Brinjal Molee: A Mangalorean Salad Of Brinjal And Coconut Milk
Image Credit: Vegan Richa

Very few cuisines in India can boast of a dish or dishes that can be classified as a salad. As a culture that has always believed in consuming cooked vegetables, fish or meat, wrapping our head around the concept of salads was certainly an acquired taste. However, considering the broadened spectrum of what can and cannot classify as a salad these days, this Mangalorean-style brinjal molee is one that involves very little cooking.

Considering that the brinjal is the only ingredient that undergoes some process of cooking, the flesh turns jammy and soft, once pan-fried and makes the eggplant susceptible to absorb whatever flavour it is steeped in, after. The mild but tropical flavours of the coconut milk, punctuated by the sharpness of pickled onions and earthiness of fresh coriander, make this a warm salad of sorts, that makes for a solid precursor to a meal. It is also deceptively simple to throw together and is only a work of moments, once you prep everything beforehand.



  • 1 large brinjal
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon kasundi
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 green chillies, slit in fours
  • 1-inch piece ginger, julienned
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons chopped coriander
  • Salt to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon sugar
  • ½ cup oil, for pan frying

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Gutti Vankaya: A Spicy Brinjal Recipe From Andhra


Image Credits: Aysha Tanya/Goya Journal

  • Slice the brinjal into ½ inch thick roundels and marinate the slices using chilli powder, turmeric powder and salt. Allow it to rest for an hour before pan frying the slices in hot oil for 3 minutes on each side.
  • Extract the fried brinjal on to absorbent kitchen towels and dab off the excess oil. Meanwhile, add the sliced onions, ginger and green chillies to a small bowl along with the salt, lemon juice and sugar.
  • Massage this mixture lightly, using your fingers, until the onions begin to change colour and turn pink. Rest this until the onions turn tender and soft. Mix the mustard paste with the coconut milk and season lightly with salt.
  • Layer the warm eggplant slices on a serving platter and top up with the pickled onions. Pour the dressing from the pickled onions on the eggplant. Ladle the seasoned coconut milk on top of the eggplant and onions, until the coconut milk covers the eggplant entirely.
  • Allow this to steep for 5-10 minutes, before serving, garnished with plenty of freshly chopped coriander.