The cuisine of Andhra Pradesh in South India is well known in India, even more, I think, than my beloved Tamil cuisine. One of the features of Andhra cuisine is its wonderful chutneys – wide, varied and flavoursome recipes that tease the palate and make wonderful companions to other dishes.
Cooking at Home with Pedatha is one of the well known cookbooks focusing on food from Andhra. The authors capture the recipes of 85 year old Subhadra Krishna Rau Parigi, fondly known as Pedatha. I often delve into this book for inspiration, along with my treasured books on Tamil cuisine by Meenakshi Ammal. Enjoy!
Browse our other Indian Chutney recipes, all of our Andhra Pradesh recipes, and our Eggplant dishes. Are you looking for Indian recipes? They are here. And our Indian Essential Series is here. Or simply relax and explore all of our Early Summer dishes.
Andhra Brinjal Chutney | Indian Roasted Eggplant Chutney
1 large eggplant (bharta variety if you can – medium sized round purple variety)
2 Tblspn tamarind pulp
a little oil
salt to taste
1 Tblspn split, husked urad dal
2 tspn black mustard seeds
0.25 tspn fenugreek seeds
6 dried red chillies, or to taste, stalks retained and nicked at the tail
3 green chillies, or to taste, whole, with stalks removed
12 curry leaves on the stalk
0.5 cups coriander leaves, chopped roughly
1 tspn asafoetida powder
2.5 tspn ghee
Roast the eggplant by coating lightly with oil and roasting directly over a gas flame, turning often, until the skin turns black and starts cracking, and the eggplant is beginning to collapse. Make sure the eggplant is well cooked – check especially around the neck, or stalk end, of the eggplant. Prod it gently – if it yields to your touch, it is cooked, if it resists then cook a little longer.
You can also use a grill/BBQ to cook the eggplant. I find this the most convenient way to roast eggplants.
Now remove the skin. You may find that the charred skin simply peels away easily. Otherwise, one of the easiest ways is to halve the eggplant length-ways and carefully scrape out the flesh, leaving the charred skin behind. Mash the flesh well with a fork.
Make the tadka. Heat the ghee in a kadhai, wok or heavy pan. Add the mustard seeds, and as they pop, add the urad gram. When the urad begins to turn golden, add the fenugreek and remove from the heat. As the fenugreek begins to brown, add the chillies and saute till they turn bright red.
Stir in the curry leaves, green chillies, coriander leaves and asafoetida powder. Grind the mixture together with the tamarind pulp and salt – use a blender or with a hand held stick blender. Do not add any water!
Take the paste and add to the eggplant pulp. Mix well. Garnish with a few coriander leaves if desired.
Serve with steamed rice and a dollop of ghee.
recipe notes and alternatives
For variety, take half a cup of finely diced cucumber. Salt it lightly and leave to drain for 15 mins. Squeeze out the water by hand and mix into the chutney.