Brinjal Fry (Andhra Style Vankaya Fry)
Brinjal Fry is a South Indian stir fried dish of eggplants, spices and herbs. In Indian cuisine, a stir fry is simply referred as “Fry”. So this dish gets its name “Brinjal Fry” though eggplants are not deep fried. This Brinjal Fry is a staple in Telugu speaking homes and often referred as Vankaya Fry or Vepudu. It is made with basic ingredients available in the kitchen. Brinjal Fry is served with rice and ghee or with Rasam-rice & Sambar-rice. It also goes well with flatbreads like Chapati, Roti or even with Bhakri.
About Brinjal Fry
Brinjal Fry is a dish made by simply stir frying chopped eggplants in a tempering made of oil, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, ginger garlic, chilies and curry leaves.
Later the eggplants are spiced with red chilli powder & other spices.
Indian cuisine being diverse, a Brinjal Fry aka eggplant stir fry is made in numerous ways. North Indian Aloo Baingan, Stuffed Eggplant Stir Fry and Eggplant Potato Fry are other different ways of stir frying brinjals.
Andhra cuisine is popular for its spicy, flavorful & nutty dishes. This brinjal fry is made in numerous ways & each family has their own recipe. It is also served as a side dish in Andhra meals in restaurants.
However most foods served in authentic Andhra restaurants are super-hot & spicy, including this Vankaya fry. If you want to replicate the same increase the quantity of green chilies and oil in the recipe.
This Brinjal Fry is simple, quick, healthy and delicious with bursting flavors. I make this very often at home. Since my family loves change, each time I flavor the dish differently.
Crushed roasted peanuts, Idli Podi, Peanut Podi, Flaxseed podi, Coconut podi or even just coconut can be added towards the end to give a different dimension and flavor to the dish.
Flavoring the dish with these additional ingredients is optional and you may skip that if you want a more basic dish.
More Eggplant Recipes,
Stuffed Brinjal Curry
How to Make Brinjal Fry (Stepwise Photos)
1. Pour 2 cups water to a bowl and stir ¼ teaspoon salt. Wash and cut 250 grams brinjal to ¾ to 1 inch pieces. Add them to the salted water. This prevents the eggplants from discoloring & also prevents the bitter taste. If you leave them too long in the water they will soak up the salt, so add salt carefully while cooking.
2. Pour 2 tablespoons oil to a hot pan. Add ½ teaspoon mustard seeds and ½ teaspoon cumin seeds.
3. When they begin to splutter, add 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste & green chili (slit or chopped, optional).
4. Stir fry until the raw smell goes away & ginger garlic begins to smell good.
5. Drain the water from the chopped brinjal & add them here. Sprinkle ¼ teaspoon salt and ⅛ teaspoon turmeric. Fry them for 3 mins on a medium high heat. Then cover and cook on a low flame until soft.
6. optional – Meanwhile if you want to use peanuts, dry roast 3 tablespoons raw peanuts in a pan until golden and aromatic. Do this on a medium heat so they get roasted well from inside. You can also roast them in air fryer.
7. Cool the peanuts completely and pulse them in a grinder or a mortar pestle. I prefer to crush them coarsely.
8. When the brinjal pieces are tender & completely cooked, add 1 sprig curry leaves (rinse and pat dry first) , crushed peanuts & ½ to ¾ teaspoon garam masala (or 1 to 2 teaspoons idli podi). Mix well and taste test.
9. Add ½ to ¾ teaspoon red chili powder only if you need and more salt. Fry for 2 to 3 mins until aromatic.
10. Switch off the stove. When it cools down a bit add some lemon juice & mix.
Make sure you don’t leave the cooked brinjals in the same pan. Transfer to a serving bowl.
Serve Brinjal Fry with rice, ghee and sambar.
- Always choose tender brinjals that are fresh without any bruises. Also after chopping brinjals keep them in salted water until they are used to cook. If your eggplants have seeds, cut off the portion and discard.
- I have used a handful of roasted peanuts which not only perk up the nutrition values but also adds a nutty aroma to the dish. However you can skip them completely.
- We also add some tender green peas to the brinjal fry. You can just add them to the pan along with eggplants. If the peas are too tender then add them once the brinjals are soft cooked.
- You can use garam masala or idli podi to spice up your dish.
Brinjal Fry (Vankaya Fry)
For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card
Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )
- 250 grams brinjal (vankaya, eggplants)
- 1½ to 2 tablespoons Oil
- 3 green chilies slit (adjust to taste)
- 1 sprig curry leaves (optional, pat dry)
- 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste or 2 chopped garlic cloves
- ½ teaspoon salt (divided + more to adjust)
- 1½ teaspoon lemon juice (refer notes)
- ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- ⅛ teaspoon turmeric
- ½ to ¾ teaspoon red chili powder (optional, leave out if using green chilies)
- ½ to ¾ teaspoon garam masala or 1 to 2 teaspoons idli podi
- 3 tablespoons peanuts or ½ cup fresh/ frozen green peas
- Pour 2 cups water to a bowl and stir in ¼ teaspoon salt. Keep this aside.
- Rinse brinjals & slice them or cut to desired sizes. I chop them to ¾ to 1 inch pieces. Add them to salted water.
How to Make Brinjal Fry
- Heat oil in a wok or a pan. Add cumin & mustard. Let them splutter.
- Add ginger garlic paste & green chilies. Saute quickly until aromatic for a minute.
- Now add chopped brinjal, salt & turmeric. Stir fry on a medium high flame for 3 mins.
- Then cover and cook till soft on a low flame stirring in between. While these cook, proceed to the next step.
- Optional: This brinjal fry recipe can be made without peanuts too but they impart a nutty taste. So this step is optional. Dry roast or air fry them until golden and aromatic. Cool & crush them coarsely either in a mortar pestle or grinder. (check pics in the post)
- When the brinjals are completely cooked and soft, add curry leaves, crushed peanuts & garam masala (or idli podi).
- Stir fry on a medium heat until aromatic for 2 to 3 mins. Taste test and add red chilli powder & salt if you want.
- Turn off and when the brinjal fry cools down a bit, pour lemon juice if you want.
- Serve brinjal fry with rice, chapati or Rasam-rice or Sambar-rice.
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.
NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)
© Swasthi’s Recipes
Brinjal Fry Recipe first published in December 2012. Updated in December 2022.
I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills. More about me
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I am a big fan of your blog and have tried so many recipes. They turn out delicious. This brinjal fry is so good and my husband loves the peanuts included. Thank you
Glad to know Shruti. Thank you for trying
I was looking for a new, easy recipe with brinjals. Made it now. Turned out great.
Thanks and Happy New Year.
Happy New Year Geeta
Thank you so much!
Yummy! Made this and it’s delicious. I used peas but left out chilies and curry leaves. It was still good.
Glad to know Laura. Thank you
Tried today it came out delicious after many years my husband ate it completely telling taste is delicious
So Glad to know! Thank you
Loved the simplicity of this recipe. Thanks for sharing. Turned out very good.
Glad to know Kalai
Yummy brinjal fry. My husband loves this. We love your recipes always a super hit. Thank you
Glad to know Shantini
Great and simple.
Quick to make, delicious to taste.
You are welcome
Trying to cook this recipe for the first time. Does the salt water need to be cold, warm or hot water? And how long to keep the eggplant in Salt water?
Use cold water and don’t need to soak them for long. The idea is to just prevent them from discoloring. Do not a lot of salt. A little is good enough
Awesome!! I liked the recipe
Love this andhra eggplants. So good with rice and ghee
I haven’t tried eggplant in many years because it would cause itchiness. But your recipe tempted me to try eggplant again. And I’m so glad I did! I had no reaction (goodbye childhood allergy) and it was delicious! Looking forward to cooking more of your recipes. Yum!
So glad to know you could enjoy it! Thank you so much!
Very delicious. Came very nice
Its vry hlpful
Tried this today and it came out so good…Love your blog because its easy to follow as you post every recipe with pictures. I appreciate your patience and thanks for your great recipes.
So glad to know you love the blog. Thanks for the motivating words and the feedback. Have a wonderful day
Droolworthy combo, excellent side dish.
Unique version dear, yummy!!!
never had this combo of brinjal and peas before.. nice version dear..
Would great with chapathis, Looks nice
wow this looks so good, super inviting
Simple brinjal fry goes nice with rasam.
Addition of milk is new to me. Sounds delicious.<br />