Side Dishes for Rotis/Dosas/ Naan.

Andhra Vankaya Gravy (Brinjals cooked in peanut tamarind gravy)

This was an amazing dish made by my friend P to a potluck at least three  years back , but she had made it with peppers. I simply loved the gravy and its tastes with the nuttiness of the sesame and the creaminess of the poppy seeds. This is pretty much a very common dish in all andhra households, but then I wanted my own spin to it. I called her last week and I told her that I really really needed to make that dish which she had brought in to the potluck. I wrote it down on the back of a Trader Joes receipt and safely stashed in in to my bills bin! And then the searcing I had to do, to get it back and try the dish when I wanted!!!!  I made this dish with eggplants and they spun out in to a completely different flavour! When made with peppers, its super aromatic and amazingly tasty too! I am guessing it could be made with bhindi too but that would be an experiment for another day! Try this one and you`ll love the tastes that it brings forth!

INGREDIENTS:

2 Long Japanese Eggplants ( Use 10 medium sized Indian Eggplants)

1 Onion chopped fine.

3 Spoons White Sesame Seeds.

3 Spoons Khus Khus.

3/4 Cup Raw Peanuts.( Use skinned roasted peanuts if available)

2 Tsp Dhania Powder.

2 Tsp Coconut Powder.

1 Tsp Red Chilli Powder.

1 Tsp Ginger Garlic Paste.

1/2 Cup Tamarind Water.

Seasoning:

Oil as needed.

1 Tsp Jeera / Cumin Seeds.

PREPARATION:

  • Roast the raw peanuts in a dry kadai, until you get the aroma and allow to cool. Set aside. If you like, you can remove the skin from the skins.
  • In another kadai, add a spoon of oil and jeera, and pop in the sliced eggplants. Allow to cook in the oil and slowly turn it around making sure that the eggplants dont break. Add sufficient salt for the eggplants and allow to cook just enough.

  • Roast the khus-khus and white sesame seperately.
  • Grind the peanuts, khus khus, white sesame to a coarse mix. Set aside.
  • In a kadai, add a spoon of oil and when hot, add mustard, jeera  and onions. Allow to brown. Now add the ginger garlic paste and saute well.
  • Add the coarse powder and mix well. Also follow up with salt, red chilli powder, dhania powder, and coconut powder.
  • Keep the flame on SIM and add 1/4 cup water.
  • Allow to simmer and cook well.
  • Add the sauteed eggpants and then turmeric and salt.
  • Add a little tamarind water and allow to come together.When you see the oil seperating from the gravy, then you know its time to wrap it all up.
  • Switch off the flame and garnish with chopped cilantro.

HINTS:

Substitute this dish with peppers for another completely different taste of this dish.

The oil seeping out from the gravy is the only point when this dish is done. So allow this to happen and only then switch off the stove.