Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Vankaya Pullagura (Eggplant Curry)

Pullagura, a telugu word, whose literal translation is 'Tangy Curry', is used in the local dialect in Rayalseema region, Andhra Pradesh. My native district mostly comprises of farmers, who used to work in the farms and grow groundnut/peanuts, sunflower, castor seeds, etc. Since the whole family used to work in the farms, they hardly had time to cook. So, pullagura was a savior for them. They could put all the ingredients for the curry in a pot and boil till they were cooked, then they would use a wooden masher, known as 'pappu gutthi' or 'pappu katti' to slightly mash the curry and finally would add the tempering. These days, hardly anyone is working in the farms, but pullagura is a dish enjoyed by one and all. Pullagura works as an excellent accompaniment with steamed rice or rotis or ragi sangati/sankati or sadda rotte.
Eggplants/Brinjal - 6, medium sized, quartered
Onion - 1, medium sized, roughly chopped
Tomatoes - 2, medium sized, roughly chopped
Green Chillies - 10, roughly chopped
Garlic - 4 cloves
Turmeric powder - a large pinch
Tamarind - small lemon sized ball
Salt - As per taste

For the Tempering:
Mustard Seeds - 1/4 tsp
Cumin Seeds - 1/4 tsp
Urad dal/bengal gram - 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves - few
Oil - 1 tsp

Method of Preparation:
1. Add the quartered eggplants, chopped tomatoes, onion, green chillies, turmeric powder, tamarind to a pressure cooker along with 2-3 cups of water and cook for 2-3 whistles or just until the vegetables get cooked.
2. Add the salt, slightly mash the boiled ingredients using a masher or the back of a spatula.
3. Heat oil in a small pan, add mustard seeds, after they splutter, add cumin seeds, bengal gram and curry leaves, fry for 45 seconds and turn off the heat.
4. Add the tempering to the pressure cooker and let the curry simmer for 5-10 minutes.
5. Enjoy the vankaya pullagura with steamed rice or rotis.

Sending this recipe to my own event 'Celebrating Regional Cuisine'



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