Cook's Hideout: Vankaya Pulla Kura - JFI: Eggplant

June 16, 2007

Vankaya Pulla Kura - JFI: Eggplant

Huge thanks to Sangeetha (@ Ghar Ka Khana)for choosing Eggplant as the ingredient for JFI (Jihva for Ingredients) this month. I guess people either just love eggplant or hate it and I happen to be in the extreme eggplant lover’s side. It is one of those veggies that is extremely flexible – stir frying (simple baby eggplant curry) or stuffing (deliciously stuffed gutti vankaya or barli vangi) or jazzing up with cheese (in eggplant parmesan) makes it only more irresistable.

Here is one of many ways of making simple eggplant curry; it requires a little more time that the regular curry, but it’s definitely worth the effort. Vankaya Pulla kura literally translates into Eggplant Tangy Curry. Baby eggplants are boiled in tamarind water and then fried with masala powder to make this tangy-spicy curry. Recipe is from one of our aunt, actually our neighbor next door in India, who is my mom’s dear friend.

Baby eggplants – 8
Tamarind pulp – 1 tbsp
Salt – to taste

To make the masala powder:
Chana dal – 1tbsp
Urad dal – 1tbsp
Coriander seeds – ½ tbsp
Cumin seeds – ½ tbsp
Red chilies – 3-4

For tempering:
Chana dal – ½ tsp
Urad dal – ½ tsp

  • Fry the ingredients for masala powder in a ½ tsp oil, let cool and grind into a coarse powder (making it into a coarse powder gives the dish some texture).
  • Cut eggplants into long thick strips (if the eggplants are very small use them whole, but make “+” cut on one side).
  • In a saucepan, combine eggplants, tamarind paste, 1tsp salt and ½ cup water. Mix well and bring this mixture to a boil. Simmer till the liquid evaporates, but the pieces are still intact (pieces should not become mushy, so make sure that the only enough water with the veggies when simmering. If there is too much liquid, then drain out the extra water). Keep the cooked pieces aside.
  • In a large pan, heat 1 tbsp of oil; add the dals for tempering and after they turn golden brown; add the cooked eggplant pieces. Sauté till the pieces turn nice and crispy on the bottom. Add salt (remember that we added salt while boiling) and masala powder; cook for another two minutes.
Enjoy with hot steaming rice and dal. You can use the same technique of boiling with tamarind and sautéing with masala powder for Ridge gourd (beerakaya) and Ivy gourd (dhondakaya).


  1. Hi, Nice recipe for Vankaya, bet it tastes yummm!!!

    Can u please add me in ur blogroll ?

  2. Hi Pavani,it seems like ages since I commented on your blog.Pulla kura looks simple yet very tasty.

  3. I am so glad she chose Eggplants too!I love them:))
    Vankaya Kura looks delicious.Thanks.
    I have similar dish too.I will try your's as well.Brinjals are welcome anytime here.Happy Father's day to hubby:))

  4. not a big fan of eggplant...but I do like your recipe....have to try it...thanks for sharing

  5. Hi Pavani, really vankaya looks yummy and delicious. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful recipe. Its tempting. will try it surely.

    BTW thanks for dropping at my blog. Keep on coming.

  6. Pavani, I know definitely that eggplant is your favourite veggie too:). Thanks for the recipe!

  7. Reading this recipe, I can almost taste this flavorful eggplant! A yummy recipe to jazz up everyday meals.

  8. Yummy one Pavani. I use menthi podi in this curry.

  9. I love eggplant and any variations with that will go into my cook book. That is one lovely variety.



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