Monday, November 23, 2009

Vankai Bajji (Vankaya Bajji/Brinjal Chutney)

To begin with I have absolutely no idea why this is called 'Vankaya Bajji' instead of 'Vankaya Chutney' ie; Brinjal Chutney. As many of you already know, the word 'Bajji' in Telugu means 'deep fried fritters(pakoda's type)', basically some vegetable dipped in some kind of batter and fried in oil. Contrary to the name this recipe has absolutely no oil, when I say no oil, I literally mean absolutely 'NO OIL AT ALL'. And for something made with no oil at all, this 'Vankaya Bajji' tastes amazingly fresh and delicious. You have to try it to believe it. BTW this is my mom's recipe and I have to thank her for teaching me such heart healthy recipe.

1. 1 Medium size chinese style egg plant or brinjal.
2. half dozen or more, ie; according to your taste green chillies.
3. 1/4 cup thick tamarind pulp
4. lots of parsley
5. Salt to taste, pinch of turmeric.

Now wrap the egg plant in an aluminium foil snuggly so that when you roast it on burner the juices don't drip on your burner.
You don't have to apply oil or salt or turmeric when you do this. Put it on burner on medium high. If you have gas burners unlike me then you follow the same process however you have keep turning the egg plant for each side to face the flame.

As it roasts in its own juices the smell is smoky and delightfully healthy. Should take you less than 15 mins for all sides to soften and for the skin to crisp. When you press lightly you should be able to feel that its done, cause it will be mushy and cooked.
Move it to a plate but don't remove the foil. The trapped heat inside will soften the skin.

In the meantime, slit the green chillies. In a blender or mixer, coarsely grind green chillies, tamarind pulp and half of parsely. Remove the skin of egg plant. Don't drain the juice, add it to the contents of mixer. Mash the roasted egg plant with hand or grind half in mixer and leave the rest little chunky. Mix all the ingredients together with enough salt and garnish with more parsely.

You are done. Eat it with hot rice or add some curd and serve with roti's. Better yet use it as a dip for your chips.

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