Yengai – Stuffed Eggplant / Brinjal in Northern Karnataka Style

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Yengai / Stuffed Eggplant 

How long it takes: 45 minutes

Number of servings: 3-4

Yengai is a staple recipe of Northern Karnataka where people enjoy this dish with jowari roti and some times with chapati too. This is stuffed egg plant with a unique masala and then seasoned with onions too. It tastes great with chapati as well. I tried it a couple of times and it was well received by my family members. I borrowed this recipe from one of my friends from Dharwad when we stayed for a few years a decade ago.  This recipe needs tiny and tender egg plant (brinjal), the kind that is almost seedless, so that it enhances the taste of the dish. Here it is:

What you need to have:

1. Tiny and tender egg -plants (brinjals)  – 15

2. Chopped Onions – 1 Cup

3. Turmeric powder – 1 Teaspoon                                                                                

  Slit egg plant and chopped onions

Ingredients of Wet masala:

1. Fresh grated coconut or copra (dry coconut) –  1/2 Cup

2. Green chillies  -3-4

3. Ordinary sesame – 2 Teaspoons

4. Peanut powder  – 1/2 cup

5. Niger seeds (gurellu) – 2-3 Teaspoons (Not shown in the picture)

6. Tamarind – Size of an arecanut

7. Garlic cloves – 5-6

8. Coriander seeds  – 2 Teaspoons

9. Cumin seeds – 1 Teaspoo10.

10. Bengalgram dal – 1 Teaspoon

11. Blackgram dal – 3/4 Teaspoon

12. Cloves & Cinnamon – 1 and 1/2 ” piece

13. Salt – As per taste

14. Jaggery – Alittle

15. Chopped Coriander leaves – A handful

                                                                                                                                      Ingredients of Wet Masala                                                                                                                                                                      Ingredients of Wet Masala                          


What you do with what you have:

1. Wash and cut baby egg plants both lengthwise and widthwise in such a way that both of them do not intersect and one is able to fill in the masala as shown in image-1.

2. Wash, peel and chop onions fine and keep it aside.

3. Place a skillet on medium flame and dry roast fresh grated coconut till all the water evaporates and a pleasant aroma is given off. Transfer it to a bowl to cool.                                                                                                                                                                                 Fresh grated coconut being roasted

3. Place the same skillet with peanuts in it and dry roast till you get a pleasant aroma and are able to peel the peanuts by rubbing them on your palm. On cooling, peel and powder the same .  In the same skillet roast the other ingredients like bengalgram dal, blackgram dal, cumin seeds and coriander seeds too till done and keep it aside.                                                                                                                        peanuts being dry roasted      

4. Wash sesame seeds, drain water and dry roast it in a skillet till it splutters and swells.  Empty and dry roast niger seeds till it changes the colour.

                                                 Sesame seeds being dry roasted

5. Place a spatula with 2 Teaspoons of cooking oil in it on low flame. Fry green chilly in it.(Always either cut or slit and fry green chilies to avoid bursting of the seeds.)                                                                                                                                                             Green chilly being fried in oil

6. Add roasted coconut,roasted dals,coriander seeds,  powdered peanuts, roasted sesame, roasted niger seeds, green chilly, garlic cloves, tamarind, jaggery, salt, cumin seeds in the mixer and grind it to a medium coarse consistency adding water in steps and is as shown in the image below.

                                                                      wet masala

7. Fill the wet grind masala  in the slit baby Egg plants from step-1 to it.

                                                 Wet masala being filled in eggplants

8. Place a skillet with 4-5 Teaspoons of cooking oil in on medium flame. When hot, add chopped onions from step-1 to it also turmeric powder and a little salt to it so that it does not get burnt. (Remember, salt has already been added to the wet masala)

                                                       Chopped onions being fried in oil

9. Add masala filled eggplants from step-7 to it and the remaining masala as well and a very little water too on a low flame and cook till egg plants are done. Close it with a lid but do not shake it. The reason being that since it is tender it will be done in just 20 minutes.

                                      Masala filled Baby Brinjals being cooked with fried onions

10. When cooked it is as shown in the image below.  Yummmmmmm                                                                         Ready to serve Yengai

11. Enjoy it hot with chapati too and/or especially with jwari/jowari roti

 Garnished with cilantro

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yengai with Chapati

How long it takes: 45 minutes

Number of servings: 3-4

Good to remember:

1. One can even use the purple colour eggplants as well for the dish but the tender green ones will be a better option.

2. One can use even red chilly in place of green chilly. I have used green chilly because I have used green egg plants for the dish.

3. One can use copra instead of fresh grated coconut.

4. You get 3-4 varieties of sesame seeds in the market. Always better to use ordinary sesame seeds and not the nylon variety etc.

12 thoughts on “Yengai – Stuffed Eggplant / Brinjal in Northern Karnataka Style

    Hari Chandana said:
    July 7, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    Wowwwwwwww.. Delicious looking curry prathibha..thumba thumba chennagide.. Nice step by step picture.. Thanks for sharing !!
    Indian Cuisine

    Priya said:
    July 8, 2011 at 2:15 am

    Seriously am drooling over that incredible stuffed eggplants,makes me hungry..

    Apu said:
    July 9, 2011 at 10:16 am

    Looks really delicious!!

    Sangeeta Berndt-Pai said:
    July 31, 2011 at 11:27 pm

    Hallo Pratibha,this is indeed an excellent dish! I remember my mother making it when i was a child and had been thinking the last days to cook it.Your blog was the first one i found when i googled for “stuffed baby Aubergines Indian style” and this is exactly what i was looking for.You have so clearly instructed it and the pictures are perfect!! My husband is already hungry:-))

      prathibalrao responded:
      August 2, 2011 at 4:18 pm

      Hi Sangeeta Berndt-pai,

      Thanx a lot for ur complements. Do try out the dish and send me the feed-back please.

    S.S.Verma said:
    August 4, 2011 at 10:46 am


    My compliments on re-introducing me to my mom’s cooking !

    And such excellent presentation!

      prathibalrao responded:
      August 4, 2011 at 3:50 pm


      Thanx a lot for ur complements. Do try out the recipe and send me the feed-back please.

    harsha said:
    December 9, 2012 at 9:28 am

    Tumbha chenagi banthu.. Thanks for receipe.. 🙂

    savitha said:
    April 30, 2014 at 4:39 am

    Thanks for the receipe… my family loved this dish. .. thumba ishta aeithu.

      prathibalrao responded:
      April 30, 2014 at 4:43 am

      Hi Savitha,

      Neeevu comment madidakke thumba thanx. Please pass on the link of this blog among your friends community.

    sheetal said:
    July 21, 2014 at 10:08 pm

    Hmmmmmmm yummmmyyyy. I tried it a home and it came very nice. Thanks for the recipe.

      prathibalrao responded:
      July 23, 2014 at 8:44 am

      Hi Sheetal,

      Thanx a lot for your coments. Do pass on the link of this blog among your friends community….

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