Brinjal Pepper Masala (No Onion-No Garlic Recipe)

40 mins
Serves 4 people
Author: Rajni Ram
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An everyday subji made from Brinjals and very simple gravy. Brinjals combined in a tomato and coconut gravy with some black peppers for spice. A very mildly flavoured dish, it has some Cashewnuts and Raisins too which enhance its taste. As I mentioned in one of my earlier posts Brinjals are very versatile vegetables and a large variety of recipes can be made with them from different cuisines. There are many types of Brinjal too and some recipes are specific to the Brinjal.

In this recipe, you can use any variety except the Bhara Baigan( the large fleshy one), as we want the Brinjal pieces to be firm and not mushy.

I learnt this subji from one of the guest house cooks where we stayed during our transfers from city to city. The gravy is of the South Indian style but believe me, it goes perfectly well with any of the rice varieties like Pulav or vegetable rice or even plain rice. It can also be served with Rotis. The Cashews and especially the raisins are like surprise packages in this dish which keep popping every 1 or 2 scoops. If you don’t like nuts or Raisins in your subjis(like I did until I tasted this) then you can always omit their use.

While you are here take a look at Gutti Vankaya Kura, which is also a Brinjal dish with Andhra flavours. Also check out, Methi Wale Baingan,  Please look up other subjis too under the label Subjis while you are here.

Ingredients

Ingredients

  1. Brinjal (any variety except Bharta Baigan) 250 gm diced medium
  2. Tomatoes 3 large finely chopped
  3. Curry leaves a few
  4. Oil for sauteeing
  5. Turmeric powder
  6. Red chilli powder

Ingredients for paste

  1. Pepper 1 tsp(add more for more spice)
  2. Cumin 1 tsp
  3. Dry red chillies 3
  4. Grated coconut 2-3 tbsp
  1. Assemble all ingredients. Dice the Brinjals, chop the tomatoes, grate the coconut and keep ready.
  2. In a karahi take around 1 tbsp oil, add the nuts and the raisins one after the other and fry. The cashew nuts should turn golden brown and the raisins should fluff up. Remove them into a separate plate.
  3. Now to the same karahi add the diced Brinjals followed by salt 1/2 tsp and turmeric powder 1/2 tsp. Stir them and cover the karahi for 3 minutes. Open the lid, stir again and cover and cook for 2 minutes. Open and check the brinjals, they should have turned a little tender but should have retained the shape. Remove them to another vessel. If still undone, then cover and cook for another 2 minutes.
  4. Now pour a little oil into the karahi, about 1 tsp and heat. Roast all the masalas , mentioned under paste in the same order. Pepper being first, followed by cumin seeds, dry red chillies and finally add the coconut and fry until they get a nice brown colour. Cool, transfer to a blender and grind to a fine paste.
  5. In the same karahi pour 2 tsp oil and heat. Add the mustard seeds followed by cumin seeds, turmeric powder and curry leaves. Fry and put in the tomatoes followed by salt and red chilli powder. Stir and cook the tomatoes. Keep mashing them with the back of the spatula so that they turn mushy.
  6. Now add the ground paste, followed by 1 cup water and put in the sauteed brinjals and cover the karahi and cook the brinjals in the paste for 7 minutes approximately, stirring once in between.
  7. The Brinjals should be completely cooked by now, but not limp. the gravy too should have come together and should not be runny. Switch off the flame and drop in the fried nuts and raisins. Brinjal pepper masala is now ready. Serve hot with plain rice, Pulavs or with hot Chapatis.

Directions for making paste

Heat a karahi with 1 tsp oil and put in all ingredients mentioned under paste, in the same order and roast them until light brown. Cool it and grind it in a blender to a smooth paste.

Directions

Dice the brinjals to medium size and put them in some water. Chop tomatoes very fine and set aside. In a Karahi pour some oil-around a tablespoon, let it heat up and put in the Cashewnuts, fry them until they are golden brown, remove them and put in the Raisins. Fry them too until they puff up and remove from oil. Now add the diced Brinjals to the same karahi and add 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, 1/2 tsp salt, stir well and cover it and cook for 3 minutes. Stir again and cover for another 2 minutes. The brinjal should have turned a little tender but still retain shape. Transfer the brinjals to another vessel and set aside. Now in the same karahi take 2 tsp oil and heat. Add the mustard seeds, let them crackle. Add the cumin seeds followed by turmeric powder and curry leaves. Give it a stir and add the chopped tomatoes. Now add some salt followed by red chilli powder and fry nicely in the oil. Let the tomatoes break, keep mashing them with the back of the spatula. When it turns pulpy, add the ground paste, sauteed Brinjals followed by 1 cup of water, cover and cook for 7 minutes. When you open the lid, the brinjals should have cooked fully, but retain shape and the curry should have come together. Now switch off the flame and add in the fried nuts and Raisins. Brinjal Pepper masala is ready to serve. I served it with some Pulav, any rice or Indian bread varieties will go well with it. Enjoy. Bon Appetit.

Notes:

  1. Any variety of brinjal can be used except for the big fleshy one(Bharta Baingan).
  2. Coriander seeds have been excluded from the paste, to get the same taste as mentioned in the recipe do not add them as they change the flavour of the dish completely.
  3. More pepper can be added depending upon your spice levels. Be sure to reduce the red chillies or red chilli powder if increasing the pepper quantity.
  4. The Cashewnuts and enhance the taste of the dish but if you don’t like the nuts coming in the way, they can be excluded altogether.
  5. Kashmiri red chilli powder can be used instead of the regular one for colour.

If you tried this recipe and liked it please comment below. I would love to hear from you.

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