Easy Vankaya Vepudu Recipe | South Indian style Brinjal Fry
Vankaya Vepudu, also known as brinjal fry, is a popular South Indian dish that is loved for its crispy texture and spicy flavor. It is a simple and flavorful dish that is easy to prepare, making it a favorite among households and restaurants alike.
Vankaya vepudu originated in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. Andhra cuisine is known for its rich and diverse range of vegetable side dishes. These dishes are an integral part of the South Indian meal and are served with rice, flatbreads, or as accompaniments to the main course. The cuisine is popular all around the world because of its unique blend of spices, herbs, and flavors that make it so irresistible.
One of the most popular vegetable side dishes in Andhra cuisine is Vankaya Vepudu which is a staple dish in most households and is also commonly found in restaurants and street food stalls. It is a popular dish among vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike and is often served during festivals and special occasions.
About Vankaya Vepudu Recipe
Vankaya Vepudu recipe is a simple dish made by stir-frying sliced brinjals in a tempering made of oil, mustard seeds, cumin, garlic, curry leaves, and sliced onions. Later the brinjals are spiced with dry spices. Lastly, coconut (dry or desiccated) is added which gives a slightly nutty flavor and texture to the dish.
There are numerous ways brinjal fry is made and every household has its own recipe using different podi (spice mix). This simple vankaya fry with coconut recipe is one of the popular recipes in Andhra cuisine.
This recipe was taught by my mom to which I added a twist of spice and flavor. This has become one of my favorite recipes with brinjal and often make it at home.
Vankaya Vepudu is a dry dish with slightly crispy edges and tastes very delicious. The combination of aromatic spices, along with the sweetness of caramelized onions, and the nuttiness of grated coconut, creates a rich and flavorful dish.
Apart from basic spices, I have used “Ashirvaad brand Koora Karam“. It is a multi-purpose spice mix commonly used in Indian cuisine, particularly in the preparation of South Indian curries and vegetable dishes.
The trick to best vankaya vepudu is getting a good sear on the outside, with tender, silky flesh on the inside.
In addition to being delicious, vankaya vepudu is also a healthy dish. Brinjal is a low-calorie vegetable that is high in fiber, potassium, and antioxidants. It is also a good source of vitamin C and vitamin B6. You can reduce the amount of oil used in the dish, making it a healthier option.
Reasons to make
Easy to prepare.
Beginner & Bachelor friendly recipe.
Flavor, bold and complex flavor.
Readily available ingredients in most households.
Vegetarian and Vegan.
If you’re looking to make the perfect brinjal fry, here are some tips to keep in mind:
1. Choose the right brinjal: Select brinjals that are firm and shiny, with smooth and unblemished skin. Avoid brinjals that have soft spots or are discolored.
2. Slice the brinjal evenly: Slice the brinjal into thin rounds or strips, depending on your preference. It’s important to slice the brinjal evenly so that it cooks evenly and crisps up properly.
3. Soak the brinjal slices in the salted water: Brinjal turns bitter and brown if you cut it and leave it for some time. Once you slice the brinjal, soak the slices in the salted water for 5-10 minutes. This prevents discoloring and helps remove any bitterness and also helps the spices adhere better to the slices.
4. Use a wide pan: For the perfect curry texture, I recommend a wide pan so that brinjals don’t overlap and cook evenly.
4. Add the dry coconut towards the end of the cooking process, once the vegetable is cooked through.
5. Slow cook/roast the brinjals: the brinjals become soft and tender on the inside while crispy on the outside. This contrast of textures adds depth to the dish, making it more interesting to eat.
Vankaya: The star ingredient of this dish is the brinjal, also known as eggplant or aubergine. I have used purple round brinjal, green round, and thin long light purple brinjal variety works well too.
You can use any kind of brinjals for this recipe – Italian eggplants, Chinese eggplants, Indian eggplants (white/green/purple/long purple), baby eggplants, etc. Just make sure that there are not many seeds inside the brinjals, as they tend to taste bitter and give an unpleasant taste while eating. Choosing seedless or less-seeded eggplants may be a good option.
Cooking oil: Any oil will work in this recipe.
Tempering: mustard seeds, cumin, dry red chilies, garlic, and curry leaves.
Onion: it adds a sweet and crunchy texture.
Dry Spices: turmeric powder, red chili powder, koora karam, and coriander powder.
Coconut: dry or desiccated. It adds a nutty flavor, crisp texture, and a hint of sweet flavor.
Seasoning & herbs: salt and coriander leaves.
How to make Vankaya Vepudu
Preparation for Vankaya Vepudu
1. Thinly slice the onion into thin long slices.
2. Rinse the brinjals under running water and pat them dry with a clean kitchen towel. Cut off the stem of the brinjal and discard it.
3. Cut the brinjal into long strips and put them in the salted water (add 1 tsp salt to a bowl of water).
This prevents the brinjals from discoloring.
How to make Vankaya fry
1. Heat oil in a fry pan on medium heat and season with mustard seeds and cumin. Let them crackle.
Ensure that the oil is hot for the seeds to crackle.
2. Once they splutter, add crushed or chopped garlic, dry red chilies, and curry leaves. Saute the tempering for a few seconds to a minute until the leaves turn crisp and the garlic change to light golden color.
3. Next, add sliced onions, brinjal strips, turmeric powder, and salt.
Adding onion and brinjal together will prevent onions from overcooking.
4. Saute for 1-2 minutes over medium flame.
5. Splash little water, cover the pan, and cook on low flame for 8-10 minutes or until the brinjals are cooked but not mashed.
Open occasionally and stir so that the brinjal doesn’t get burnt.
6. Check if the brinjal is cooked.
Tip 1: You can check this by pressing down on a piece of brinjal with a spatula or fork. If it is soft and easy to flatten, it is cooked.
Tip 2: The best way to check if the brinjal is cooked is to taste a piece. If it is soft, tender, and fully cooked. If it is still firm or has a raw taste, it needs more time to cook.
7. Once the brinjal is cooked, add red chili powder and koora karam. Mix well making sure that each slice is well coated.
8. Add coconut (dry or desiccated) and mix well. Taste test and add salt and spice, if needed.
If using dry coconut, grate using a fine grater.
9. Continue to saute on low flame for 3-5 minutes until the brinjal slices get crisp on the outside.
10. Turn off the flame and add chopped coriander leaves.
Vankaya Vepudu is ready. Serve hot or warm with rice and dal.
Here are some tips on how to serve Vankaya Vepudu:
1. As a side dish: Vankaya Vepudu is often served as a side dish along with steamed rice, ghee, and a bowl of dal, sambar, tomato pappu, or tomato rasam. Crispy papads or appalams can also be served on the side for added crunch and texture.
The curd rice and this vankaya fry is an excellent combination. If you have never tried this combo, then you must definitely try this.
2. With roti or naan: Vankaya Vepudu can also be served with roti or naan for a satisfying and nutritious meal.
Stir-fry dishes usually never last for more than one meal in our home. But if there are any leftovers, you can store them in the refrigerator.
Allow the dish to cool down to room temperature before storing it. Use an airtight container to store the Vankaya Vepudu. Store the container in the refrigerator. Vankaya Vepudu can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days.
I recommend consuming the Vankaya Vepudu within a day or two of preparation for the best taste.
Before serving, reheat in a microwave or on the stovetop.
Feel free to experiment with the readymade spice powders – you can replace koora karam with mtr brand vangi bath powder, idli karam podi, dabeli masala, sambar powder, or rasam powder. These masalas have spice and salt, so add red chili powder and salt accordingly.
Can add lentils – chana dal and urad dal in the tempering.
Can replace crushed garlic with ginger-garlic paste.
More Related Recipes
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Vankaya Vepudu Recipe with Coconut
- 2 tbsp Oil
- 1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
- 1/2 tsp Cumin
- 2 numbers Dry red chilies
- 2-3 numbers Garlic (crushed or chopped)
- 5-7 Curry leaves
- 250 grams Brinjals (sliced)
- 1 medium Onion (thinly sliced)
- 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
- 1-2 tsp Red chili powder
- 1-2 tsp Koora karam (ashirvaad brand)
- 3-4 tbsp Coconut (dry or desiccated)
- 1-2 tbsp Coriander leaves
- Salt to taste
Preparation for Vankaya Vepudu
- Thinly slice the onion into thin long slices.
- Rinse the brinjals under running water and pat them dry with a clean kitchen towel. Cut off the stem of the brinjal and discard it.
- Cut the brinjal into long strips and put them in the salted water.
How to make Vankaya fry
- Heat oil in a fry pan on medium heat and season with mustard seeds and cumin. Let them crackle.
- Once they splutter, add crushed or chopped garlic, dry red chilies, and curry leaves. Saute the tempering for a few seconds to a minute until the leaves turn crisp and garlic change to light golden color.
- Next, add sliced onions, brinjal strips, turmeric powder, and salt. Saute for 1-2 minutes over medium flame.
- Splash little water, cover the pan, and cook on low flame until the brinjals are cooked but not mashed.
- Check if the brinjal is cooked. You can check this by pressing down on a piece of brinjal with a spatula or fork. If it is soft and easy to flatten, it is cooked.
- Once the brinjal is cooked, add red chili powder and koora karam. Mix well making sure that each slice is well coated.
- Add coconut (dry or desiccated) and mix well.
- Continue to saute on low flame for 3-5 minutes until the brinjal slices get crisp on the outside.
- Turn off the flame and add chopped coriander leaves.
- Vankaya Vepudu is ready. Serve hot or warm with rice and dal.
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