Category Archives: Brinjals/ Eggplants/ Vazhuthananga

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.

Recreating a nostalgic meal



An eggplant flower

I am the youngest of the two girls in my family. Being the youngest hard its perks, but it was unimaginable horror at some times. I was expected to go along with my elder sister to all her visits to her friend’s houses as an escort. If there was some grocery item missing and was needed suddenly, I was send to buy it. I couldn’t understand why my sister wouldn’t go and get it. She had created this assumption that being the eldest, she did not have to do these menial tasks. I remember how frustrated I felt at these times and no amount of tears would budge her!

When I finally grew up and was her age, I had no escorts and was left to fend for myself. Ah! That is how I learnt that life is usually unfair and you would be better off dealing with it rather than crying about it..especially when it came to family.But anyway, one good thing about visiting her friends was the food I got to ate. It was our ( me and my sister) assumption that any food other than made in our house always tasted better. This was one thing that me and my sister usually agreed upon.

In Kerala, back in the days there were a great many kids being brought up by i grandparents, as their parents were in the “Gulf”.These kids had the coolest toys and outfits that we could only dream of. I had often wished I was one of them ( now I know better). One of my sister’s friends who we visited was one such family, kids living with their grandmother. When it was time for lunch, we realized there was not much to eat. The friend said, ‘Dont worry we will make brinjal fry’. We both had never had this dish before and we watched as she split the long eggplants ( vazhuthananga),added salt and chili powder and shallow fried it in some oil. We had this with some rice ,achar and some mooru. What a delicious meal! We were convinced that outside food was best. We often reminisced about the brinjal fry although the friendship had been long lost. I think we tried making it at home once but decided it was not the same.


Recently when I grew my first eggplant, the long kind that you see so often back home, I had the sudden inkling to make the long thought of and salivated dish. Got the freshest eggplant off the plant, sliced it thin, applied a paste of salt and chillly powder, shallow fried and had it with rice. Ahh! It was one of the best meals in along time ! All the more tastier just because of the nostalgia associated with it.

This post if for my sister, remembering all the walks we took to your friends place, the fights we had on the way…and all forgiven when finally we sat for lunch( remember the ambazhanga sammanthi at SB’s place?)

Cooking from food blogs



Deccani Baingan ( Recipe click here)

The number of Indian cooking blogs keeps increasing. It seems like everyday there is a new blogger out there churning out new recipes. And most often than not, I find that the recipe and the dish is entirely new to me. The difference in cuisines of Indian can be mind boggling, and all the Americans mostly know are the ‘curry’ and naan. A few, who venture beyond the regular eat some south indian fare like dosas and idlis. Cannot blame them as that is all the restaurants serve. I find myself often explaining to others that there is no typical Indian ‘curry’, and no we dont cook naan everyday for dinner. And I am glad that these blogs shed more light on the cuisines of India.

The other change that Indian blogs have caused in my life is that I visit my Indian grocer more often. The one ingredient that is hard to obtain from the regular grocery shop is the baby eggplants.The mini sized purple cuties never make it to the American grocery aisle. This recipe has been bothering me by it sheer beauty, and its rich and genuine look. Yesterday,right after work I rushed to the grocery store only to find that the shop had closed. So I got there early today and procured some eggplants, and proceeded to make these. They turned out wonderful.The advantage of trying recipes from other blogs is that it is a tried and tested recipe, and hard to go wrong. Thank you deccanheffalump!

The recipe was followed exactly. The coconut in the paste gave it a taste similar to the ‘theeyal’ of Kerala. We both liked it, and is sure to be a regular.


Deccani baingan with Chole and Parantha.