Badanekayi Ennegayi: Stuffed Brinjal With Karnataka Spices
Image Credit: Badanekayi Ennegayi is a popular Kannada dish| Shutterstock

Among the most underrated vegetables in the Indian market is the purple colour Brinjal or also known internationally as the Eggplant. While the bigger version of Brinjal in India is relished in the form of Baingan Ka Bhartha, which looks much like the Middle-Eastern delicacy of Baba Ganoush. The smaller Brinjals often find a place on the plate mixed with potatoes making for Aloo Baingan curry vegetable. But much like the Bhindi, Bharva Baingan gives the smaller brinjals a unique identity and of course taste. Keeping the Brinjal whole and stuffing it with a combination of crunchy texture and spices, Badanekayi Ennegayi as known in Kannada is different in taste from the northern preparation.

A Rich Spicy Crunchy Stuffing Of History And Region

Many historical accounts point toward Eggplant being cultivated in southern and eastern Asia since prehistory. But many other factors also point towards the origin of Brinjal being native to Indian soil, where it has grown wild since the beginning. However, the first known written record of the cultivation of this plant is found in Qimin Yaoshu, an ancient Chinese agricultural treatise completed in 544 CE. Many shreds of evidence also indicate that in the early Middle Ages eggplant was grown throughout the Mediterranean area by the Arabs, who later took this humble vegetable to Spain in the 8th century.

With its natural oil content and creamy texture, the Arabs invented variations to its preparation. In Turkey, Azerbaijan, Israel, and Italy eggplant were reinvented by stuffing meat. But in India Baghaare Baingan came into being during the Mughal Empire from Tashkent. It became a popular dish in Hyderabad with meat replacing regional spices.

Picture Credit: Instagram - @platefullofflavour



  • 1/8 cup Peanuts
  • 2 tsp White sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp Tamarind paste
  • 1 tsp Jaggery powder
  • Salt
  • ½ tsp Turmeric powder
  • 3 tsp Sambar powder
  • 4 tsp Coriander leaves
  • ½ tsp chopped Ginger
  • ½ cup grated Coconut
  • 2 Green chillies
  • ½ tsp Cumin seeds
  • 1 Onion
  • 4 to 5 small Eggplants
  • 6 tsp oil
  • 1 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 3 Garlic cloves
  • 2 springs of Curry leaves


1. Begin by dry roasting the peanuts and sesame seeds, separately, until they turn brown. Once cooled grind them into a coarse powder. Meanwhile, soak the tamarind for about 10 minutes.

2. Then grind the coconut, coriander leaves, cumin seeds, and green chillies into a puree, adding water when needed. Now mix this puree with peanut-sesame powder, salt, onion, turmeric powder, tamarind water, jaggery, and sambar powder. Mix all well forming into a paste for the brinjal stuffing.

3. Now slit the brinjals lengthwise, but remember to keep the stem intact. Once the slits are done, fill in the stuffing masala carefully.

4. Over medium heat in a pan, add oil, mustard seeds, and garlic. When the seeds start to burst add the stuffed brinjals. Cook for about three minutes then pour the remaining stuffing mixture along with a cup of water. Cover and let it simmer until brinjals become soft. Keep stirring in between.

Paired with Paratha or chapatti, the masala gravy brinjals are delicious. The crunch of the peanuts and sesame seed make the otherwise boring brinjals unique flavours. With the stuffing and the mix of a variety of Indian spices children will relish this preparation of brinjal.