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Brinjal Stir Fry (Yennegayi)

  • Duration: 30 minutes
  • Serves: 4 people
  • Spice Level: Low

Authenticity Slice

Yennegayi literally means vegetable cooked in oil, so naturally a liberal amount of oil is used in the preparation of this dish. The authentic texture and flavour of this dish is directly proportional to its oil content.

Trivia Tadka

Yennegayi originated in north Karnataka, and its literal translation is ‘kayi’ (vegetable) cooked in ‘yenne’ (oil). The dish is best served with jolada (jowar, sorghum) roti. Over the years, all kinds of vegetables have been used to prepare Yennegayi, but it is the purple brinjal version that has remained the universal favourite.


  • Brinjal, roughly chopped (6, small)
  • Kadipatta (curry leaves) (5 to 6)
  • Imli (tamarind) paste (1½ tsp)
  • Gud (jaggery), powdered (2 tsp)
  • Chana dal (split chickpeas) (2 tsp)
  • Urad dal (black gram) (1 tsp)
  • Jeera (cumin seeds) (½ tsp)
  • Sabut lal mirch (dry red chillies) (3 to 4)
  • Sarson (mustard leaves) (½ tsp)
  • Dalchini (cinnamon) powder (¼ tsp)
  • Coconut, grated (2 tsp)
  • Hara dhania (coriander leaves) (2 tsp)
  • Hing (asafoetida) (a pinch)
  • Oil (1 tbsp)
  • Salt (to taste)


  • Heat oil in a pan on a high flame and add the sarson and jeera.
  • Once the sarson starts to splutter, add the hing, chana dal and urad dal, and stir-fry on a medium flame till the dals turn golden in colour.
  • Now, add the kadipatta and the brinjals and stir for another 5 minutes.
  • Add the haldi, dalchini powder, imli paste, gud and salt. Stir for a few minutes.
  • Sprinkle in a little water, if required. Then, cover and cook on a low flame till the brinjals become tender; it usually takes about 7 minutes.
  • Take off the flame and garnish with the hara dhania and grated coconut.
  • Serve Yennegayi piping hot with rotis or steamed rice.

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