Vankaya Bhajji / Pappu ~ Aubergine Dal

Having settled in Hyderabad after her marriage for a few years, Amma can cook Andhra cuisine like a Pro. So I did not find it difficult to adapt when I got married into a Reddiyar family.  It was in fact very easy to adapt as both our cooking methods synched so well. Very rarely does DH look into this space of mine and while doing so last week, he commented that he did not see any recipes belonging to Andhra region. I cook so many recipes often and yet have not blogged about it.  I guess it is the lazy me to be blamed for that.

Vankayya Bhajji

As I find Aubergines difficult to get at all times I usually do it with brinjals but it never used to satisfy my taste buds. Off late I’m finding so many of them in the upscale vegetable super markets and my joy knew no bounds.  Also I’m using the Clay pot that my MIL gave me which I’m putting to maximum use now-a-days. I have shifted to cooking in traditional vessels and I’m loving it. All my non-stick wares and neatly packed and put away. This dal is so comforting and very easy to prepare too when you are hard pressed for time. It is our family’s favorite. Do try it out and I promise that you will not be disappointed.

Vankayya Bhajji

You’ll need:

Aubergine / Brinjal
Toor Dal
1/2 cup
Tomatoes 3
Green Chillies 2
Red Chilli powder 1 tsp
Turmeric powder 1/4 tsp
Tamarind 1 marble size
Salt to taste
To Temper:
Mustard seeds 1/2 tsp
Whole dry red chillies 2
Crushed galic pods 6 - 8
Oil 1 tbsp




Here we go with the step wise preparations

Wash and cut the Aubergine / brinjal roughly and place in water to prevent discoloration.

In a pressure cook place washed toor dal, cut brinjal, roughly cut tomatoes, tamarind, broken green chillies, turmeric powder with 3/4 cup of water and cook for 3-4 whistles.

If you have a “Kal chatti” as I call this transfer the whole dal mixture into it immediately after the pressure is released and mash it with the “maththu”. If not transfer to a blender and pulse it so that the dal stays coarse and thick and not mashed to a pulp.

Heat a kadai with oil. Add mustard seeds and once it splutters add whole dry red chillies and the crushed garlic and sauté till the garlic changes to a brown color and the aroma arises.

Transfer the tempering to the mashed dal with brinjals in the “Kal Chatti”. Now add salt and once again mash it well till they come together. It should be thick and you should not be able to identify anything that you have added to the recipe.


Transfer to a serving bowl. Add this to hot steaming rice to which a dash of ghee has been added and enjoy this simple and comforting “Vankayya Bhajji” for lunch anytime.

If you are unable to get hold of Aubergines, You can also do this with the usual brinjals but make sure you choose tender ones as they don’t have much seeds.
You won’t get the same result if you use a blender.
Use your judgment as all 3 forms of chillies have been used.
Mash them all while it is still hot as it will be difficult once it cools down.
Add salt only after you have mashed roughly and not before pressure cooking.

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