Brinjal Theeyal

BM# 101: Week 4, Day 2
Theme : 
1 ingredient, 3 side dishes

At my parents house, every single day, the lunch consists of a coconut based sambar and a vegetable side dish. A bean based (Chana, rajma, moong beans, even peanut) chundal is also made on most days. There are two reasons for the coconut sambars. One – my father doesn’t like dal based sambars, he claims it gives him gas. Two- we have a lot of coconut trees in our backyard and so coconuts are available to us throughout the year free of cost.

I have already shared my mother’s most used recipe here, it just involves grinding shredded coconut with sambar powder. Today’s post is a little more elaborate than that. This was not a frequent recipe at home, but my brother used to prepare it every now and then with great results. He prefers pearl onions or bitter gourd for theeyal. You can use any vegetable of your choice, I have used brinjal here today.

Read on for the recipe.


For roasting and grinding

  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 3-4 dried red chilies (or more per taste)
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds

For the gravy

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • A pinch of hing
  • A sprig of curry leaves
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced (optional)
  • 2 eggplants, sliced into thin long pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon tamarind paste
  • 2 cups water
  • Salt as needed


  1. Heat oil in a pan and add the coriander seeds and dried red chilies, sauté for a couple of minutes until the coriander seeds change color. Take off the heat and transfer to a blender jar.
  2. Now add shredded coconut to the same pan and sauté until it turns golden brown, this might take about 6-8 minutes or so. Keep stirring all the time and keep the heat medium-low to avoid burning. Transfer it to the blender jar and once it’s cooled, grind into a paste adding a little water as needed. Set aside.
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons coconut oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds and curry leaves. Once the seeds crackle, add the fenugreek seeds and hing.
  4. Add the sliced onions and brinjal pieces. Cook, stirring in between, until it’s almost cooked.
  5. Add the prepared coconut paste. Add one cup of water to the blender jar to dislodge the any remaining paste stuck to the jar and add this water also to the pot. Add another cup of water along with the tamarind paste. You can add more water if you want it a little thinner consistency.
  6. Bring it to a boil and cook covered in low heat for about 10-15 minutes until it turns thick and oil floats on top. Turn off heat and serve with rice and a side dish of your choice.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the recipe from other Blogging Marathoners.


4 thoughts on “Brinjal Theeyal

  1. I love to add coconut masala paste for brjnjal, as mkm also made it the same way. But as the other two are brinjal haters, I stopped making it. Looking at yours, I am so tempted to try.


  2. I never tried coconut based curry in brinjal dishes. interesting dish for me, but I love the flavours that have gone into this dish..


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s