Dals or lentils are an integral part of Indian vegetarian cuisine. They are the main source of protein and in many households in India, made daily (or a few times a day!) in various forms. Huli is a form of dal made mainly in the Mysore/Bangalore regions of Karnataka. It is a thicker version of sambar but made with a different masala and is usually very vegetable-heavy.

Eggplant Onion Huli
Badanekayi Eerulli Huli

Recipe Name: Badanekayi Eerulli Huli (Thick Lentil Stew with eggplants and onions)
Cooking Time: 30 minutes (20 minutes to cook lentils & vegetables and 10 minutes to prepare the stew)
Serves: 4 people
Cooking Level: Intermediate
Recipe/Post by: Vani
1 medium Onion (chopped into big pieces)
1 medium sized Eggplant (chopped into 1 inch chunks)
1.5 cups Water
1.5 cups cooked Toor Dal (click here for cooking instructions)
3 tbsp freshly grated Coconut or Coconut Powder
¾ tsp Tamarind Paste (Acc to taste)
2 tsp Jaggery or Brown Sugar (Acc to taste)
Salt to taste

For Masala Powder:
2" Cinnamon
A pinch of Hing/Asafoetida
1 tbsp Chana Dal/Split Bengal Gram
2 tbsp Coriander Seeds
4-6 Dry Red Chillies
1 tsp Oil

For Tadka/Tempering:
1 tsp Mustard Seeds
A Pinch of Asafoetida
½ tsp Turmeric Powder
A spring of Curry Leaves
1 tbsp Oil

Eggplant Onion Huli
Badanekayi Eerulli Huli served with Rice and Ghee

  1. Fry the ingredients in the 'masala' section in 1 tsp of oil, until fragrant and grind them to a fine powder.
  2. Grind the coconut and the masala powder to a smooth paste, adding very little water.
  3. Heat oil in a pot. Add mustard seeds. When they start to crackle, add asafoetida, turmeric and curry leaves.
  4. Add onions, eggplants and water to the tempered oil. Cover and cook until the eggplants are soft.
  5. Add the coconut paste, cooked toor dal and salt and bring to a boil.
  6. Add tamarind paste and jaggery. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  7. Serve with rice, topped with a dollop of ghee.

Special Notes/Tips:

  • The consistency of huli is very thick. So while adding dal, drain the water from the dal before adding. Also, add very little water while grinding the coconut paste.
  • Some typical vegetables/combinations in hulis are onion/potato, chayote/black eyed beans, greens, cabbage and beans.
  • Papads, chips and other fried fritters make good accompaniments with this.

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  1. Kitchen Flavours // 9 June 2009 at 16:33  

    Oh wow aromatic and flavorful.....

  2. Gita // 9 June 2009 at 18:20  

    Wow...the curry looks very tasty...nice picture :)

  3. rekhas kitchen // 9 June 2009 at 18:26  

    very tempting like to have this huli with hot rice yummmmmmmmmy recipe vani.

  4. Parita // 9 June 2009 at 18:32  

    eggplant curry looks delicious..oh my mouth started watering :)

  5. Happy cook // 9 June 2009 at 18:57  

    Looks super yummy delicous. Looks like the dish we get inrestraunts when we ask for a thali. Sure bookmarking this.

  6. Pooja // 9 June 2009 at 18:58  

    Delicious Dal..Nice clicks..

  7. Nithya Praveen // 9 June 2009 at 19:00  

    Anything with Eggplant and am in for it...lovely one Vani.Am sure this wud taste great jes with steamed rice and lil ghee:)

  8. Suparna // 9 June 2009 at 19:22  

    hi vani,
    Badnekai eerulli huli hesaru keltiddahaage bayalli neerbarathe...saaldu antha ishtu volle pic kooda haakidira...eegle plain rice jote tinbeku anistide :)

  9. Sharmila // 9 June 2009 at 19:46  

    I like that masala and am going to try this. :-)

  10. Prathibha // 9 June 2009 at 19:55  

    Comfort bowl of dal with rice....Looks yummy Vani..

  11. Pooja // 9 June 2009 at 21:34  

    Oh my this looks so delicious! Lovely brinjal dal! Bookmarked!

  12. Mangala Bhat // 9 June 2009 at 21:51  

    wow! vani ..tumba chenngide :) try maadtini ..:)

  13. Vij // 9 June 2009 at 23:11  

    Yummy flavorful curry Vani! looks good.

  14. Kalyani // 10 June 2009 at 00:02  

    looks delicious & nice pictures....

  15. meeso // 10 June 2009 at 01:30  

    Yum, yum, yum, making my belly growl!

  16. Mandira // 10 June 2009 at 02:15  

    love the pics Vani, if only I could pick up that rice plate :)

  17. egglesscooking // 10 June 2009 at 07:15  

    Very interesting combination of masala and spices for an eggplant dish. Though I have not made this exact recipe, it sort of reminds me of bisi bele bath.

  18. Sush // 10 June 2009 at 11:07  

    this is what I call, typical "Mane Oota". idara jothe uppinakayi & happala idre, swargakke moore genu nanage ;)

  19. Chitra // 10 June 2009 at 13:27  

    this curry is too good..have bookmarked it..will try morrow and tell u d result:)

  20. Red Chillies // 10 June 2009 at 21:32  

    What are the odds! I posted something similar on my blog. Looks good.

  21. Vani // 10 June 2009 at 22:18  

    Thanks for the comments, all! Much appreciate them :)

    Madhu - The masala for BBB is quite different. It has some more aromatic spices - cloves, cardamom etc plus poppy seeds & copra too. But i can totally see why this would remind one of BBB :)

  22. Ramya Bala // 11 June 2009 at 04:32  

    Wow..this is just excellent...

  23. Divya Vikram // 11 June 2009 at 12:14  

    Never added eggplant to dal. Looks too good.

  24. Divya Rao // 11 June 2009 at 12:28  

    Hey, this is a neat space Vani! Loved the huli recipe, reminded me of my mom's cooking :)

  25. Madhuram // 14 June 2009 at 21:09  

    Vani, I have prepared this for lunch today and it's so good. It's like a "cheat Bisi Bele Bath". It's easier than preparing BBB but has a similar taste.

  26. Sia // 16 June 2009 at 18:52  

    Vani, just wanted to let u know thati tried this recipe and licked my bowl clean :) Thank you so much for such wonderful recipe. next time i am gonna try onion-potato combi :)

  27. Sophie // 20 August 2009 at 12:51  

    WOW (impressed look). Your eggplant dish looks so yummy.

    Here I bought a sauce pack for Sauce for Spicy Garlic Egg-plant so as to skip all the seasonings! and i will try this friday after work.