                                     1 tablespoon
Cumin seeds                                                              ½ teaspoon
Methi seeds                                                                ¼ teaspoon
Dry red chilies                                                          3 to 4
Turmeric powder                                                    ½ teaspoon

Method of preparation of tamarind pulp:
·             Soak the tamarind hot water for 15 to 20 minutes.
·             Then squeeze and extract the soaked tamarind into the water.
·             Keep the tamarind pulp aside.

Method of preparation of roasting peanuts, spices and coconut:
·             Heat a frying pan and add all the spices for masala and broil them and keep aside
·             Grind everything to a smooth paste

Method of preparation of stuffing of Brinjal:
·             Now rinse and slit each brinjal from the base, keeping the stalks, soak the brinjals in salted water for 15 to 20 minutes.
·             Then drain and keep aside. to make the brinjals stand while cooking, just thinly slice a small part
from the base.
·             Stuff each brinjal very well with the masala paste and keep aside some masala paste for gravy.

Method of preparation of gravy
·             Heat 2 tbsp oil in a 3 litre pressure cooker, add 1 tsp mustard seeds and allow them to crackle.
·             Then add ½ tsp urad dal and ½ tsp cumin seeds.
·             Sauté till the urad dal turns a light brown.
·             Then add ½ cup finely chopped onion and 1 sprig of curry leaves.
·             Sauté till the onions turn translucent.
·             Now add ½ tbsp ginger garlic paste.
·             Add the remaining masala paste along with 2/3 cup water and mix it very well.
·             Now place the stuffed brinjals gently in the vessel.
·             Season as per requirement
·             Cover the lid till you see the brinjal is tender

·             Garnish with coriander leaves and serve gutti vankaya Kura with chapatis or steamed rice.

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