In Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, we are justifiably proud of the fact that we can make pickles with just about any vegetable or fruit. Continuing the series about vegetable pickles, I am writing today about the traditional Andhra Brinjal Pickle or Vankaya Nilava Pachadi as we call it in Telugu. This Baingan ka Achar is easy to make, needs very few ingredients, and has a long shelf-life!

Andhra-style Brinjal Pickle or Vankaya Nilava Pachadi: Fried brinjal pieces pickled with mustard, fenugreek, chilli powder, and oil.
Andhra Style Brinjal Pickle | Vankaya Nilava Pachadi

Vankaya Nilava Pachadi is a pickle made with brinjals or eggplants and it has a very long shelf life. This pickle is actually made with slightly old brinjals (mudirina vankaya in Telugu) and is a great way of preserving vegetables that may otherwise go bad or be discarded.

In Telugu, Nilava Pachadi means a chutney (pachadi) that has a long shelf-life and the technique used to make them is essentially to pickle vegetables with chilli powder, mustard powder, fenugreek powder, and oil. Typically, the vegetables are fried a bit to ensure that the moisture in them in drawn out, ensuring the pickle stays fresh for months on end.

More Recipes for Nilava Pachadi

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Tips to Make Vankaya Nilava Pachadi

  • I made this brinjal pickle with baby brinjals; however, you can use the thin long purple brinjals or even the green ones. You cannot use the large ones that are used for roasting (Bharta Baingan) to make this pickle.
  • Keep the brinjal pieces fairly large. I cut each baby brinjal into four pieces vertically, so my brinjal pieces were about 2″ long and 3/4″ wide. If you slice the eggplant very thin or make small pieces, they will simply disintegrate into the pickle mix.
  • Try and use slightly old brinjals because they have the best flavour for the pickle.

How to Enjoy the Andhra Style Brinjal Pickle

  • In Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, we simply mix this pickle in hot rice topped with ghee and enjoy it at the start of the meal.
  • You can serve Vankaya Nilava Pachadi as a side to curd rice or dal rice. It pairs especially well with Pesara Kattu (Andhra Moong Dal) mixed with rice.
The best way to enjoy Vankaya Nilava Pachadi or Andhra-style Brinjal Pickle is to mix it with hot rice and ghee!
Vankaya Nilava Pachadi | Andhra-style Brinjal Pickle

How to Make Vankaya Nilava Pachadi

  1. Getting the Spices Ready
    1. Dry roast 1 tsp fenugreek seeds till they start to change colour.
    2. Turn off the heat, and to the hot pan add 2 tbsp mustard seeds.
    3. Mix well and transfer the seeds to a plate and let them cool.
    4. Grind the roasted fenugreek and mustard seeds to a coarse powder.
  2. Getting the Tamarind Ready
    1. Over medium flame, dry roast a 1.5″ ball of tamarind till it dries out a bit.
    2. Let the tamarind cool and then grind it with 1 tsp salt.
  3. Getting the Brinjal Ready
    1. Wipe each brinjal with a dry cotton cloth. If required, spread the brinjals on a cotton cloth and let them dry for 30 minutes. 
    2. Cut the stem off each baby brinjal and then cut it into quarters (4 pieces) along the length. 
    3. Set aside.
  4. Making Vankaya Nilava Pachadi
    1. In a frying pan or kadhai, over medium flame, heat 1/4 cup oil.
    2. Add mustard seeds and wait till they crackle.
    3. Add the brinjal pieces and fry till they soften a bit and start to change colour.
    4. Remove the brinjal pieces from the oil and transfer them to a plate.
    5. Let the brinjal pieces cool. 
    6. Let the oil in which the brinjals were fried cool to room temperature.
    7. To the oil, add salt-tamarind mix, mustard-fenugreek powder, and chilli powder; mix well.
    8. Now add the fried brinjal pieces and mix well.
    9. Add 2 tbsp of oil (more if the pickle is dry) and mix well.
    10. Transfer to an air-tight bottle and let it pickle for 2-3 days. You can serve this Vankaya Nilava Pachadi immediately, but it does taste much better after it has pickled for 2 or 3 days.
  5. Serve Vankaya Nilava Pachadi as a side to dal chawal or curd rice.
Eggplant Pickle or Baingan ka Achar from Andhra Pradesh
Eggplant Pickle | Baingan ka Achar

Recipe for Vankaya Nilava Pachadi | Andhra Style Brinjal Pickle | Baingan ka Achar

Vankaya Nilava Pachadi is an Andhra-style Brinjal Pickle or Baingan ka Achar made with fried brinjals, spices and oil.

Vankaya Nilava Pachadi | Andhra Style Brinjal Pickle | Baingan ka Achar

Aruna
Vankaya Nilava Pachadi is a traditional brinjal pickle made in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. This eggplant pickle or Baingan ka Achar is very easy to make and has a long shelf-life. You can enjoy it with rice and ghee or then serve it as a side to dal-chawal or curd rice.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Accompaniment, Chutney, Pickle
Cuisine Andhra Pradesh, Telangana
Servings 8 people
Calories 119 kcal
Ingredients
  
  • 250 gms Baby Brinjals
Spices
  • 3 tbsp Chilli Powder (~15 gms)
  • 1 tsp Salt (~15 gms)
  • 2 tbsp Mustard Seeds, Avalu, Rai (~20 gms)
  • 1 tsp Fenugreek Seeds, Menthulu, Methi Dana (~4 gms)
  • 1.5" Ball of Tamarind (~20 gms)
Other Ingredients
  • 1/4 Cup Oil (Groundnut or Sesame Oil preferred)
  • 1 tsp Mustard Seeds
Instructions
 
Getting the Bitter Gourd Ready
  • Wipe 250 gms of baby brinjals with a soft cotton cloth and ensure they are completely dry. If needed, let them air-dry for 30 minutes or so.
  • Cut each baby brinjal into 4 pieces vertically. Do not cut them into very small pieces.
Getting the Spices Ready
  • Dry roast 1 tsp of fenugreek seeds till they start to change colour.
  • Turn off the heat and to the same pan add 2 tbsp mustard seeds and mix well.
  • Transfer the mustard and fenugreek seeds to a plate to cool.
  • Grind the cooled roasted fenugreek and mustard seeds to a coarse powder.
Prepping the Tamarind
  • Break part a 1.5" inch ball of tamarind and dry roast it on a pan till it is a bit dry.
  • Let the tamarind cool and then grind it with 1 tsp salt.
Frying the Brinjal
  • In a kadhai or frying pan, over medium flame, heat 1/4 cup of oil.
  • Add mustard seeds and wait till they crackle.
  • Add the brinjal pieces and stir-fry till they start to change colour.
  • Using a slotted ladle, remove the brinjal pieces from the oil and transfer them to a plate to cool.
  • Let the oil in which the brinjal was fried cool completely to room temperature.
Making the Brinjal Pickle
  • Mix together the cooled tempered oil, salt-tamarind powder, mustard-fenugreek powder, and chilli powder.
  • Add the cooled, fried brinjal pieces and mix well.
  • Add 2 to 3 tbsp oil, and mix well.
  • Transfer the Vankaya Nilava Pachadi to an air-tight bottle and let it pickle for 2-3 days. You can also serve this Brinjal Pickle immediately, but I like it better after it has pickled for 2 or 3 days.
  • Serve the pickle as a side to dal chawal or curd rice.
Nutrition Facts
Vankaya Nilava Pachadi | Andhra Style Brinjal Pickle | Baingan ka Achar
Amount Per Serving
Calories 119 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Fat 11g17%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 7g
Sodium 342mg15%
Potassium 165mg5%
Carbohydrates 5g2%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 898IU18%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 23mg2%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Keyword Andhra Brinjal Pickle, Baingan ka Achar, Eggplant Pickle, Vankaya Nilava Pachadi
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