This eggplant in coriander sauce or gravy is a popular Andhra Pradesh dish in India. We call it “Vankaya Kothimiri Kharam” in Telugu language. Now in California, I could find baby eggplants at any grocery store including Piazzas’ Fine Foods, Safeway or Whole foods. You can also find it at any local grocery store or an Indian store.
This is really easy to make and can be refrigerated for 3 to 4 days. 6 to 8 baby eggplants can serve 2 to 3 people. This is one authentic South Indian dish that cannot be found at restaurants but easily made at home and relished by all!
Baby Eggplants – 6-8
Fresh Coriander- 1 full bunch
Green Chili (Thai variety) – 4 whole green chili
Ginger – a small piece (about one inch) for flavor
Salt to taste
Oil for shallow fry
One- fourth or half cup water for gravy
Blend the coriander, green chili and ginger in the blender or food processor along with some salt. Make a rough paste. You can add a little water for making the rough paste. Keep the paste after it is ready.
Take the eggplants, wash and wipe them. Hold the stem side of the eggplant and slit it length wise into four sections. If confused, you can quickly browse the process online.
As you slit the eggplant, ensure that you put them in a small vessel with water. This prevents the eggplant from discoloring or becoming bitter when cut and left in open for some time without water.
After you slit the eggplants, stuff them with the coriander paste. Take a skillet and put it on low heat. Add 2 or 3 tablespoons of oil and let it heat. Now add the eggplants and cover with a lid. Allow it to cook on low flame till the eggplant becomes tender and coriander paste changes slight color. Add a little water to the eggplants to make a little gravy. You know the curry is ready when the eggplant becomes tender and can be cut using the ladle.
This dish tastes well with rotis, steamed rice and some Indian ghee or butter. You can add or reduce the spice level based on your taste. The Thai chili is a little spicier but it is fine to use 4 chilies for 6 to 8 eggplants. You can add a lot more coriander if you like. Adding a little more water makes it tasty to eat with hot and steamed rice.