Brinjal theeyal is a traditional Kerala recipe. Main ingredient of the curry is coconut. Here coconut is used in roasted form, which gives a nice brown color to curry.
The flavor and aroma comes from theeyal masala, which is fried to a near burnt state (but not burnt) and later grind to a smooth paste.
Brinjal – 250 gm
Shallots / Kunjulli, sliced – ½ cup
Green chilli, slit lengthwise – 2
Grated coconut – 1 cup
Cumin seeds – ¼ tsp
Coriander powder – 2 tsp
Red chilli powder – 1 ½ tsp
Pepper powder – ½ tsp
Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
Fenugreek powder / uluva podi – 2 pinches
Tamarind – gooseberry sized
Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
Dry red chillies – 2
Jaggery – a small piece Coconut oil
- Cut brinjal into cubes. Soak it in water to avoid discoloration.
- Heat 1 tsp of coconut oil in a pan. When oil is hot, add grated coconut, 1 sprig curry leaves and cumin seeds. Fry on medium flame making sure you are stirring continuously.
- When it turns brown, lower the flame, add coriander powder, chilli powder, pepper powder, turmeric powder, and fenugreek powder. Fry for 2-3 minutes till raw smell of powder leaves.
- After 2-3 minutes, remove from fire. Allow it to cool down.
- When it cools down, grind it to a smooth paste.
- Soak tamarind in half cup of water. Squeeze with hands. Pass this through a sieve. Discard the rest. Tamarind water is ready.
- Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan. When oil is hot, add mustard seeds. When mustard seeds start to splutter, add curry leaves and dry red chillies. Saute. Now add shallots and green chillies. Saute for 2 minutes. Add brinjal cubes. Saute for 5-6 minutes. You can see brinjal becoming soft and starting to change color. At this point, add ground paste. Saute for 2 minutes till ground paste is combined well into brinjal. Add water tamarind water, and salt. Mix well and close the lid.
- In between, open the lid and mix well. When gravy starts to thicken, add jaggery. Close the lid and cook for 2 minutes.
After 2 minutes, Vazhuthananga Theeyal is ready. Keep the curry closed for 5 minutes before serving.
- You can also use purple colored brinjal for theeyal.
- You can use onion instead of shallots.
- You can use sugar instead of jaggery.
- Always remember, the trick is to get theeyal masala right to get delicious curry. So don’t be in a hurry, while frying coconut.
- Stir continuously while frying grated coconut.