Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Badanekayi Koddel: Aubergines in a Sweet, Spicy and Tangy Gravy

The pre monsoon weather is in the process of composing quite an impressive show here.

Mornings, even when they start out bright and cheery give way to moodier shades as the day marches on. If you are lucky, you will be able to get away with just a mellow drizzle at the end of it. If not, there will be a medley of heavy rains, lightning and thunders. Not to mention occasional power failures.
The weather has brought forth another issue. This here is Ginger's Kitten, whom I call Poke-Poke. (Because that is what he does all the time, or at the very least, in the few hours when he is awake. Frankly, Poke-Poke is well past the kitten stage though he seems strongly opposed to the idea of growing up for some reason or other.)

Poke-Poke is terribly afraid of growling skies. When the weather gets working on what it is supposed to be doing, Poke-Poke will scramble on top of something (like a dangerously narrow exterior protrusion of a window sill) and cry incessantly till the skies are calm once again or he will just sit under a sheltered nook somewhere with wide open eyes and then refuse to budge. Either way he gets scolded – by our Landlady, their House Help, The Techie and almost every one of our neighbours. (By everyone except me, in short. My sister now accuses me of being fond of the whole ‘beastly’ category of cats – we have always been a Dogs only sort of family.)
I guess it is time to tuck away Poke-Poke and talk about the recipe.

This is not an entirely new recipe; it is just an offshoot of the Basale Koddel (Curried Basalle Alba) recipe posted sometime ago. The 'Koddel Base' is something that goes well with quite a few vegetables like Raw Bananas, Drumsticks and Aubergines. So when the kitchen had an unusual abundance of aubergines (I wanted to try a few recipes and ended up buying more than I needed), I thought I will make Badanekayi Koddel. (Badanekayi is Aubergines in Kannada.)
I know I could have just given this as a variant in the 'notes' of the older post; but as I was fiddling with the camera anyway, I thought I will write it up as a separate post. (Besides, the colour scheme seemed to blend well with that of Poke-Poke's shot above. Not the best of reasons for writing up a recipe post, but still.)

I liked this version just like the other one. The Techie,who is not much of an Aubergine fan, contented himself with the gravy alone of the koddel.

PS: This post was written a few days ago - just that I didn't get time till now to give it a final read and publish it. (In case you are wondering about the disparity in the description of the weather :))


 To Boil Together:
  1. Aubergines, chopped - 1 and a 1/2 to 2 cups. (I cut them into about half inch thick slices and then each slice into 6 'sectors'. 
  2. Onion, sliced - 1/2 cup
  3. Tamarind Paste - A scant tsp. 
  4. Jaggery, grated - About 1/2 tbsp. (Adjust to taste. You can start with a lower quantity and add more at the time of boiling the curry.)
  5. Salt
  6. Water - 1 cup
To Grind:
  1. Coconut, grated - 3/4 cup 
  2. Onion, sliced - 1/3 cup
  3. Garlic, chopped - 1 tsp.
  4. Coriander Seeds - 2 and a 1/2 tsp. 
  5. Dried Red Chillies - 3, chopped. (I have used Kashmiri Chillies, which are very mild. Koddel recipes normally use twice as many chillies and usually specify using spicier 'Byadgi/Bedgi' chillies (native to Karnataka).) 
  6. Cumin Seeds - 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. (I used 1/4 tsp. as I don't like a prominent note of cumin in curries.)
  7. Fenugreek Seeds - 1/4 tsp.
  8. Mustard Seeds - A pinch
  9. Water - To grind 
To Season:
  1. Mustard Seeds - 1 tsp.
  2. Garlic, chopped - A scant tsp. 
  3. Curry Leaves - 1 stalk
  4. Oil - Enough to fry the ingredients to season.

Cook the ingredients mentioned under 'To Boil Together'.

Grind the ingredients mentioned under 'To Grind' to a smooth paste and keep aside.

Once the aubergines are done, add the ground masala to it and allow it to come to a boil.

Meanwhile, heat up a small pan with some oil and add the mustard seeds. Once they sputter, add the garlic as well as the curry leaves and fry them.

Now tumble the whole contents of the small pan into the boiling curry. Increase the heat and bring the koddel to a rolling boil. Taste and adjust the flavours (jaggery, tamarind and salt). Also, add more water if required.

Allow the curry to boil vigorously for about five minutes before switching off.
Serve with rice and other sides.

  1. The colour of the curry will vary slightly depending on the type and amount of chillies, tamarind and jaggery used. 
  2. You can use 2 to 2 and a 1/2 tsp. of powdered coriander (depending on the freshness of the powder) instead of whole coriander seeds in the masala.
  3. As the ground masala is 'raw' (that is, the ingredients are not roasted or sauteed before grinding), it is better to consume the curry within a couple of days.


  1. This looks absolutely mouthwatering..II love eggplants....'m drooling!!!

  2. such a delicious looking curry... I loved that "jaamyapekha" in between... hehe....

    1. Rafee, I must be extremely slow today. I googled 'jaamyapekha' before it hit me! Perhaps I should just sleep for an hour or two :D

      And thank you :)


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