Brinjal In Tangy Sauce (Gulla Bol Huli)

Brinjal In Tangy Sauce (Gulla Bol Huli)

Bol huli, majjige huli, muddu huli are delicious curries from the Brahmin community of Udupi, forming an integral part of Udupi cuisine. My hometown Udupi has an equal population of Brahmins (the Kannada speaking guys) and Konkanis (Konkani speaking guys). These delicious curries from them have definitely influenced us Konkanis. Bol hulis and muddu hulis are spicy, tangy curries, while majjige huli is made using buttermilk/yoghurt and is mild. 

Bol hulis are watery-semi thick curries made without using coconut. That explains the name given to it, bolu huli. (Hard to explain that in English. You'll know what I mean if you know Kannada.) 

Bol hulis are made from different veggies - brinjals, ash gourds, lady's finger, capsicums. But my favourite is gulla bol huli made using matti gullas of Udupi. 

Udupi matti gullas are a special type of eggplant/aubergine/brinjal found in Udupi. You can read all about matti gulla here. They have centuries-old legacy and are believed to be one of the tastiest variety of brinjal. Gulla bol huli - a spicy, tangy, simple huli/curry made out of matti gulla is simply out of the world.

Matti gulla:

You can make bol huli using any green brinjal, if you can’t find matti gulla. However, you might complain the authentic taste of gulla is missing, if you have had matti gulla bol huli before. :-)

Gulla bol huli is served as an accompaniment with rice, as a curry or as a side dish to go with rice for lunch and dinner. And we at home enjoy this delish curry as-is, we don't like rice getting in the way. :-) 

To make gulla bol huli, brinjals are cooked well along with green chillies, tamarind, salt, red chilli powder, turmeric, little jaggery and toor dal. Finished with loads of fresh coriander and coconut oil to make a flavourful, yummy huli/curry.

An easy to prepare dish that is absolutely lip smacking, when the ingredients are added in the right amounts.


  • 2 medium sized matti gulla/brinjals
  • 4-5 green chillies
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 lemon sized tamarind
  • 1/2 teaspoon of red chilli powder (optional)
  • A pinch of turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of powdered jaggery
  • 1/2 cup toor dal
  • 1/2 cup fresh coriander
  • 2-3 tablespoons of coconut oil

Serves: 3-4

Preparation Time: 35 minutes

Method of preparation:

1. Pressure cook toor dal until they are well cooked and mushy.

2. Heat up 2 cups of water in a cooking vessel.

3. Meanwhile soak tamarind in hot water for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, nicely squeeze the tamarind in the water using your hands so that the tamarind pulp dissolves in the water as much as possible.

4. Meanwhile wash, chop the matti gulla/brinjals into big dices, add them into a bowl of water so that they don't oxidize. Brinjal pieces also give out any bitterness present in them into the water - called as chogru in Kannada, Konkani.

5. Once the water's boiling hot, add in well cooked toor dal, diced matti gulla/brinjal, jaggery, salt, turmeric, red chilli powder, slit green chillies, tamarind water(straining out any tamarind pieces left out) into it.

6. Cook them on medium heat with occassional stirring until the brinjal is well done, in the end we need chunky pieces of brinjal in the bol huli along with some smashed, dissolved brinjal in it for a nice thickness to the curry. 

Well cooked toor dal also helps make this curry little thick and gives it it's character. But toor dal should be used in right quantity or it could over power the taste of brinjal in the curry.  

7. Cooking the brinjals along with all other ingredients makes this curry delish.

8. Once the brinjal's cooked through and you have a comparitively thick gravy, remove it off heat.

9. Immediately add finely chopped fresh coriander, coconut oil on top and mix well.

10. Serve the curry hot along with rice.

P.S: Jaggery is added just to balance the dish. We need a spicy, tangy gravy. Check and adjust salt, green chillies and other ingredients used.

Find recipe for Udupi cuisine's famous majjige huli here

Tags: matti gulla, gulla, bol huli, side dish, brinjal, Mangalore food, Udupi cuisine, curry.