July 20, 2010

down the memory lane with Eggplant, Ginger and Chilli

I call my grand mom - "Amma" (Mom), as she raised me till I was 4 years old. Once I started schooling, every summer, me and my sister used to spend all our time at their house - climbing guava trees, playing in the mud, making clay idols, plucking flowers, eating all goodies ...the list goes on. Ah! those were some of the best, care-free days of my life, where I didn't have any assignments to complete or any deadlines to meet. Life was at its best and since then, things have changed a lot back home. We all grew up and all those days, which will never come back are permanently etched as my memories.

my grand-mom, sweetest, cutest ever

Eggplant with Ginger and Chilli (Vankaya Allam Pachimirchi Koora)

Eggplant sauteed in minced Ginger and Chilli is one of the classic dishes that is regularly made in Andhra households. My mom and my grandmom are experts in such authentic recipes and am trying my best to re-create their magic in my kitchen. This recipe in particular is very close to my heart as I remember my ammamma (grandmom) feeding us all with hot rice and a big dollop of ghee with appadams on the side.

2 eggplants (I used the long, chinese variety)
8-10 small thai chillies (reduce the number to make it less spicy)
1/2 inch fresh ginger, peeled
table salt - to taste
1/8 tsp turmeric

Note: Run through your knife to very finely mince the chillies and ginger together or use a mortel & a pestle (like my grand mom used to do) to coarsely grind it. don't puree.

For poppu/tadka

2 tsp canola/vegetable oil
1/2 tsp each of - urad dal (skinned split black lentils - cream-colored), mustard seeds, cumin seeds
asafoetida (or hing) - a pinch

How to make -

1. Cut the eggplant, lengthwise into small pieces. Put them in lightly salted water, so that they don't change color.

2. Coarsely mince ginger and chillies together. Heat oil in a skillet and add urad dal, mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Once the mustard starts to pop, add hing and ginger-chilli mixture. Saute for 1-2 mins.

3. Drain the water from eggplants, pat them dry. Add them to the skillet. Mix everything so that the eggplants are coated with ginger-chilli mixture. Fill a plate or a vessel  (which fits the skillet) with water and cover the skillet. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook for 6-7 minutes or until eggplants are half-cooked. stirring one or two times in the middle. Season with salt and turmeric. Cook for 8-9 minutes more or until the eggplant is fully cooked. Serve.

Variations - Substitute eggplant with boiled plantain, cabbage or any bland vegetable. It will taste equally yummy.

until next time,


  1. Wowwwwwwwwwwww... Chusthuntene norooruthondi.. wonderful clicks too.. gr8 job dear.. :)

  2. hey dear......lovely n simple stirfry...looks delcious.....and yes hope u got my other entries for mlla25..

  3. I too call my grandmom as amma, as she raised me. Ur Grandmom looks Sweet..

    This dish is new to me. Will try to slice brinjals like u have did, next time.

  4. Simple recipe with less ingredients ..looks gud...I shall try too :)

  5. Grandmas are the best!! Nice recipe Siri.

  6. Grandmas are the best!! Nice recipe Siri.

  7. Wow, I have similar memories with my amamma :)

    I love the eggplant recipe. My mom makes is really very well :)

  8. curry looks so delicious n tempting ,even i also used prepare this sometime ,its my family favorite,i learned this curry from my MIL


  9. There are so many Andhra dishes made with eggplants! Mouthwatering recipe dear!

  10. Loooove vankaya with allam.. Simple, yet so much flavor..

  11. Thank you ladies for your sweet words.


  12. lovely grandma, delicious recipe great

  13. Beautiful post Siri, grandmas are always best..Delicious dish..

  14. Always love simple and easy to cook recipes...yours is perfect !! Looks yumm too



  15. I too have fond memories of staying with my grandparents in summer.And yes Siri,even if we want to we can never get those days back.

    The stir fry looks very comforting and as u said,wud love to have it with hot rice ghee and pappadam :)

  16. so cute kada ammamma.. seriously missing all those days akks.. and ur vankaya kura looks gr8.. :) i ll ask ammamma to see this thru venu.. :)

  17. ammuma are true form of love, I love mine too and your post made me miss my grandmom even more. I prepare it the same way but also add tons of corriander I love eggplant in any form or shape.

  18. All I want is hot rice to eat with this simple n yummy curry..anything wid brinjal tastes yummm na...

  19. This is a lovely recipe Siri. I have been talking about my grandparents in the last 2 posts. Still I got lots to share. I think they were the best days.

  20. Hi Siri
    Very sweet post.
    I am not lucky enough to be with my granny.


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