Vazhuthananga Theeyal l Brinjal Theeyal

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

Curry leaves

Jaggery – a small piece Coconut oil


  1. Cut brinjal into cubes. Soak it in water to avoid discoloration.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. After 2-3 minutes, remove from fire. Allow it to cool down.
  5. When it cools down, grind it to a smooth paste.
  6. Soak tamarind in half cup of water. Squeeze with hands. Pass this through a sieve. Discard the rest. Tamarind water is ready.
  7. 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.   
  8. 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.


  1. You can also use purple colored brinjal for theeyal.
  2. You can use onion instead of shallots.
  3. You can use sugar instead of jaggery.
  4. Always remember, the trick is to get theeyal masala right to get delicious curry. So don’t be in a hurry, while frying coconut.
  5. Stir continuously while frying grated coconut.

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