An authentic Andhra dish to be eaten with Sona Masuri rice or sorghum roti, this superb recipe came with high recommendation from Lakshmi chinnamma. She has been following my vegetable harvest updates and when she saw the fresh and familiar brinjals, she highly recommended I cook this recipe and I did. What a joy it was to rediscover the forgotten taste. Chinnamma, you are my muse, thank you.
Brinjal Cilantro (Vankaya Kottimera Kura)
(for one or two meals for four to two)
8 palm-length, fresh and firm pinkish mauve colored brinjals
2 cups, finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
4 green chilli, Indian or Thai variety, finely chopped
1 tablespoon, grated fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon, turmeric
1/2 teaspoon, salt or to taste
For tadka: 1 tablespoon, peanut oil and
from masala dabba: tadka ingredients (cumin, mustard seeds and few fresh curry leaves)
Brinjal: Fill a bowl to half with water. Add a teaspoon of salt and mix.
Remove the ends and cut the brinjals lengthwise thinly and then crosswise to about one-inch length pieces. Drop the pieces into salted water. This old-Bharath technique is to prevent brinjal bitter-browning.
Cilantro: Take cilantro leaves, chillies and ginger in a mixer or mortar. Add a pinch of salt and blend them to coarse paste. (Or, if you prefer, skip this step and add the three ingredients as they are.)
Brinjal-Cilantro: Place a wide skillet on stove-top and heat. Add oil and when oil is hot, add and toast curry leaves, a pinch each – cumin and mustard seeds to fragrance. Add brinjal pieces. Sprinkle turmeric and salt. Cover the skillet partially and cook the brinjal pieces to soft on medium heat. Add the cilantro paste at the end. Stir-fry for few minutes until the home is filled with wonderful cilantro scent.
Serve Vankaya Kottimera Kura warm with rice or roti and dal or dahi. Soft brinjal pieces with rich, jari like cilantro accent taste spicily silk. Imagine an edible Dharmavaram silk. This could be it.
Vankaya Kottimera Kura ~ For Meal Today