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V for vankaya poornam is what I made for this A-Z Challenge, Journey Through Telangana Cuisine. Vankaya poornam is nothing but stuffed brinjals or baby eggplants and also known as gutti vankaya in some parts.
In Telangana, any stuffed vegetable such as gutti vankaya or gutti dondakaya is called vankaya poornam and dondakaya poornam respectively.
Stuffing used for poornam varies from household to household and region to region. I used only sesame seeds here as this is how it used to be prepared at my maternal grandmother’s place and mom use to make this way. Over the years the recipe has evolved, coconut and/or peanut powder is also added to the stuffing and tamarind extract is often substituted with tomatoes.
Here are a some vegetables and dishes with ‘V’.
Vankaya – Brinjal ~ Eggplant
Vankaya pachadi (chutney), Vankaya koora
Vadiyalu, Vadiyala pulusu
Serves: 2 – 3
- 3 tbsp. Roasted Sesame Seeds, powdered (approximately ¼ cup after powdering)
- 1 ½ tsp. Chili Powder
- ¾ tsp. Salt
- 1 ½ tsp. Coriander Powder
- Pinch of Turmeric
- 8 (200 grams) small Vankayalu ~ Brinjals ~ Indian Eggplants
- ¼ cup Oil (about 4 tbsp. and felt I could have used 1 tbsp less)
- 4 Green Chilies, cut into two (adjust to taste)
- 4-6 Curry Leaves
- ½ medium size Onion, chopped, approximately ¾ cup
- 2 tsp. Ginger Garlic Paste
- ½ tsp. Coriander Powder
- ¼ tsp. Salt (adjust to taste)
- Pinch of Turmeric
- 2-3 tsp. Tamarind Paste, mixed with 2 tbsp of water (I used homemade paste)
- ½ tsp. Garam Masala (homemade and I felt could have skipped or used less masala)
- Coriander Leaves for garnish
- Mix together all the ingredients listed under stuffing.
- Wash brinjals and make ‘plus’ slit ¾ way down the brinjal, keeping the brinjal intact.
- Stuff each brinjal with ½ – 1 tsp of stuffing. Lightly stuff the brinjal. Keep aside leftover stuffing for later use. If not stuffing the brinjal right away, put the brinjals in salted water to avoid discoloration.
- Heat oil in a nonstick pan.
- Add green chilies, curry leaves and let the chilies lightly roast in oil.
- Add onions and saute until onions are soft.
- Add ginger garlic paste and saute for few minutes until raw smell dissipates.
- Add coriander powder, salt, pinch of salt, turmeric and stir until spices are well blended.
- Add stuffed brinjals and fry for few minutes stirring until brinjals are lightly roasted.
- Cover and cook on medium – medium high flame until brinjals are just tender.
- Uncover, add leftover stuffing powder and mix until stuffing coats the brinjals.
- Pour diluted tamarind paste on the brinjal and stir until paste is blended into the masala or curry.
- Continue cooking on medium to medium low flame until brinjals are fully cooked, masala properly fried.
- Sprinkle garam masala, if using. Give a good stir.
- Sprinkle cilantro and turn off the flame.
- Transfer to serving bowl and serve hot with rice.
So far in this A-Z Journey Through Telangana Cuisine,
A for Attu Tunukala Koora
B for Biyyapattlu
C for Chegodi
D for Dondakaya Barada
E for Ellipaya Karam
F for Fenugreek (Menthi) Aaku Pesaru Pappu Koora
G for Garela Pulusu
H for Hyacinth Beans (Anapakaya) Annam
I for Iguru, Goru Chikkudukaya Iguru
J for Jonna Rotte
K for Kudumulu
L for Laddu
M for Makka Gudaalu
N for Nethichamili Muddalu
O for Odappalu
P for Pappu & Pachi Pulusu
Q for Qimah Vundalu
R for Royyala Koora
S for Sakinalu
T for Tamata Pappu
U for Uppudu Pindi