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8 Ways to Cook Brinjal in Andhra Style

Mallika is a foodie who loves her native Indian cuisine. She enjoys exploring the cuisine and sharing it with others.

varieties of brinjal

varieties of brinjal

8-ways-to-cook-brinjal-in-andhra-style
round-bottomed green brinjal

round-bottomed green brinjal

Brinjal/Eggplant/Aubergine is one of the predominant and native vegetables of the Indian subcontinent. It is also popular in Bangladesh, Pakistan, China, Philippines, Egypt, France, Italy, the United States, Turkey, Iran, Indonesia and Japanese cuisines.

It is rich in phenolic compounds called chlorogenic acid which, acts as anticancer, antimicrobial, anti LDL(bad cholesterol) and antiviral and promotes cardiovascular health and free radical protection. Its glycaemic index (GI) is low and is a good source of dietary fibre, vitamin B1, B3, B6, K, copper, manganese, niacin, potassium and folate.

It is cultivated in the different shapes-round bottom, oval, egg-shaped and long club-shaped and many colours like white, yellow, green and degrees of purple pigmentation to almost black.

One more significant factor is that it is one of the few vegetables which can be cooked in different types of dishes in Indian cuisine. The different types of dishes in Indian cuisine are dals, curries, stew, fries, chutneys, fritters, flavoured rice dishes etc. With brinjal, each variety of the above dishes can be cooked and maybe for that reason it is considered as the king of vegetables in Indian cuisine.

In this article, let's see how brinjal can be cooked in each variety in Andhra cuisine style which is a subset of South Indian cuisine. Here selected recipes are given.

1. Brinjal dal:

A Dal/Pappu is the main dish which accompanies rice in Andhra's culinary culture. A Dal is cooked mainly with toor dal or pigeon pea dal. In South India, rice is eaten with dal, pickle, curry, veg/non-veg fry, stews like rasam, sambhar and curd. The dals of this cuisine are spicy and there are more than 20 varieties of dals which are cooked with vegetables and leafy vegetables. Brinjal dal is one of the important dals in this cuisine. Let's see the recipe:

Brinjal type: green round-bottomed.

Ingredients:

  1. Toor dal/pigeon pea dal= 1 small cup
  2. Brinjal= 2 medium-sized( wash and remove the stem and cut into cubes); Note: When brinjal is cut into pieces, they should be placed in a bowl of water with a tsp. of salt added to the water. The brinjal when cut tends to change colour and taste also becomes a little bit bitter. In order to avoid this, this tip is used.
  3. Onion, roughly chopped= 1 small sized
  4. Tomatoes, roughly chopped= 2 small sized
  5. Tamarind= 1 inch
  6. Turmeric powder= 1/4th tsp.
  7. Red chilli powder= 3 to 4 tsps., according to the spice levels
  8. Fresh coriander leaves= 2 sprigs
  9. Water= 3 to 3 and a half cups(the same measuring cup used for dal)
  10. Salt= as per taste

For tempering:

  1. Split black gram= 1/2 tsp.
  2. Cumin= 1/2 tsp.
  3. Mustard seeds= 1/2 tsp.
  4. Dried red chillis= 2
  5. Curry leaves= 2 sprigs
  6. Asafoetida= 1 pinch
  7. Garlic= 2 pods (optional)
  8. Oil/ghee= 1 tbsp.

Procedure:

  • Clean the dal and wash it two times in a colander and drain the water. Take a pressure cooker and transfer the dal to it. Add 3 or 3 and a half cups of water to the dal. Add all the ingredients except tempering ingredients and salt, to it and let it rest for 5 minutes to soak the dal in water.
  • Place the pressure cooker on a stove in medium heat and let it release three to 4 whistles depending on the cooker. Switch off the stove and let it cool for a minute. Remember, the dal shouldn't be dry but should have a little bit of water.
  • Remove the cooker's lid and mix the dal with a serving spoon once to scrape it from sides of the cooker and mix the cooked lentil and vegetables. Add salt as required. Mash the cooked dal and vegetables slowly with a dal masher and check the seasoning and add salt if required. Transfer the dal into a steel bowl.
  • Note: 1. In the South Indian cuisine, there is a special traditional cooking utensil called "dal masher" which is made of wood and used to mash the cooked dal into a gravy-like texture.
  • Usually, cooking of dal ends with tempering. Take a sauting pan and pour oil/ghee and let it heat in low flame. Add all the tempering ingredients and saute for a minute. Do not burn the spices and switch off the stove.
  • Transfer the tempering into the cooked dal and mix well. Brinjal dal is ready to serve.

2. Brinjal fry:

It is a simple recipe and can be prepared within 15 minutes. In this recipe, any brinjal type can be used.

Ingredients:

  1. Brinjal cubes= 2 cups
  2. Sunflower oil= 2 tbsp.
  3. Turmeric powder= 1/2 tsp.
  4. Salt= as per taste

Spice powder:

  1. Dried red chillis= 3 to 4 or red chilli powder= 2 tsps.
  2. Cumin= 1 tbsp.
  3. Dry coconut powder= 2 tbsps.
  4. Garlic= 2 to 4 pods

procedure:

  • Take a pan and pour oil and let it heat in low flame. Add brinjal cubes, turmeric powder and 1/4th tsp. of salt and mix well. Cover the pan with a lid and let the brinjal cook for 3 to 5 minutes. The brinjal should be 90 per cent cooked but not mushy.
  • Grind the ingredients for the spice powder in a mixer into a coarse powder.
  • When the brinjal is cooked, add the spice powder to the pan and mix well. Check the seasoning. Do not cover the pan with the lid but let the fry be cooked another 3 minutes so that the spices would blend with the vegetable. Switch off the stove and serve.

3. Brinjal curries:

A wide platter of curries can be prepared with brinjal and can be experimented with many types of masala powders, spices and other vegetables as well. Spices blend well with this vegetable. For a brinjal curry to be tasty, at least 2 to 3 spices should be included in the recipe. A brinjal curry is a good side dish with rice, roti, chapati or any Indian bread.

Curry List: Simple brinjal curry prepared with coriander powder, Aloo brinjal(popular), Tomato brinjal, green peas brinjal, Drumsticks brinjal, Yellocucumber(budamkaya) brinjal curry etc.

Popular combinations: Rice & brinjal dal/fry, Jowar roti & spicy brinjal curry, chapati & aloo brinjal curry, Puri & green peas brinjal curry etc.

4. Stuffed brinjal masala:

Stuffed brinjal masala is one of the signature dishes of Indian cuisine. In this recipe, brinjal is stuffed with a spice mix/paste and cooked. It is a gravy type of curry with generous oil and masalas. Many regional recipes are present of this recipe. It makes a tasty side dish to steam rice, bagara rice, biryani, roti etc.

Other names: Gutti vankaya, nune vankaya, bharli vangi, bagara baingan, Mughalai/Shahi baigan, ennegayi etc.

5. Stews:

South Indian cuisine consists of tasty stews like sambhar, rasam, Pappu Charu/dal rasam, pachi pulusu/raw rasam, Vegetable dalcha, avial etc. in its basket. Brinjal is used as one of the vegetables in stews. Pappu Charu, vegetable dalcha and pachi pulusu belong to Andhra cuisine.

Let's see the recipe of Brinjal Pappu Charu/Brinjal dal rasam:

Ingredients:

  1. Toor dal= 2 small cups
  2. Green Brinjals or purple brinjals= 3 medium-sized( wash and remove the stem and cut into cubes vertically)
  3. Onion, roughly chopped= 2 medium-sized, divided
  4. Tomatoes, roughly chopped= 3 small-sized, divided
  5. Tamarind= 1 and a half inch
  6. Turmeric powder= 1 tsp., divided
  7. Red chilli powder= 3 to 4 tsps., according to the spice levels
  8. Fresh coriander leaves= 2 sprigs
  9. Water= as per needed
  10. Salt= as per taste

For tempering:

  1. Split black gram= 1/2 tsp.
  2. Cumin= 1/2 tsp.
  3. Mustard seeds= 1/2 tsp.
  4. Dried red chillis= 2
  5. Curry leaves= 2 sprigs
  6. Asafoetida= 1 pinch
  7. Garlic= 2 pods (optional)
  8. Oil= 2 tbsp.

Procedure:

  • To prepare pappu charu, first, pappu/dal should be cooked. Clean the dal and wash it two times in a colander and drain the water.
  • Take a pressure cooker and transfer the washed dal to it. Add 4 and a half cups of water to the dal with the same dal measuring cup. Add one chopped onion, half of the chopped tomatoes, tamarind, 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder, red chilli powder to the dal and mix well. Let it rest for 5 minutes to soak the dal in water.
  • Place the pressure cooker on a stove in medium heat and let it release three to 4 whistles depending on the cooker. Switch off the stove and let it cool for a minute. Remember, the dal shouldn't be dry but should have a little bit of water.
  • Remove the cooker's lid and mix the dal with a spoon once to scrape it from sides of the cooker and mix the cooked lentil. Mash the cooked dal slowly with a dal masher and keep it aside.
  • Take a heavy-bottomed vessel or any vessel to cook a stew and place it on the stove. Add oil and let it heat on a low flame. Add the tempering spices and let them sputter for a minute. Do not burn the spices.
  • Now add another half of chopped onions and brinjal strips and add 1/2 tsp. of turmeric powder and a pinch of salt and mix well. Let it cook for 2 minutes till the brinjal becomes soft but not mushy. Add another half of tomatoes and let it cook for another minute till the tomatoes become mushy.
  • Now add the cooked dal mixture and add 2 normal measuring cups of water and salt as required. The water and dal mixture should have a thin consistency at this point. Mix the stew with a ladle, till dal and vegetables are mixed well and raise the flame to medium and let the stew is boiled for 5 minutes.
  • Check the seasoning and consistency of the cooked stew. The consistency should not be thin like rasam nor thicker like sambhar. It should be medium. If it is thin, then let it simmer for another 5 minutes and if it is thick, add some water and let it simmer. Switch off the stove and serve with piping hot white rice.

6. Vangi bath:

Vangi bath is a popular flavoured rice dish which originated in Karnataka state. Fried brinjals and a special spice powder called vangi bath spice give taste and aroma to this dish. The spice powder contains coriander seeds, cumin, cloves, cinnamon, split channa dal, split urad dal, Marathi moggu/kapok buds and black stone flower along with red chilli. Marathi moggu and stone flower gives a distinct aroma for this dish. Like lemon rice and Pulihora, in this recipe, cooked white rice is mixed with the tempering mixture of tempering spices, fried brinjals and spice powder. It is an exclusive brinjal rice dish.

7.Brinjal fritters:

Different types of fritters can be prepared with brinjals like crispy brinjal fritters, stuffed brinjal fritters, brinjal pakoda, etc.

Let's see the recipe of stuffed brinjal fritters:

Ingredients:

  1. Small size brinjals with stems(either green or purple)= 250 gms
  2. Besan or chickpea flour= 1 and a half cup
  3. Cumin= 1 tbsp. or carom seeds= 1 tbsp.
  4. Baking soda= 1/2 tsp.
  5. Salt= as required
  6. Oil= for deep-fried

For stuffing:

  1. Onions, chopped= 1 and a half cup
  2. Fresh coconut, grated or dry coconut powder= 2 tbsp.
  3. Garlic= 3 to 4 pods
  4. Salt= 1/2 tsp. as per taste
  5. red chilli powder= 2 tsps.

Procedure:

  • Wash the brinjals with water once and cut the bottoms of the brinjals into crisscrossed so that stuffing mixture can be placed in the vegetable. Do not cut the stems. For this recipe, stems should be present.
  • Take a sauting pan and pour a tbsp. oil and let it heat. Add the whole brinjals and sprinkle a pinch of salt on them. Saute for a minute till they become half-soft but not overcooked or mushy. Switch off the stove and transfer them onto a clean plate and let them cool.
  • Take all ingredients for the stuffing and blend it into a mixture in a blender. Do not add water to it. The moisture in onions is enough for the stuffing masala.
  • Take a bowl and add chickpea flour/besan. Add cumin seeds, salt, baking soda and water and make the fritter batter. The batter should have the consistency to coat the brinjals. Check salt and keep it aside.
  • Take a deep frying pan and pour oil and let the oil heat in medium heat. Meanwhile, stuff the sauteed brinjals with the stuffing masala and keep it aside.
  • When the oil is ready to fry, dip the stuffed brinjals by holding the stems in the batter and fry in the oil. The fritters should have a light golden colour. Place the fritters on a tissue napkin for the absorption of excess oil and serve.

8. Brinjal chutney:

There are different recipes for brinjal chutney as well. Some are brinjal, tomato chutney, brinjal peanut chutney, roasted/charred brinjal chutney, brinjal with jaggery chutney etc. It can be used as a side dish with rice, chapati and south Indian breakfasts.

Apart from the above dishes, a sandwich spread called Baba Ghanoush can also be prepared with brinjal. We can say that it is a versatile vegetable. Welcome the king of vegetables in your kitchens and prepare tasty dishes.


Happy cooking!






© 2021 MallikaLotus

Comments

MallikaLotus (author) from Hyderabad, India on January 08, 2021:

@Liza, happy to hear. Do try the recipes. Thank you.

Liza from USA on January 08, 2021:

I love brinjal (or eggplant is widely known here). One of my favorites is brinjal curry. My mother makes a delicious brinjal curry. Thanks for sharing a variety of recipes for brinjal, Malika. I should try one of them.