Go Back
+ servings
Eggplant Kootu
Print Recipe
4.5 from 2 votes

Brinjal Pulippu Kootu

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Curry
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 8 servings


  • 1/2 cup tuvar dal or split pigeon peas
  • 9 small round eggplants, cut into a 1/2-inch dice
  • 2 tbsp freshly grated coconut, you can use frozen, but thaw before use
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • A generous pinch of asafetida or hing
  • 2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/4 cup chopped coriander leaves
  • 1 tbsp tamarind extract. Or a 1-inch ball of tamarind pods, soaked in 1/2 cup of water for 30 minutes. Extract the tamarind pulp by crushing with fingers and discard the dry solids
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves
  • 1/2 cup peanuts, covered with water and microwaved for five minutes. Or you can bring them to a boil on the stovetop, lower heat, and let them cook 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  • For ground masala paste:
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp udad dal or black gram dal
  • 1 tbsp chana dal or bengal gram dal
  • 2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 2 dry red chillies
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated coconut. You can use frozen but thaw first.
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil


  • Mix the lentils and turmeric, add water and cook until the lentils are really soft and mashable. Pressure-cooking works best here -- and the fastest-- but you can do this on the stovetop. Use enough water to cover the lentils by an inch, bring to a boil, lower heat to a simmer, cover the pot and cook the lentils until they are soft and mushy. You will need to check frequently to ensure the water hasn't dried out.
  • Make the ground masala. Heat 1 tsp of oil and add the masala ingredients. On medium heat, saute the ingredients, stirring frequently, until the coconut turns a few shades darker. Be watchful because coconut burns easily.
  • Remove the masala ingredients to a blender, add enough water to make a paste, and blend to a smooth paste. Set aside.
  • In a large saucepan, place the chopped eggplant, add the tamarind, some salt, and enough water to almost cover the vegetables. Bring the mixture to a boil, turn heat to low, cover and cook until the brinjals are thoroughly cooked. Don't take shortcuts here because half-cooked brinjal is worse than no brinjal at all.
  • Add the cooked lentils, peanuts, and ground masala paste. Stir well, add water if the mixture is too thick, bring to a boil, lower heat, and cook at a gentle simmer for about 10 minutes.
  • In a small saucepan, add the remaining 1 tsp of oil and then add mustard seeds. When the mustard sputters, add the coconut and curry leaves.
  • Saute the coconut and curry leaves until the coconut turns lightly golden.
  • Add to the lentils and mix thoroughly. Stir in the coriander leaves.
  • Serve hot with some boiled rice and potato curry.