Not Your Regular Brinjal Masala
Image Credit: Indian Recipes

 Brinjal is an all-time favourite vegetable which serves well as a main dish with chapatis and as a great side dish too, with Dal and rice. But this particular style of the eggplant is different and hailed as a must-have in Karnataka with Jowar rotis or plain rice. It is enriched with a few basic spices and the crunch is added by the humble but very effective peanut. Yes, this dish uses a small helping of crushed peanut powder which makes it taste very different from the brinjal dishes you may be used to having otherwise. Its sweet and savoury taste comes from mixing a bit of jaggery with red chilly powder. 


Brinjal which originated in India is now cultivated all over the world. It was later taken to Africa by Persians while the Arabs introduced it to Spain. Eggplant is also known by many other names including brinjal, baigan (in Northern India), bengana (Assamese), vangun (in Kashmiri), and kathirikai (in Malayalam), begoon (in Bengali) and khamen (in Manipuri). Known as Eggplant in the US and Aubergine in Europe and West Asia, the rich, purple-coloured vegetable also comes in hues of white, greenish and in a variety of shapes – including elongated, oval and round. 

Preparation time: 10-15 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Servings: 3-4 servings 


  • 7 – 8 small purple brinjals 
  • 2 – medium-sized onions 
  • Salt to taste 
  • 3 tsp Oil 
  • ¼ tsp – Turmeric 
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • 4-5 - curry leaves
  • ¼ tsp hing / asafoetida
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp jaggery
  • ½ cup - chopped onion 
  • ½ cup raw peanuts – coarsely ground
  • 2 tbsp - Tamarind water (squeezed from 5-10 tamarind marbles soaked for about 10 minutes) 
  • 5-10 Coriander / Cilantro leaves – broken or roughly chopped for garnishing


  • Wash the brinjals and chop them into cubes. Cut each into 4 cubes and put them in a bowl of water, else they turn blackish
  • Dry roast the raw peanuts for a couple of minutes and let cool down. Once cool, grind to a coarse powder in a mixer  
  • In a deep kadhai/pan, heat oil, put in mustard seeds, asafoetida and curry leaves and let sputter 
  • Add the finely chopped onions and sauté till translucent
  • Now add the brinjal cubes and mix well with onions 
  • Add the turmeric and salt, mix well 
  • Cover with a lid and let cook till the brinjals turn soft 
  • Add tamarind water 
  • Add chilly powder 
  • Garam masala 
  • Put in jaggery and mix well 
  • Add ¼ cup of water 
  • Add peanut powder. Let the vegetable cook in its own juices and come to a slow boil on medium heat
  • Add fresh cilantro 
  • Serve hot 

The brinjal has a low glycemic index which makes it an excellent choice for diabetics. The veggie has natural plant chemicals called polyphenols which help cells process sugar better. It also has low sodium content and is high fibre and thus aids digestion. Not only that, brinjals are high in Vitamin A and C which protect against cell damage.