Sunday, March 17, 2013

Badanekayi Yennegayi - Eggplants in a Tangy Gravy

Wishing everybody a wonderful new year, where you see all things positive happening in your lives, where there is joy in and around you and where we all make a positive impact in at least a few people's lives. Cheers to a beautiful & exciting 2012!

A very long time ago, there was a cook at my grandfather's house called Madhuramma, who used to make a killer Badanekayi Ennegayi. This is a spicy-tangy curry made with eggplants, a specialty of the Hubli-Dharward side of Karnataka. Hers used to be so, so good that I somehow could never take to the yengayis served at various Kamats and other North Karnataka restaurants. Each restaurant has its own version of the yenagai, mind you - some thick, some runny, some red, some brown but regardless, though nice enough, they were not it. Hers was deep brown and high on tang, heat and sweet. So when my sister mentioned in a conversation that she sorta, kinda remembered Madhuramma's recipe, I had to give it a shot immediately. It was the closest to how I remember it. This version does not have the sesame seeds and peanuts that most ennegayi recipes do and I much prefer my ennegayi this way, especially sans the peanuts. For the peanut and sesame variation, check out the Maharashtrian Bharli Vangi here

Badanekayi Ennegayi

5-6 small eggplants
2-3 tsp jaggery
Salt to taste

For the masala:
1 heaped tbsp coconut
1 tbsp copra (dry roasted lightly)
1 small onion
2-3 tsp huli pudi
2 tsp thick tamarind paste (this need to be really tangy)

3-4 tbsp oil
mustard seeds

Wash eggplants and keeping the stems intact, make two slits from the base end until the stem, without cutting through.
Dry roast the copra lightly and make a paste along with the remaining masala ingredients in a mixer/blender.
Add a bit of salt to the masala and separating the quarters gently, stuff all the eggplants. Keep remaining masala aside.
Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds. After they are done popping, place the stuffed eggplants in the oil, seam side down. Turn the eggplants around every few minutes so they are done on all sides.
In a separate pan, fry the remaining masala until the raw smell is gone. Pour on top of the eggplants along with jaggery, salt and a few tbsps of water. Fry gently for a few minutes.
Cover with a plate, reduce flame and pour some water on the covered plate. This ensures that the eggplants don't stick to the pan (a neat trick I learnt from Khaugiri). Cook covered this way, for 5 minutes.
Taste to adjust the sweet-spice-sour balance.
Serve with jowar rotis (the typical combo), rice rotis, phulkas or with rice.


Kalpana Sareesh said...

Happy new year.. he awesome flavors comes from the copra.. which is truly yumm looking perfectly made nice clicks..

Sarah said...

such a pretty picture :) i could gulp down the whole platter!

Priya said...

Yum yum, seriously wat a tempting dish, salivating here.

Chandrani said...

Brinjal curry looks superb...

Khaugiri said...

I just luv that brinjals!!!

Jaya said...

The brinjals that we get here in abroad are hybrids are basically plain with no taste..this brinjal curry looks so delicious and if I do get nice brinjals I would love to try this someday..thanks for sharing and wish you a healthy and happy new year..hugs and smiles

Kitchen Flavours said... of my favorites.....looks completely drool mom adds 2-3 tbsp of roasted peanuts to the masala....

santosh said...

wow looking tasty inviting tempting...

Aarthi said...

This is such a yummy one...I would love to try it..U have made perfectly Dear..Bookmarking it..


Kannada Cuisine said...

Happy new year Vani...Ennegai rocks!!!

Nagashree said...

Happy New Year to you & yours Vani, I chanced on your blog from another link and I am glad I did, ennegai looks delicious. You have a nice space, will definitely come back. I started my blog recently, hope to see you there sometime.

Cham said...

Happy New year and Sakkranthi too! I love brinjal and this one is sure delight!

Arch said...

This looks so yum ! I love yennegayi with joladda rotti...I make it with similar ingredients, but use whole spices instead of the huli pudi, must give this a shot, considering you say its better that the kamat ones !

Vani said...

Kalpana - agree. it is the roasted copra that takes it to another level.

Sarah, Priya, Chandrani - thanks :)

Khaugiri - thanks for the tip that makes the process simpler :)

Jaya - I know what you mean. Wishing you all a great year too!

Lubna - I usually make these with roasted peanuts too and wthout onion. Peanuts adds a totally different flavour to the dish. I like that too though.

Santosh, Aarthi, KC - thanks :)

Vani said...

Nagashree- welcome to my blog! thanks for the comment. Will hop over to yours. Happy blogging! Its always nice to discover new food blogs :)

Cham - Happy New Year to you all too! And hope you had a good Pongal this year.

Arch - Made with roasted and ground whole spices would be even better, like making with freshly made huli pudi. Oh yeah, def better than the Kamats! :)

Jayashree said...

This looks so, so good, Vani. Wish you a very happy new year.

ragashree said...

try adding a little roasted peanuts n roasted til to the masala while grinding.... thats the only additional thing that my mom adds and i agree it is super delicious

Vani said...

Jay - happy new year to you too! hope t's bday went well!

Ragashree- adding the roasted til and peanut is my normal way of doing this ennegayi and I do like it that way too, mind you. But this variation without them and with onion was the cook's way and i really loved this masala, esp with freshly made huli pudi. And hey, thanks for taking time to leave a nice comment. appreciate that.

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