Ennegai (Brinjal Curry)

Ennegai (Brinjal Curry)

This recipe is for all the brinjal/ eggplant fans out there!

Ennegai or brinjal curry is a rather famous curry in south India. Every region, every family has its version of making this delicacy. It’s essentially purple brinjals cooked in a freshly-made masala paste of groundnuts, sesame seeds, dry coconut, onion, tomato, garlic, and other spices. It’s my family’s favorite brinjal curry to savor with rotis or chapatis. The recipe is pretty straightforward; perfect to cook on the weekend and enjoy with your family.

Continue reading to know how to make Karnataka-style Ennegai step by step with pictures.

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Yield: 3 – 4 servings


10 – 12 purple baby brinjals
3 tablespoons of cooking oil
1 small red onion, chopped
8-10 curry leaves
Cilantro, for garnish
Salt to taste

For the masala paste:
2 tablespoons of groundnuts/peanuts
2 tablespoons of white sesame seeds
2 tablespoons dry coconut
2 tablespoons of cooking oil
Green chilies, to taste
4-5 garlic cloves
1 small onion, diced
1 small tomato, diced
¼ teaspoons turmeric powder
1 ½ teaspoons of coriander powder
¾ teaspoon cumin seeds
2 teaspoons of Kashmiri red chili powder


  1. Rinse brinjal, slit them partially into two slices from the bottom up until the stem, and soak them in water along with a 1 tsp salt for 15 minutes.
  1. While the brinjals sit in water, heat a pan on medium heat and dry roast groundnuts, white sesame seeds, and dry coconut for 2 minutes or until they turn light brown. Then transfer them onto a plate and allow them to cool.
  2. Into the same pan, add two tablespoons of oil and heat it on medium flame. Add and sauté green chilies, onion, garlic, and tomato for 2-3 minutes and turn off the heat. Allow these ingredients to cool.
  1. Later, transfer the dry roasted and sautéed ingredients into a mixer jar. Add to it – turmeric powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, Kashmiri red chili powder, salt to taste, and blend into a smooth masala paste.
  1. Heat 3-4 tablespoons of cooking oil in a cooking pot. Once the oil is hot, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and allow them to pop and sizzle. Then add onion and a handful of curry leaves and sauté for a minute on low heat.
  2. Drain and pat dry the soaked brinjals and add them into the cooking pot. Fry them for a minute, then cover and cook for 10 minutes on low-medium heat. After which, you will notice that the brinjal has changed color, is soft, and partially cooked.
  3. Add in the freshly made masala paste, pour water to adjust the curry consistency, and mix well. Then cover and cook the curry for 15-20 minutes on low heat until the brinjals are soft and done. (Also keep stirring occasionally and make sure that the curry does not get burnt.)
  1. Taste for salt and adjust if necessary.
  2. Garnish with chopped cilantro. 
  3. Serve delicious Ennegai with chapati/ rice/ rotti. Enjoy!!
Ennegai (Brinjal curry)


  • Add salt and spices according to your taste and preference.
  • Bigger brinjals may take slightly longer to cook. To avoid this, try and choose smaller brinjals for the recipe.
  • Ennegai tastes best when eaten warm.

If you tried this recipe, let me know how you like it? 🙂

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Happy cooking and happy eating <3

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