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Brinjal fry in a white oval serving dish with two thai green chillies on the side and cilantro garnished on top

Brinjal Fry | Vankaya Fry

  • Author: Yamini
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 3 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


A simple, spicy, quick and delicious way to make South Indian style brinjal fry with a special spicy mix. Serve hot with rice, ghee, and papad for a heavenly meal.


  • 2 long purple brinjal or eggplant cut into 2 inch long pieces
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 cup Onion slices thinly sliced
  • Salt to taste
  • Cilantro for garnish

For tempering

  • 1.5 teaspoon split urad dal 
  • ½ teaspoon  mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ¼ tsp asafoetida ( optional, also called hing or inguva, skip if you are on a gluten-free diet )
  • A sprig of curry leaves

Make a paste of 

  • 3 green chili peppers (increase or reduce the amount based on your spice level)
  • 0.5 oz ginger peeled (medium thumb size)
  • A handful of cilantro (remove hard stems)


Preparation for Brinjal fry

  • Thinly slice the onion into thin 2 inch long slices.
  • Make a paste of the ginger, green chilli and cilantro (cut the thick stems) using a blender and few drops of water if required. It should be a very thick and slightly coarse paste. You can use a mortar and pestle too instead of a blender.
  • Slice the brinjal( also called vankaya or eggplant) into thin 2 inch long pieces.
    • Note: Brinjal turns bitter and brown if you cut it and leave it for some time. So make sure to chop it right before you add it to the pan while the onions are sauteing or chop it and leave the pieces in the saltwater until you are ready to add them to the pan.

How to make Brinjal fry (Vankaya fry)

  • Heat oil in a frypan on medium heat and add the tempering ingredients in the same order given. Saute the tempering for few seconds to a minute until you get a nice aroma.
  • Next, add sliced onions with a little salt to help onions cook faster. Saute the onions until they are translucent.
  • Next, add brinjal pieces along with salt and saute them uncovered until they are 75% cooked while stirring in between.
    • Note: Add salt along with brinjal pieces to avoid a bitter taste.
  • Now add the ground paste to the brinjal fry in the last 5 minutes and mix well. Cook until the brinjal absorbs all the ginger and green chilli flavours and is completely well fried but not mashed.
  • Garnish with cilantro, switch off the heat and serve hot with papad and ghee over steaming hot rice with plain yogurt on the side. You can also serve it with other grains like Quinoa, cracked wheat, millets, or brown rice instead of white rice.


  • You can use any kind of brinjal or eggplant for this. I used long purple brinjal.
  • Curry leaves splatter a lot so take care to stand one step away when you are adding them.
  • Use fresh ginger for best taste and not the old and fibrous one.
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Category: Main course
  • Method: Stove top
  • Cuisine: Indian

Keywords: Brinjal fry, Vankaya fry, Vankaya curry, Vankaya vepudu, Vankaya recipe