Brinjal theeyal



Theeyal was made at our house only ‘ on demand’. It does take a bit of time and is not suited for those ‘curry in a hurry’ moments. When we think of coconuts and some delicious Kerala dishes to go with it, theeyal definitely is the one for me.

We make this with shallots, bittergourd or brinjal. I am sure there are more variations, but these are all I know. I decided to use whole baby eggplants instead of slicing them, only because I thought the baby eggplants would look very cute dressed up in a dark brown coconut sauce. And it did!!

Recipe source: by Mrs. K.M.Mathew


Step 1: Making the coconut paste

Coconut – 1 cup

Shallots – 1 small sliced

In a pan, add a bit of oil ( 1 tsp). Add the coconut and shallots and fry till dark brown in color. You might need to stir frequently and keep a close eye on them. Add the browned coconut to the blender.


Dry coriander seeds – 1/2 tsp

Dry red chilis- 3

Fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds – a small pinch of each


In the same pan, dry roast the above ingredients and add them to the blender also. ( You could definitely add these to the coconut as it is turning brown and roast them)

Grind all these to a smooth silky paste. Add water as necessary to help with the grinding.


Step 2: Dressing up the brinjals

Brinjals – 9 baby brinjals.( Substitute with 2 larger slender asian eggplants)

Turmeric – a small pinch (optional)

Tomato- 1 plum tomato, sliced.

Green chilies 5 small slit.

Tamarind water – add a small piece to 1/4 cup water, use your hands to extract the tamarind.

Make slits on the brinjal ( make the slits as if you were stuffing the brinjal, but leave the stem intact).

Add a teaspoon of oil to the hot pan, add turmeric (optional), followed by brinjals. Then add green chillies and tomato and saute for a few minutes.

theeyal1.jpg theeyal2.jpg

To this add the ground coconut paste, tamarind water, salt. Add more water if needed to make enough gravy.Cover and cook till the brinjals are cooked.

Final step:

Mustard seeds – 1/4 tsp

Curry leaves – one sprig

Fenugreek seeds- a small pinch

Sliced shallot- 1

Dry red chilies – one, cut into small pieces.

Take some oil, add mustard seeds. When they splutter, add fenugreek seeds, curry leaves, shallots, and dry red chilis. Fry till the shallots are dark in color. Add to the brinjals. Stir well and serve.

Another entry for JFI Coconut hosted by Ashwini.

Related recipes:

Annita’s recipe here

Ulli theeyal from Priya here

Inji’s Bittergourd theeyal here.

21 responses »

  1. Hi Gini I dropped by to wish you happy holidays and look what I found. A super entry to JFI πŸ˜€
    Thanks so much for participating…we Konkanis cant do without coconut either and it’s great to see it being used differently than us.
    Loved the snaps of Arizona. Cheers

  2. Wow! Gini, I can smell it. Yum yum!
    You know once I was cooking theeyal, and I had a delivery from UPS. I opened the door to receive my packet and the UPS guy asked “what are you cooking? it smells so good!” The aroma of frying coconut is so unique, right? I love it when it fills the whole house even though I hate many other cooking smells.

  3. Gini you can actually make the theeyal powder in large amounts and store it in the fridge.I always get mine frm kerala and it stays good in the fridge…in that way you dont have to roast the coconut before making theeyal everytime.

  4. What lovely photos – you make even brinjal look yummy, Gini πŸ™‚ I’m going to make theeyal today but just with onions. Will let you know how it turns out!

  5. Hi Gini,

    Thanks for coming by my blog! I know I’m a bit late in commenting on this recipe, but I’ve only made baby onion Theeyal once in my whole life, and this brinjal version looks WICKED! πŸ™‚

  6. Pingback: Prawn/Shrimp/Chemmeen Theeyal « Spices of Kerala

  7. my friend doing MS in the US…cried seeing these pics…..
    i feel sorry for him….
    Please dont paste such mouth watering pics …which would disturb us students trying to study.

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