Vankaya pachadi – spicy brinjal chutney made with eggplants, spices & herbs. Vankaya pachadi is one of the most commonly made condiment from Andhra cuisine. It is usually eaten with rice & ghee or phulka (chapati). We Telugu speaking people make a lot of chutney varieties for our meal. Infact our traditional meal is incomplete without a chutney, most commonly known as pachadi.
We make many kinds of chutneys with veggies and consider them to be healthy to include in every meal. Brinjal chutney is made in most households and each one has their own way of making it. Traditionally it was made with charcoal grilled eggplants, similar to the North Indian baingan bharta.
It was just mashed and seasoned with crushed green chillies and other ingredients like cumin, tamarind and salt. In the modern days since it is not possible for us to grill them on char coal, the brinjals are chopped and sauteed in a pan until tender.
Then they are crushed in a mixer or hand pestle along with other ingredients. As I mentioned there are different ways to make the brinjal chutney. For now Iam sharing the most basic version made with brinjal, tomatoes, garlic, chilies etc.
To start with I saute the chopped eggplants in oil until tender and followed by the tomatoes . Both together are crushed and then tempered.
It tastes hot, tangy and delicious. It is best served immediately with hot rice & ghee.
I will also update the recipe to make the charcoal grilled vanakaya pachadi soon.
- Choose young & tender brinjals for chutney. Avoid using those with seeds. We usually use only the purple ones for making chutney.
- Immerse the brinjals in slightly salted water while you chop. This avoids them from developing a bitter taste.
- If you are allergic to eggplants then just substitute lemon juice for tamarind.
- Green chilies are best to use here. But you can also use dried red chilies.
Brinjal chutney recipe
Vankaya pachadi (Brinjal chutney)
Ingredients (1 cup = 240ml )
- 4 brinjals , small. (about 1 ¼ cup of pieces)
- 3 to 4 green chilies ( slit, adjust to taste)
- 1 large tomato chopped (little more than ½ cup)
- ½ teaspoon cumin for grinding
- ¾ to 1 teaspoon tamarind paste or lemon juice (adjust to taste)
- 1 to 2 garlic cloves (adjust to taste)
- 1 pinch turmeric
- ⅓ teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
- 1 sprig coriander leaves chopped finely
- 1 pinch mustard
- 1 pinch cumin for seasoning
- 1 sprig curry leaves
- 1 Pinch urad dal (skinned black gram) (optional)
- 1 dried red chili broken
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 pinch hing asafoetida (optional)
How to make the recipe
- Pour 1½ cups water to a bowl and add ¼ teaspoon salt to it. Rinse and chop brinjals to 1 inch cubes. Keep them immersed until used.
- Heat a heavy bottom pan with 1 tablespoon oil.
- Add the slit green chilies & fry for 1 to 2 mins until they blister. Remove them to a plate and set aside. Remove them to the plate.
- To the same pan, add brinjal pieces, sprinkle salt and fry till for 2 to 3 mins.
- Cover and cook them until tender. Remove them to the plate.
- To the same pan, add tomatoes and turmeric. Fry till fully mushy and almost dry. Then add cumin. Do not cover and cook as this doesn't give a good taste to the brinjal chutney.
- Cool all of these.
How to make brinjal chutney
- Add green chilies and all the other ingredients along with tamarind or lemon juice to a onion chopper or blender.
- Run the machine to make a coarse chutney. Taste the chutney and add more salt and tamarind or lemon juice.
- Heat another small pan with 1 tsp oil.
- Add mustard, cumin , red chili and dals. When the dals turn golden, add curry leaves and pinch of hing (optional).
- Off the heat and add the chutney to this. Mix well and garnish brinjal chutney with chopped coriander leaves.
NUTRITION (estimation only)
If you are a beginner or new to Indian cooking, I highly suggest you to check the supporting step by step photos for best results. Step by step photos with description available below after the recipe card.
Step by step photos on brinjal chutney recipe
1. Wash and cut brinjal to cube sizes. Add them to a bowl of salted water to prevent discoloring. Slit and fry chilies in oil. Set aside. You can also fry 1 tsp channa dal and 1.5 tsp urad dal until they turn golden. These are optional but give a nutty taste.
2. Add brinjal and sprinkle salt.
3. Fry until they wilt off and get cooked. You can also cover and cook until tender.
4. Set aside the eggplants to a plate. Fry tomatoes in the same pan.
5. Preferably fry the tomatoes instead of cooking until soft. When the tomatoes turn mushy, add cumin.
6. Cool the ingredients completely. Blend them coarsely along with a garlic and tamarind or lemon juice. An onion chopper gives the best texture to a chutney.
7. Halfway through i prefer to add a small garlic clove. Add more oil to the pan and fry the seasoning ingredients. I prefer to use the same pan used for frying veggies as this lends a nice aroma to the chutney. I did not add curry leaves, but i suggest using them.
8. Switch off the stove and add chutney and coriander leaves to the pan. Stir well. Taste test and add more salt and lemon juice
Serve brinjal chutney with rice or phulka.