Brinjal Masala is a flavourful vegan and dairy free semi-dry curry. Pair this curry with hot rice, rotis or dosa for a finger licking good meal. Find step-by-step pictures to make this simple and yummy South Indian style eggplant/brinjal curry.
Brinjal also known as eggplants, aubergines. Is a versatile vegetable and widely used in many cuisines across the world. In India, eggplants are commonly called brinjal and is used for dry subzis, gravy-based curries, sambhar and even in rice preparations such as Vangi Bath. It makes an excellent ingredient to roast and add to cold or warm salads and as a dip like baba ganoush. Overall, the vegetable is versatile, yummy and nutritious too.
We make brinjal at home quite often. It is one of those vegetables we love as much as potato. We often make kathrikkai poriyal (stir fried brinjal seasoned with spice powders), it tastes amazing with plain rice or even with mixed rice. However, we get bored of that format too. So, I try and switch up the brinjal preparation.
I had some frozen grated coconut that I had left to thaw to make Beans Poriyal and was going to make my usual kathrikkai kari (brinjal stir fry) but a quick change in plans led me to this.
I just wanted something that was more than a dry curry and using up the grated coconut was perfect to make a nice thick curry to mop it up with rotis. Also, being in the middle of the pandemic meant making use of whatever was available with minimal ingredients. This ticked all the boxes and thus, this accidental Brinjal Masala came about.
- You can make this recipe with either large or small eggplant/ brinjal varieties.
- Add, omit or adjust ingredients to suit your preference.
- You could swap ginger garlic paste for whole garlic. Cook along with onions.
- This is a vegan curry, if you are not fussed about it, swap oil for ghee or you can use a mix of ghee and oil.
- Grind a teaspoon of coriander seeds while grinding instead of coriander powder to give it a more intense flavour.
- I have used large eggplants for this recipe. I have tried the recipe with both the small one and the large one and it tastes just as amazing.
- So, I tried this recipe small brinjal and I sliced them instead of cutting them into little cubes. However, I noticed that they took longer to cook and didn’t cook evenly. I couldn’t tell if it was the quality of the vegetable or the slicing, but I prefer the cubes better. Play around with the cutting style and see how it works for you.
- Pick tender eggplants over the firm ones as this will make the Brinjal Masala super yummy.
- Serve as a part of a hearty South Indian meal.
- The Brinjal Masala makes a yummy combo with lentil curries like Lemon Dal, Restaurant Style Dal Fry or Methi Dal.
- Serve with dosa or chapati.
- Brinjal Masala when paired with curd rice is a match made in heaven.
Check out these dairy-free curries
- Grated coconut (fresh or frozen) – 1/2 cup
- Fennel seeds – ¼ tsp
- Dried red chillies – 6 to 8
- Eggplant/brinjal/kathrikkai – 500 g chopped into small cubes
- Curry leaves – 1 sprig
- Onion – 1 cut into thin slices
- Ginger garlic paste – 1 heaped teaspoon
- Tamarind extract – ¼ cup (optional)
- Oil – 1 Tbsp
- Mustard seeds – 1 heaped tsp
- Turmeric powder – 1/8 tsp
- Chilli powder – 1 tsp
- Salt – As required
- Grind all the ingredients listed under ‘To Grind’. Keep aside.
- Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan or kadai.
- Add mustard seeds and let it crackle.
- Add the onion and cook for a few seconds.
- Mix the ginger garlic paste.
- Sweat the onion out until soft.
- Add salt, chilli powder and turmeric powder, mix well.
- Toss in the chopped brinjal/eggplant.
- Mix well to combine the ingredients.
- Cook the vegetables for 5 to 7 minutes until it is partially cooked in medium flame.
- Sprinkle some water to deglaze the pan if the vegetables get stuck to the bottom of the pan.
- Now, add the ground paste to the vegetables.
- Mix well.
- Add little water to the blender jar and pour that into the pan.
- Pour the tamarind extract into the pan.
- Keep stirring until the ground paste and vegetables are combined.
- Cover and let it cook until the raw smell from the paste is gone, and till the eggplant/brinjal are completely cooked.
- At any stage you notice the vegetables are sticking to the pan, sprinkle water to deglaze the pan and then mix well.
- Once the eggplant/brinjal is cooked turn off the flame.
- Serve hot with steamed rice, rotis or dosai.