Stuffed Eggplants curry - Guthvankayi

I'm having a great time here in India with friends and family. The best part being "mom-made" food in Mysore :) Recently Dad and I went to Chennai and on the way back in the train, we had the absolute pleasure of buying fresh grown vegetables from local farmers. One vegetable among the huge variety we bought was baby eggplants. The best dish to make out of baby eggplants, is to stuff them and make "Guthvankayi", an authentic dish of Andhra Pradesh and North Karnataka.

My mom-in-law makes it her way and mom makes a different, more authentic version. This curry is typically served with rotis made from ground Jowar flour. We had it with whole wheat rotis, mom promised to make Jowar rotis another day.

So here it is, mom's version of Guthvankayi or Stuffed Eggplants Curry.

You will need:

6 small eggplants, washed and dried
1 cup fresh grated coconut
¼ cup peanuts
¼ cup hurgadale – fried Bengal gram
1 tsp white sesame seeds
1 tsp Niger seeds (Ucchellu)*
4 tsp Jaggery powdered
½ cup tamarind pulp
1 bunch coriander
15 green chillies (adjust to taste)
Salt to taste
2 onions, thinly sliced
¼ cup Oil
1 tsp Mustard seeds
Few curry leaves

*Niger Seeds or Ucchellu is an ingredient commonly used in North Karnataka and parts of Maharashtra. It is more typically used in this eggplant curry.

Toast the peanuts, white sesame seeds and uchchelu in a dry pan on medium heat for a minute. Grind to a fine powder and transfer to a medium sized bowl. Grind the green chillies to a paste. Add to the bowl with grated coconut, chopped coriander, salt, tamarind pulp and jaggery. Combine well.

Cut the eggplants starting from the bottom, keeping the stem intact. Make an X cut all the way to the stem. Fill about a tablespoon of the prepared mixture into each of the eggplants.

Heat a thick bottomed pressure cooker with oil. Add the mustard seeds and curry leaves, when they begin to splutter, add the sliced onions. Saute till onions are soft, then add the remaining paste and sauté for a few minutes until fragrant. Place the filled eggplants in the cooker, and cover with about 1-1 ½ cups water. The eggplants should barely be submerged. Place lid on pressure cooker, turn heat to high and let the steam rise. Once it does, place weight and turn heat to low; cook for 7 minutes.

Garnish with more chopped coriander before serving with rotis.

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