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

Brinjal~Jaggery Chutney (Vankaya Bellam Pacchadi)

Cooking is an ultimate balance act, isn’t it? Take time to learn and practice to achieve that balance, the rewards are high. Not only good health, but also a balanced mood. Some ingredients and recipes are easy to balance and master. But for some, one needs yogi’s kind of patience and sadhana. Jaggery, particularly in savory recipes, is one such ingredient that I needed to practice a lot to achieve the balance. Consistency and quantity are difficult to explain and I had to rely on my flavor senses for guidance in my beginner days of cooking. I hope you do the same when you cook with jaggery in savory recipes, like the one I am posting today, as part of my weeklong Jihva jaggery journey.

Brinjal-Jaggery chutney (Vankaya-Bellam pacchadi) is a classic Andhra (Nandyala) recipe where young brinjals, dried red chillies and ginger are first roasted and then grinded together with jaggery, tamarind and salt. The result is a mouthwatering side dish with all 5 flavors and some extra smoky flavor, usually eaten with rice, ghee and dal or sambar. If you like baingan burtha, baba ghanouj style brinjal preparations, where brinjal is grilled and mashed, then this chutney is also your style.

Brinjals, Jaggery and Dried Red Chillies


8 young brinjals - ends removed and sliced lengthwise
8 dried red chillies
1 rupee coin sized ginger
1 red onion or shallot - sliced lengthwise
1 tablespoon each of powdered jaggery and tamarind juice
¼ teaspoon of salt or to taste

Heat two tablespoons of peanut oil in an iron skillet. Bring the oil to smoking point. Now add brinjal, onion and ginger. On high heat, grill them. Do not cook and soften but brown them -secret to tasty chutney. If you are one of those ‘gifted’ with charring or blackening all things you cook, then you need to use that gift here, my friend. Leave the care to the world and char the brinjals’ white flesh to your hearts content. Remove them to a plate. Add and grill dried red chillies for few seconds.

In a food processor or blender, take grilled brinjals, onion, ginger and dried red chillies. Add salt, tamarind juice and jaggery. Hit pulse button and coarsely puree. Remove to a cup. Traditionally popu or tadka (toasting cumin, mustard seeds and curry leaves in one teaspoon of oil) is added to the chutney at the end but this step is entirely optional. Sometimes I do it, sometimes I don’t, depends on my time and patience.

Serve with rice, ghee and dal or with pappu chaaru/sambhar.

Brinjal-Jaggery chutney mixed with Rice in Pappu chaaru - Savory Jaggery Entry to Kay’s JFI

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Amma & Authentic Andhra, Jaggery, Vankaya (Brinjal) (Wednesday November 29, 2006 at 9:40 pm- permalink)

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33 comments for Brinjal~Jaggery Chutney (Vankaya Bellam Pacchadi) »

  1. The brinjal you bought is so fresh and plump! Do you think the typcial eggplants that sold at western supermarket is able to yield a similar result? I’d like to try your recipe as it’s my favorite veg. Thanks in advance.

    Comment by gattina — November 29, 2006 @ 10:22 pm

  2. Wah! kya baat hain indira, I was wondering the same!!! where do you manage to get such fresh vegetables? Would definetely try your recipe. hmm my list of recipes in my to_try folder keeps on increasing each day.

    Comment by sowjanya — November 29, 2006 @ 11:20 pm

  3. Sowjanya - I know the answer : Uwajimaya :P :P (I think. Indira, correct me. Heh! Heh!)

    Indira - “Leave the care to the world and char the brinjals’ white flesh to your hearts content”
    LOL!!!!! I really laughed out aloud while reading this. Good recipe. Will definitely try it out soon.

    Stay warm and safe,

    Comment by Mythili — November 29, 2006 @ 11:25 pm

  4. yum! that looks wonderful. I love jaggery in chutneys.


    Comment by Saffron — November 30, 2006 @ 5:41 am

  5. I have never tried with gur/vellam with eggplant chutney. Gonna try this too.

    Comment by priya — November 30, 2006 @ 7:02 am

  6. Hi Indira,

    My ammamma and mother make this chutney by grilling the brinjas on open fire.I used to do the same,when I was in the US(I had a gas range there).I love the burnt aroma that this chutney has.Pictures are so appealing!

    Comment by Vini K — November 30, 2006 @ 7:18 am

  7. Hi Indira
    This is a mouth watering dish.i will surely try this.


    Comment by shalini — November 30, 2006 @ 7:58 am

  8. Hi Indira,

    This is such an interesting recipe. I have never had this brinjal-jaggery chutney before and now I can’t wait to try this out :) Great recipe.



    Comment by Sangeeta — November 30, 2006 @ 8:05 am

  9. I never tasted brinjal chutney with jaggery and was amazed to see u’r yummy recipe!! will make it this weekend!! thank u indira

    Comment by padmaja — November 30, 2006 @ 8:12 am

  10. Great recipe Indira, Thanks. For Bharta I usually broil the brinjal, i.e. put them in the oven and hit the “broil” option (I don’t know what exactly broiling is)
    Can we do the same or do we have to do it over fire, as in India

    Comment by sandeepa — November 30, 2006 @ 8:13 am

  11. Wow! Yet another innovative combination. Brinjal and Jaggery,I never tried or tasted this before. Looks so yummy!! It’s simply mouth watering:-) The brinjal looks so fresh.
    Iam gonna try this very soon!Thanks for this great post Indira.

    Comment by Deepu — November 30, 2006 @ 8:49 am

  12. The recipe looks really good. I have italian egg plant. Will try with that and let you know how it comes out.
    The pics as usual are great.

    Comment by Madhavi — November 30, 2006 @ 9:40 am

  13. This realy looks good like all your recipes.

    Comment by krista — November 30, 2006 @ 11:20 am

  14. Wow, yummy! The tasts of charred eggplant is out of this world. The jaggery-tamarind combination always works like magic!
    - Roopa

    Comment by RD — November 30, 2006 @ 2:39 pm

  15. Hi..
    I am frequent visitor to your blog..your lima beans curry looks very tasty…but u havent put that recipe….can u pls put that recipe on the blog…thanks

    Comment by AD — November 30, 2006 @ 2:44 pm

  16. I never knew brinjal could also be used in chutney!!!!! Sounds amazing indira!!!

    Comment by Rooma — November 30, 2006 @ 4:15 pm

  17. Hey Indira..
    cudn’t help smiling, just bought these small brinjals from indian store and came to ur siteto see what do u do with them, and here they are the first thing on ur page !! goin to try rite now.. take care

    Comment by abhi — November 30, 2006 @ 6:11 pm

  18. Thanks all for your sweet, smoky :) comments. Appreciate them.

    Hi Gattina: First of all let me say thanks for your nice comments on other recipes. Because of time shortage, I am not able to reply as I used to.
    You mean jumbo Italian eggplants, right? I don’t think they suit for this recipe. They are too watery and their skin tastes bitter also. I think the taste would be completely different. Again I’ve never tried this chutney with them before.
    You can buy this small type of brinjals from Asian (both Indian and Chinese groceries).

    Mythili: You guessed it right. :)
    It’s rollercoaster ride for cars yesterday here in Seattle, isn’t it?:) Weather is brutal here and it’s not even winter.

    Hi Vini K: Roasting them on open fire on boggulu gives a unique smoky taste. My grand mother also prepares that way back in India. A different smoky taste, love it!

    Hi Sandeepa: I think Broil works for this recipe. Whatever method you follow, do not cook brinjals to mush but brown them. I don’t know how to explain, see for example - potatoes - mashed and crisply fried are different in taste right, same thing we should do here for this type of chutney.On high heat, char the brinjals.

    Hi AD: I will add more details to the recipe definitely by next week. Thanks for your interest.

    Comment by Indira — November 30, 2006 @ 7:16 pm

  19. One more wonderful recipe. My list for trying your recipes is increasing. Thanks!

    Hi Madhuli,
    for me too. I already have a full folder of recipes to try and to blog. It’s overflowing and overwhelming>:)

    Comment by madhuli — November 30, 2006 @ 7:18 pm

  20. I am a big brinjal fan - never had it this way! Will try it def. BTW, do take a look at saffrontree, when you get a chance..There’s lot of action these days - 3 more contributors, and hope the tree grows more…:-)It’s lot of fun!


    Hi Prabha,
    I did check and read all the reviews, though didn’t leave a comment. My calm personal life suddenly got busy this month and I am not able to spend much time on web these days. I hate to be like this.:)
    Really, you are doing a wonderful work! Impressive, your concept and blog! I am sure ‘Saffron Tree’ is going to be filled with all kinds of chirping birds soon.:) Give it time and let it breath.
    My best wishes for your continuing success!

    Comment by Desimom — November 30, 2006 @ 8:51 pm

  21. Hello Indira,

    When you use blender to grind onions (especially raw ones), do you not feel that it makes the onions bitter and spoils the taste of the dish you’re trying to make?

    Comment by Madhuri — December 1, 2006 @ 3:09 pm

  22. hey Indira, i tried it last nite.. it came out gud, but i wasn’t very sure whether i grinded it too thin, but it was indeed different from other brinjal recepies i have tried before. thanks..

    Comment by abhi — December 2, 2006 @ 8:45 am

  23. Hi Indira garu,
    mi pachadi try chesa baga vachindi. Kani maku ikada chinna vankayalu dorakavu so tried with large fat brinjal. eggplant ni kalchatam matarem gave it to my husband to do it, end result was tasty pachadi. Thank u once again. Please visit to see my pachadi photo. Mi recipes chala interesting ga vuntayi and thanks for idli comment appreciate it.
    Rajani Rayudu.

    Comment by Rajani — December 3, 2006 @ 12:52 pm

  24. If only blogs were created 8 years ago while I was studying overseas .. I could’ve been able to try those recipe of yours.

    As a foreign student, I missed recipes like yours - spicy and tasty.

    Comment by Juice Fanatic — December 5, 2006 @ 9:39 pm

  25. Hi Indira,
    I tried out the brinjal chutney, but was pessimistic while charring the brinjals to glory, wondering how on earth this will taste good !
    But voila, the finished product was tangy and tasty. Had it with chaaru annam and it was good with dosas too. Thanks.

    Viji Surendhra

    Comment by Viji Surendhra — December 17, 2006 @ 4:55 am

  26. Hi Indira..
    Tried this chutney today… please do check my site and let me know if i fried the ingrients in the right way.. interms of color, i mean…
    and also Indira, i just used 4 chillies from Indian package adn it turned out very spicy…. did u mean dry red chillies from the indian stoers in US? just asking to comfirm my doubts…
    thanks a lot for sharing…

    Have a nice dinner…
    Priya Dilip

    Comment by Priya Dilip — December 18, 2006 @ 8:48 pm

  27. Dear Indira,

    I feel very homely and relaxed whenever i go through u r blog. whenever i read u r receips, as i am familiar with them, makes me feel that essence of Amma vanta. Australia vachi noranta tasteless ayipoyindi. malli ippudu mee receipes to na tastebuds ki jeevam vachinatundi. Entaina dooram vachintarvata kani mana vantala ruchi aaswadinchalemu kada.
    Good efforts and great job. Cheers on success of ur blog.

    Comment by shah — January 20, 2007 @ 7:54 pm

  28. vankaya bellam kalipi pacchadi cheyyatem eppude chutstunnanu nenu try chestanu

    Comment by u.devi bhavani — March 16, 2007 @ 11:38 pm

  29. Looks nice and yummy…could I use the other variety of brinjal..the ones which are purple and white streaked, with thorns on the stem?
    And if you char the baingans on open fire, you discard the peels right? what do you do with the onions in that case?

    I think you can and it will taste great when small sized, young ones are used for this recipe.
    We usually grind charred peels also. With their mild bittersweet taste, they would bring something extra to the chutney.
    Onions are also grinded together.
    Hope this helps. If you try this recipe, please let me know how you like it. Thanks Varsha.

    Comment by Varsha — April 16, 2007 @ 6:51 am

  30. Hi Indira!
    I wanna to know!Whats the hottest chillies in world-in India?
    Thanks-have fun!

    Comment by Trung,Nguyen — June 14, 2007 @ 1:32 am

  31. Hi loved ur recipes. I stay back in Vizag.

    Comment by R. Gyana Prasuna — September 11, 2007 @ 9:43 am

  32. what a wonderful indian cook ur!!!! i wish i can cook like u as my husband loves home cooked food. u have helped me lots. thnx and god bless u!!

    Comment by beena — September 12, 2007 @ 12:08 am

  33. Hi Indira

    It’s very healthy & tasty. Thanks a lot

    Comment by Dona — July 10, 2012 @ 10:12 am

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