Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Green Brinjals with Cumin

Vankaya with Jeelakarra Karam:

“Let’s consider a situation when you are all alone at home. You are hungry and would like to satisfy your cravings. What will you cook if you want to cook for yourself?”

Asks talented foodblogger Live2Cook.

Just like her, if brinjals are in my vegetable stash, instead of indulging in junk food, I would be motivated enough to prepare a decent meal. I enjoy brinjals that much. Particularly green brinjals which we call Poluru Vankayalu in Telugu. I am one of those people with a passion for green brinjals.

Meal is for myself, so I would go for simple ten-minute preparations like brinjal with ginger or today’s recipe, “Brinjal with Cumin”. This little-known but worth-knowing cumin flavored brinjal curry is a delight to the senses and a must try for green brinjal fans.

Green Brinjals (Poluru Vankayalu)


Aromatic Cumin Powder (Jeelakarra Karam):
Take 1 tablespoon cumin, 1 roughly chopped plump garlic clove, 4 red chillies and a pinch of salt in a grinder. Grind to smooth without adding water.

Green Brinjals (Poluru Vankaya):
Pick 15 young and firm green brinjals. Remove the stem end and wash. Finely slice brinjals lengthwise like shown in the picture above.

Cooking the Curry (Kura):
Heat a wide skillet. Add a teaspoon of peanut oil. When the oil is hot, add a pinch each – cumin, mustard seeds and five each – curry leaves and roughly chopped garlic pieces. When they start to turn to gold, add the brinjal pieces.

Saute on medium-high heat, mixing in-between. Green brinjals cook fast, so be ready with aromatic cumin powder. Sprinkle the cumin powder and also turmeric and salt to taste. Toss to mix well and cook few more minutes, until the brinjal pieces are just tender but still green. Serve hot.

Cumin flavored green brinjal curry tastes great with rice/chapati, toasted bread/bagel or with papad.

Cumin Flavored Green Brinjal Curry on a Papad ~ Meal for Myself
For JFI~Eggplant Event Hosted by Lovely Sangeeta of Ghar Ka Khana

Recipe source: Amma, Nandyala


How many of you know that green brinjals are cultivated in India and they are named after a village called “Poluru” near Nandyala region, Andhra Pradesh?

More Green Brinjal (Poluru Vankaya) Recipes:
Stuffed Brinjal Curry (Gutti Vankaya Kura)
Brinjal-Potato Curry
Green Brinjal-Fresh Amaranth Curry

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Amma & Authentic Andhra,Cumin (Jeelakarra),Jihva For Ingredients,Vankaya (Brinjal) (Sunday July 1, 2007 at 1:00 pm- permalink)
Comments (24)

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24 comments for Green Brinjals with Cumin »

  1. Wowww!!! Yet another yummy recipe with brinjal Indira…whr do you manage to find green brinjals?? I hardly ever find them in the Indian stores here in San Jose/ Sunnyvale.
    Guess I am the lucky one to comment first 🙂

    Comment by Kavya — July 1, 2007 @ 1:33 pm

  2. I buy green brinjals from Chinese and Vietnamese grocery shops, Kavya.

    Comment by Indira — July 1, 2007 @ 1:47 pm

  3. You make everything looks so mouthwatering and so delicious 🙂

    Comment by Komal — July 1, 2007 @ 3:12 pm

  4. I always thought that these were from the coastal andhra Indira, bcos my father loves the green variety and were hard to find in hyd and we would ask someone from that side to get them when they came to hyd. Another wonderful recipe. Vankaya kura is comfort food for me

    Comment by Deepika Saripalli — July 1, 2007 @ 3:47 pm

  5. For green binjals – check out the Thai/Vietnamese/Laotian stores. Here in the US these are called Thai eggplants and are readily available at Thai/Lao markets. I went to the Oakland farmers market last weekend and saw them there, plus also at several stores nearby (NOTO BENE…if the market is more geared to a Chinese population, they will not have them, but Thai/Cambodian/Laotion markets definitely will!). I sometimes see them at local supermarkets too, but they are always labeled “Thai eggplant.”

    Last weekend I saw some small white eggplants too – they really looked just like eggs!

    Comment by Diane — July 1, 2007 @ 5:03 pm

  6. Kavya: Also – if you have a Ranch 99 near you, check that out – the one near me almost always has Thai eggplants. Therer are a couple in the Bay Area.

    Comment by Diane — July 1, 2007 @ 5:04 pm

  7. Oh, how interesting. I’ve only used those in Thai cooking.

    It seems like an obvious fit, in hindsight, to pair them with Indian spices too.

    Comment by Joe Grossberg — July 1, 2007 @ 6:54 pm

  8. Indira,
    Certain foods evoke certain images for me. These Poluru Vankaya always bring your gutti vankaya picture to my mind. I got a bunch of these green beauties y’day from Patel Brothers to make gutti vankaya – maybe I’ll try this recipe instead.

    Comment by Mamatha — July 1, 2007 @ 6:55 pm

  9. wow my this dish looks a must try only with jeera and garlic. i can imagine the taste. Thanks for the delicious recipe/

    Comment by roopa — July 2, 2007 @ 1:23 am

  10. Hi Indira,

    The question of what we eat when we’re all alone is a really interesting one, isn’t it? Some will go to the trouble of making their own favourite meal (I’m like you in this), but some will eat whatever they can stuff into their mouth without turning the stove on (my husband will eat peanut butter straight from the jar!). A friend of mine is editing an anthology of essays on exactly this topic, and it’s coming out this month. In fact the book is called _Alone in the Kitchen With an Eggplant_, so it’s *doubly* related to today’s post, how can you resist? 🙂 . Seriouly, though, I hope you and your readers will check out the book if you’re interested:

    Comment by Preeta — July 2, 2007 @ 3:04 am

  11. That looks spectacular. I love your brijal-ginger combo. This sounds like a winner too.

    Comment by Gini — July 2, 2007 @ 6:40 am

  12. Hi Indira,

    I am so thrilled to have recently discovered your blog! Have you ever thought of publishing a cookbook? Your recipes are so delicious and creative, and your photography is so professional. Though I may just not know about them, I have not encountered any Andhra cookbooks in English; in fact there are not enough cookbooks in English that focus solely on one of India’s regional cuisines.

    I am curious – in Andhra cooking do you use the kohlrabi? It is one of my favorite vegetables.

    Comment by Giselle — July 2, 2007 @ 6:49 am

  13. Indira,

    Yet another “yummy” recipe from you.
    Which again puts me on memory lane..My mom always has bottle of “jeelakarra karma” (sans vellulli) infact that’s what we use in all our fries. Smells wonderful – and better for digestion than “goddu karam” bacause of cumin – I was told.
    And I didnt know that these brinjals are from Poluru..i have seen the above ones in US in vietnamese stores. I was so surprised the first time i used them that the seeded ones dont taste bitter!! The green ones i know are more oval and both available in small & big called metta vankaya avail only in Godavari districts..Like deepika said above, our relatives in Hyd insisted on “metta vankaya, mavidi allam and Dosakaya” from anyone coming from godavari jilla …Interesting eggplant facts!
    Good to know!

    Comment by Aparna — July 2, 2007 @ 9:02 am

  14. Indira, I love green bringal very much and your dish looks awesome. My mouth is already watering but yeah its very tough to get hold of the green ones here.

    Comment by seema — July 2, 2007 @ 12:29 pm

  15. Hi Indira, I used to make gitti vankaya koora with the purple egg plants. which one is more tastier? green ones or purple ones?

    Comment by saroja — July 2, 2007 @ 3:24 pm

  16. Hi Indira

    Your website is amazing and I got the link from my dear friend Vidhya. I have forwarded this link to my wife too…I love to cook and your recipies have increased my passion. I have one suggestion. Can you also pls. include the servings that will come in your recipies? For eg: 4 servings for the quantities mentioned? For beginners like me that would help a lot.
    thank you very much indeed!!!

    Comment by Ram — July 2, 2007 @ 4:49 pm

  17. Looks very very delicious! Finding green brinjals is a long shot here..I wonder if the small purple eggplants can be substituted? Thanks for yet another lovely recipe!

    Comment by KitchenAromas — July 2, 2007 @ 5:39 pm

  18. I made the green brinjal and amaranth recipe tonight with my bounty of produce from this Friday’s farmers market haul, and it was truly outstanding. Not complicated, just lip-smacking good. Thanks!

    Comment by Diane — July 2, 2007 @ 6:43 pm

  19. Indira …this is so yummy ….I also sometimes feel bored to cook for my self .But sometimes land up eating something simple like pasta ans curd rice …..But this one is great ….

    Comment by Deepa — July 2, 2007 @ 8:22 pm

  20. Thank you Komal. The credit belongs to beautiful and fresh green brinjals only.:)

    Deepika: It’s nice to know that they are available and popular in Kosta region also. I lived in Hyderabad for few years so I was also like your family. Always asking family to bring some fresh green brinjals from Nandyala.:)

    Hi Joe: It’s nice to see you here again. What do you prepare with green brinjals? Any Thai recipe link? I am actually looking for new recipes to try with green brinjals.

    Patel brothers green brinjals are really tearworthy, Mamatha. 🙂 Most of them will be too mature with black seeds, not at all good for stuffed brinjal curry. I found a small method to salvage mature green brinjals.
    Remove the black seed portion and saute the green skins with ginger or cumin like in this recipe. I used to that in Pittsburgh. Tastes quite good.
    Good luck with green brinjals!

    You are welcome Roopa.

    Dear Preeta: What a happy coincidence! 🙂
    I loved the book’s catchy, pretty title. Your friend must adore eggplants.
    Thanks Preeta for writing about this book here. I will definitely check it out.

    Gini: cumin charms the green brinjal. Definitely a winner.:)

    Hi Giselle: Thank you for your kind words about Mahanandi. No, I haven’t thought of publishing a cookbook.
    About Kohlrabi – we, in Andhra usually cook kohlrabi in potato style with tomatoes or simple stir-fry with spices. I haven’t blogged about this vegetable yet but I remember seeing few recipes at fellow food bloggers websites. I think Google search will yield lot of results.

    Aparna: yes cumin karam is much better than the goddu karam.:)
    See, in just Telugu, we have so many names for each vegetable. To avoid confusion between English, Telugu etc, I usually keep it simple and stick to one Telugu name.

    Thanks Seema.
    Green brinjals taste so good, they should be more popular, but they are not. I don’t know why?:)

    Hi Saroja: I am partial to green brinjals. Mainly because they are so rare.

    Hello Ram: Unless mentioned otherwise, the recipes I have written here at Mahanandi are all for two people, usually for one or two meals. Hope that helps.

    Hi KA: Purple brinjals and cumin combination taste great.

    Diane: it’s really great to read your comments and I love your enthusiasm in trying out new recipes. Just wonderful and makes me happy. 🙂
    Did you try the sprouted beans? Hope the weather was good there where you live. Cool weather means death to sprouting process usually.

    Deepa: Me too, pasta and curd rice make a great filling meals.

    Comment by Indira — July 2, 2007 @ 8:43 pm

  21. My cousin makes this dish too. Its really yummy. Havent had it in 3 years.

    Comment by Priyanka — July 9, 2007 @ 5:30 am

  22. u guys in usa are having more fun with telugu vantalu than we have here in mumbai. great

    Comment by ram — July 10, 2007 @ 1:18 am

  23. Wow! I love reading about the taste enhancers aka ‘masala powders’ 😉 from different regions… While I was picking up a packet of celery salt yesterday at the spice aisle, I was looking at all the spices and seasonings out there (as always).

    If we had a place where we had all the Indian spice powders, from all regions of India, in one place… I wonder how long that aisle will be. 🙂 Ah! Just a spice lover’s dream…..

    Comment by Kay — July 11, 2007 @ 1:44 pm

  24. indira, i love green brinjals. these are easily available in maharashtra where i grew up. i have been brought up eating these green brinjals which tastes better then the purple varieties. i do miss them when i dont find them here. i rarely find them in walmart supercenter. yeah u do find them in chinese stores but i hardly go there. green brinjals with ginger-garlic paste and a alittle fresh coconut tastes amazing. this was a regular in my tiffin box. making me nostalgic. with tomatoes makes a good curry. also gunthi vankaya(hyd style) tastes good with green ones because of the chewy seed texture inside.

    Hi Srividya,
    It’s good to know that you are familiar with green brinjals and like the taste. They are the best, aren’t they? I am also a big fan of green brinjals and like all types green brinjal dishes.

    Comment by srividya — March 12, 2008 @ 9:29 am

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