The words “stuffed brinjal” does not really say alot about this very common and delicious curry. But the words “Menthi Vankaya” is more specific. Menthi means Methi seeds and Vanakaya is brinjal in telugu. This curry is very common at my home and one of favorites. This dish is prepared using Indian brinjals, which are small and purple in color.
10-15 dry red chillies
1/4 cup urad dal
2 tbsp coriander seeds (dhaniya)
1 tbsp chana dal
1/2 tbsp methi seeds
1 tbsp mustard seeds
4 pinches hing (asafoetida)
2 tbsp oil
Heat oil in a pan. Add red chillies and fry for a minute. Add urad dal, chana dal and fry them till they start turning golden brown. Add coriander seeds and methi seeds fry till all of them turn to golden brown on medium flame. Add mustard seeds and hing atlast. Allow mustard seeds to crack. Remove from heat, let the mixture cool and grind in a blender into smooth powder. After the powder cools down, shift into a tight container and store in a cool dry place.
Add salt to 10 spoons of this powder and mix well. Wash brinjals and remove the stem. Make 2 perpendicular slits on bottom side and stuff it with sufficent powder. Heat oil in a deep pan. Add the stuffed Brinjals and fry for 5-10 mins on medium heat. Cover the pan with lid and keep turning the brinjals to avoid burning, cook till done. Add 2 teaspoons of powder at the end and cook for a minute on low flame and remove from heat.
Serve with rice.
Notes & Tips
The stuffing(powder) can be used with other vegetables like Tindora, Ridge gourd (beera kaya). Add more red chillies if you want it little spicy. If the powder is too spicy for you, grind with fried peanuts/puffed chana dal before using it in a curry.You can add little bit of tamarind to the stuffing mixture while grinding if you like.