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Masala Brinjal Curry (Vankaaya Masala)

Hi Friends! Iam back after a short trip to Atlanta & Orlando for Thanks Giving Holidays. We had a very good time there. I hope same with you too:-) I will update some of my trip photographs in my intoduction post after some time. Right now as I said..I will be back with good recipes in store, today Iam here with one of the traditional recipe and all time favourite from my mom's kitchen called "Vankaaya Masala". We call this recipe vankaaya Masala (brinjal spices), since masala(spices) used in this recipe is the key for this tasty dish, ofcourse Brinjal's should be very tender and fresh once to get more taste and flavour to the dish. I thought to blog some specific recipes with photographs as main, to explain the dish. One I did mooli paratha and now Iam going to do with this recipe. With no delay..here I go....

Ingredients For Main Cooking:
..Fresh Brinjals 10 to 12 of same size
..1 big onion
..2 medium lemon sized tamarind
..1 big stem curry leaves
..zeera or cumin seeds 1 tsp full
..1 tbsp fresh cut cilantro
..oil for cooking (2tbsp) (you can decrease if you want to 1tbsp, but for more taste 2tbsp)

Ingredients For Masala:(you can see all masala powders in below pic togeather)
..2tsp white sesame seeds roasted powder (Nuvvula podi)
(here I roasted sesame seeds and mixed with other powders in blender since I did not had its powder ready)
..1tsp cumin seeds roasted powder (Jilakara podi)
..1/2 tsp Methi seeds roasted powder (menthula podi)
..2 or 2 1/2 tsp Coriander roasted powder (Dhaniyala podi)
..2 tsp Dry coconut powder (kobbari podi)
..2 or 2 1/2 tsp Red chilli powder
..2 tsp turmeric powder
..Salt as per your taste (I recommend 2 to 2 1/2 tsp salt)
..2 tsp Ginger-Garlic paste

Cut onions roughly and fry in little oil in a wide and deep container till they turn to brown in color. Or else the traditional method is Fry onion whole on flame all around if it is possible and keep aside. I follow first method here. In india the another method. Keep thease onions aside. After it cools down, add this to above all masala ingredients in a blender or grinder and paste them. If needed you can add little water. Keep the paste aside.

Wash the brinjals and do not remove the tail. Since they help while eating brinjal or vankaaya in the curry. You can just grab a full one brinjal into your mouth with the help of tail:-)) But ofcourse again its your choice:-) I prefer keeping them as it is. Cut each one of the brinjals across. See here they are not cut completely till end. That means brinjal should be one, not four pieces. You can check in the beside pic. They are waiting to dip in the masala;-)

Wash the tamarind and soak in a warm water till tamarind becomes soft. After that take juice out of it. Here, the tamarind juice should be thick. In the same container, in which you fried the onions, heat the recommended oil or as per your requirement and taste for main dish to cook. Add jeera or cumin seeds and fry until they start changing color. Cook this dish on medium heat. Now add curry leaves and fry them. Remember they should be crispy. Now add cut brinjals in to the container and fry till they turn into dark color all around. See the brinjals should not break.

Now add the masala paste to above fried brinjals and mix well. See again brinjals should not break into pieces. Cook for 2 minutes with closed lid so that masala or spices get into the cut brinjals. After that add tamarind juice and mix well. Do not add any water here. That is why tamarind juice should be taken a/c to your gravy requirement. I.e., if you want more gravy than soak little more tamarind.

Allow to cook whole thing on medium heat till the brinjals are cooked well. They should be soft and cooked well. Remember, brinjals are cooked fast like fish. Finally, add cilantro and close the lid and cook on low heat for couple of minutes and turn off the heat. Here, you can taste the gravy and can add required chilli powder, salt and coriander powder if needed. The Vanakaya Masala is ready to serve. This dish taste more better the next day or another day. So if you have some work next day than you can prepare this and keep aside (no need to refrigerate) and can enjoy next couple of days if you are going to cook in lots:-))

My Variations:
You can replace brinjals with fish pieces too. My mother cooks the same way for both fish and brinjals. Only difference is here you add brinjals first, where as If you use fish than add it after all the the masala and tamarind juice is cooked togeather and cook till fishes are done. Though brinjals are cooked fast, remember fishes are even cooked more fast comparitively.

You can prepare all the spice powders by roasting them individually and powder them and can store, so that, when ever you want prepare this dish you can just add masala powders or spice powders then, which can save your time and energy. Also add methi powder still less if you want, since it gives little bitter taste, if added more. Recommended amount in this recipe is fine. Enjoy the dish:-))

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oh boy this looks very nice meena, i have a bagara biangan recipe in my blog which is slightly similar to yours ...will try out your version next time

bhale vundi Meena curry. we even add peanuts.

Hi Meena,
Next time i will try your version..
Your curry looks sooo delicious..Thanks for sharing.

Absolutely delicious and fabulous.So many step by step pics.I love it:))

Glad you are back Meena! Don't worry about Daily Tiffin,she has others.Send only if you are comfortable and convienient for you. No obligation:)
Have agreat weekend and thank you for gorgeous recipe.

Thank you Seema..for dropping by and nice to hear that you will give a try...Iam sure u will like it.

Thank You Lakshmi...Nenu kooda ippude thelusukunnanu from other blogger friends that peanuts kooda add chesthe baaguntundi ani..I will Try Next time with peanuts.Thanks once again Dear:-)

Thank You MT ..Nice to hear from You!

Thank You Asha...For making me comofortable...Yeah..I will try to send one or two recipes a month when ever possible.Thanks again for dropping by...Have a great weekend you too:-))

I instantly love your masala recipe! Everyhing and the photos all look beautiful!

That curry looks absolutely delicious, Meena! Nice step by step pictures too. I'll definitely try it out sometime :)

Thank You Gattina For dropping by here..Iam gald you liked evrything visual and the recipe..Iam sure you will love it when you cook...But warn you its hot(spicy);-))....Happy to see you back from holidays.

Thank you Vani for dropping for first time at my blog..I have just visited yours....Great job...Hope you will like this when you cook...Do tell me if you can when you try it out...:-)

I know this and have tasted it at a friend's house. But their curry was whitish in color. anyway going to try urs soon. good to know u had a good holiday.

This curry looks too good,and the step by step photos are very helpful. Thank you Meena, loved the lay out of this post.

Thank you shaheen,

whitish in color may be due to variations in masala ingredients.There are actually other ways to cook this curry.I mean different ways in different places.Hope you liked it..If so then you will like this too:-)

Thank You Archana,
Iam seeing you after long time in my blog....Thank you Archana for all praises...would be more happy and glad If you cook and liked it:-)) waiting for your cake recipes for christmas and newyear eve:-))

Brinjal Masala looks awesome. Love Brinjal curries are my favorite, I have to try this one for sure.

Hi Meena!
Nice recipe. My mom's version of gutti vankaya is similar to urs. She also adds peanuts.
Thx for sharing.

Thank you Trupti,

Iam unable to post your comment...The blogger is giving me some problem saying that it can'nt post this comment.Iam unable to understand the problem..anyways...Thanks once again.

Thank you ISG,
Iam sure you will live this too:-)

Thank You Bharghavi,
I shall to add peanuts next time and give a try..thanks for that:-))

Meena - the curry looks amazing. The step by step pictures are very helpful too. Thanks for sharing such a detailed recipe :)

Looks delicious ! Isn't it very similar to baghar-e-baingan minus the peanuts ? Will surely try this

Thank you Mandira,
Iam glad to hear that u liked it and yes my intention to expalin in detail with pics is to understand the curry preparation well and can help u all while cooking:-)

Thank You Krithika,
yes it is ! very similar to the one u mentioned..iam going to try with peanuts next time.

hi Meena,
your version of masal brijal curry looks very tempting !
i sure gonna try it .
nice picture with all the details :)
nice to visit your blog here.
Stay tuned

Thank You Pooja for dropping by here...nice to see all your encouraging words for me:-)..I visited your blog..it is good and liked the theme of week concept in ur blog.see u again and again......

Hi meena
Brinjal curry looks very nice. I make something like this with peanuts.. can give urs a try sometime.

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Meena and Srinivasulu Kandlakuti
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