Brinjal Ennegayi Recipe

Explore our Brinjal Ennegayi recipe for a mouthwatering South Indian culinary adventure. Step-by-step instructions for a delectable meal!

Brinjal Ennegayi

    Brinjal Ennegayi

  • Cuisine: Indian
  • Category: Main Course
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Servings: 4
  • Calories: 200 calories

Brinjal Ennegayi, also known as "Ennegayi Palya" in South India, is a delightful and aromatic dish that hails from the rich culinary tradition of Karnataka. This vegetarian delicacy centers around small brinjals (eggplants) that are stuffed with a flavorful spice mix and simmered in a tangy, spicy gravy. It is a staple in South Indian cuisine and often finds its way onto dining tables during special occasions and festivals.

The preparation of Brinjal Ennegayi begins with carefully slit brinjals that are stuffed with a paste made from roasted coconut, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, tamarind, and spices. This stuffing adds depth and complexity to the dish. The spiced brinjals are then cooked in a savory sauce, which typically includes ingredients like mustard seeds, curry leaves, onions, garlic, ginger, and a blend of aromatic spices. Tamarind paste contributes a tangy note, while red chili powder and coriander powder provide the dish with its signature South Indian spiciness.

Brinjal Ennegayi is known for its harmonious balance of flavors, combining the earthy taste of brinjals with the richness of coconut and the piquancy of spices. It is often served as a side dish with steamed rice, roti (Indian bread), or dosa (a type of Indian pancake).

This dish not only exemplifies the diversity and culinary artistry of South Indian cuisine but also offers a mouthwatering experience that appeals to both vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike. Whether you're exploring regional Indian cuisine or looking for a new way to enjoy eggplants, Brinjal Ennegayi is a delightful choice.


Discover the secret to making Brinjal Ennegayi - a tantalizing South Indian delicacy bursting with flavors. Your taste buds are in for a treat!


  • 6-8 small brinjals (eggplants)
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • A pinch of asafoetida (hing)
  • 1 sprig of curry leaves
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, minced
  • 2-3 green chilies, slit
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind paste
  • Fresh coriander leaves for garnish
For the stuffing:
  • 1/2 cup grated coconut
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • A small piece of tamarind
  • 2-3 dry red chilies

Method Instructions

  1. Wash and slit the brinjals into four without cutting them fully. Keep them immersed in water to prevent discoloration.
  2. In a pan, dry roast the grated coconut, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, cumin seeds, and dry red chilies until they turn slightly brown. Let it cool.
  3. Grind the roasted mixture along with tamarind and a little water to make a smooth paste. This is your stuffing.
  4. Stuff each brinjal with this paste and keep them aside.
  5. In a deep pan or Kadai, heat oil. Add mustard seeds and let them splutter.
  6. Add cumin seeds, asafoetida, and curry leaves. Sauté for a few seconds.
  7. Add chopped onions, garlic, ginger, and green chilies. Sauté until the onions turn translucent.
  8. Add turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder, garam masala, and salt. Mix well and cook for a minute.
  9. Place the stuffed brinjals in the pan and gently stir to coat them with the spice mixture.
  10. Add tamarind paste and a little water. Cover the pan and simmer on low heat until the brinjals are cooked and tender. Stir occasionally and add more water if needed.
  11. Once the brinjals are cooked, garnish with fresh coriander leaves.

Your delicious Brinjal Ennegayi is ready to be served! It goes well with rice or Indian bread like chapati or naan. Enjoy your meal!

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Brinjal Ennegayi

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Recipe Tags: Brinjal Ennegayi, Brinjal Ennegayi Recipe, Recipe


Brinjal Ennegayi is typically served as a side dish in South Indian cuisine and pairs wonderfully with various main courses. Serving options include:

  • With Steamed Rice: Brinjal Ennegayi goes exceptionally well with steamed white rice. Simply ladle the prepared dish over a serving of rice on your plate. The combination of the flavorful brinjals and the aromatic gravy complements the rice beautifully.
  • With Roti or Chapati: If you prefer Indian bread, you can serve Brinjal Ennegayi alongside roti or chapati. Tear a piece of the bread, scoop up some of the stuffed brinjals and gravy, and enjoy the delightful flavors.
  • With Dosa or Idli: For a unique twist, you can serve Brinjal Ennegayi with dosa (thin, crispy Indian pancakes) or idli (steamed rice cakes). The contrast between the soft, fluffy idlis or crispy dosas and the spicy brinjal dish is a treat for your taste buds.
  • As Part of a Thali: In a traditional South Indian meal, Brinjal Ennegayi can be included as one of the items in a thali (a platter with various dishes). Serve it alongside other South Indian delights like sambar, rasam, and coconut chutney.
  • Garnish: Regardless of how you choose to serve it, don't forget to garnish Brinjal Ennegayi with fresh coriander leaves. This adds a touch of freshness and color to the dish.


  • Choose Small Brinjals: Opt for small-sized brinjals for this recipe. They tend to be less bitter and cook more evenly.
  • Prep the Brinjals Carefully: When slitting the brinjals, be careful not to cut them fully. Make four slits, leaving the base intact. This allows the brinjals to hold the stuffing without falling apart.
  • Roast the Coconut Mix Well: While roasting the coconut and spice mixture, ensure it's well-roasted but not burnt. Stir continuously and roast until it turns a light golden color and releases a pleasant aroma.
  • Adjust Spice Levels: The spiciness of the dish can be adjusted to your preference. You can increase or decrease the amount of red chili powder and green chilies to suit your taste.
  • Use Fresh Spices: Whenever possible, use freshly ground spices for the stuffing. It enhances the flavor of the dish significantly.
  • Simmer Slowly: Once you've added the stuffed brinjals to the gravy, simmer them gently on low heat. This allows the brinjals to absorb the flavors and become tender without breaking apart.
  • Tamarind Paste: Adjust the amount of tamarind paste according to your sourness preference. Some like it tangier, while others prefer it milder.
  • Garnish with Fresh Herbs: Just before serving, garnish with fresh coriander leaves. This not only adds a pop of color but also freshness to the dish.
  • Serve Hot: Brinjal Ennegayi is best enjoyed hot, so serve it right after cooking for the most flavorful experience.
  • Pairing: Consider serving this dish with cooling accompaniments like yogurt or cucumber raita to balance the heat from the spices.

Ingredient Substitutes

If you don't have access to some of the ingredients for Brinjal Ennegayi or if you're looking for substitutions, here are a few options for you:

  1. Brinjals (Eggplants) Substitutes: You can use other types of eggplants or aubergines if small brinjals are not available. Adjust the cooking time accordingly. Zucchini or green bell peppers can be used as a non-eggplant substitute for a different flavor profile.
  2. Coconut Substitutes: If fresh coconut is not available, you can use desiccated coconut or coconut milk. Adjust the quantity to achieve the desired consistency and flavor. Cashews can also be used to add a creamy texture to the dish.
  3. Tamarind Substitutes: If you don't have tamarind paste, you can substitute it with lemon juice or white vinegar for the required tanginess. Adjust the quantity to taste.
  4. Poppy Seeds Substitutes: If you can't find poppy seeds, you can skip them or replace them with ground sunflower seeds or cashews for a similar texture.
  5. Sesame Seeds Substitutes: You can use ground peanuts or almond meal as a substitute for sesame seeds.
  6. Dry Red Chilies Substitutes: You can replace dry red chilies with red chili powder or paprika. Adjust the quantity to your preferred level of spiciness.
  7. Curry Leaves Substitutes: If fresh curry leaves are not available, you can use dried curry leaves or curry leaf powder. Alternatively, bay leaves can provide a subtle aroma.
  8. Spice Mix Substitutes: You can customize the spice mix to your preference. If you prefer milder flavors, reduce the quantity of red chili powder and green chilies.
  9. Oil Substitutes: You can use any cooking oil of your choice, such as vegetable oil, canola oil, or even ghee (clarified butter).
  10. Ginger-Garlic Paste Substitutes: If you don't have fresh ginger and garlic, you can use ginger-garlic paste or even powdered ginger and garlic.


Brinjal Ennegayi is more than just a dish; it's a journey through the vibrant flavors of South India. Savor the taste of tradition today!

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