Ennagai is a signature dish of North Karnataka which is prepared by stuffing Brinjals with ground masala and shallow fried in oil. “Badane” in Kannada means Brinjal. It is very tasty and slightly spicy. Ennagai requires little more oil as they are fried after stuffing with masala. Deep frying makes it very tasty and rich. However, Ennagai can be made with less oil too.
There are many variations to the recipe and every state in India has its own way of preparing this delicious recipe. The masala is prepared with roasting the spices which makes the curry flavorful and delicious. It is semi gravy which is served along with Jolada rotti, akki rotti or chapathi or even with rice. In Karnataka the famous combos are Jolada Rotti and Ennagai or Akki Rotti and Ennagai.
Selecting Brinjal is very important to make the dish tastier. Always choose tender and fresh purple Brinjals.
2tbsp Coriander seeds/Dhaniya seeds
½ tsp Cumin Seeds/Jeera
8-10 Byadgi chilies + Spicy variety chillies
¼ cup tamarind juice (lemon sized tamarind ball soaked in hot water for 10 mins and squeezed)
½ cup grated fresh coconut or dry coconut
¼ tsp turmeric
2-3tsp Till/Sesame seeds
¼ cup ground nuts
¼ tsp asafetida
2-3 springs of curry leaves
- Heat a pan and dry roast jeera/cumin seeds, coriander seeds, sesame seeds, ground nuts and Byadgi chilly. Roast them on a medium/low flame. Do not burn the spices. Allow them to cool.
- Grind them all together adding grated fresh/dry coconut to powder.
- Now to this add tamarind juice and salt. Grind it again adding little water to get a coarse thick paste. Transfer this to a bowl.
- Wash Brinjal and cut them length wise from the bottom tip till the stalk/stem part into four slits. Do not cut them completely. Cut them in a cris-cross manner. Retain the stalk of the Brinjal.
- Stuff the Brinjal with the ground masala and keep aside. Add little water to the remaining masala which we can use in the preparation of gravy.
- In a Kadai, add 4-5 tbsp oil. Once hot, add mustard seeds, curry leaves, turmeric and asafetida.
- Slowly place the stuffed Brinjal one by one into the pan and close the lid. Cook on a medium flame for 4-5minutes.
- Turn the Brinjal once in a while so that it cooks all the sides evenly. Once cooked, add the remaining masala along with little water all over the Brinjal.
- Close the lid and cook again for few minutes. The gravy becomes thick and oil starts floating on top.
- Serve Enne Badane kayi with hot rice or Chapattis or Akki Rotti or Jolada Rotti.
- Choose tender and fresh purple Brinjals to make Ennagai.
- You can reduce the quantity of the oil if you wish.
- The recipe can be made in a pressure cooker too. Follow the same procedure as above and cook for 1 whistle.
- You can add water as needed to make it semi gravy or thick.
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