Baby eggplant curry, an authentic Indian side dish that is hot, spicy, slightly tangy. The gravy is most desirable to serve with Indian staple food Biryani.
This baby eggplant curry also called brinjal curry made with onion, tomato, tamarind. A make-ahead, and freezer-friendly recipe, an excellent to pair up with rice.
Brinjal or baby eggplant you can call whatever way you want to. The name 'Eggplant' has a significant connection with the shape of the vegetable. But really I wonder why it is named as brinjal in India.
There might be a reason, root, or even history can be behind it. But the factors do not impact the food. All I can acknowledge it as the best vegetable that compliments well with other ingredients.
Brinjal/eggplant and Biryani are inseparable. A good biryani has to be accompanied by the best side dish. This Baby eggplant curry gives an authentic South Indian taste and flavor, everyone in my family begs me to make.
How to make Baby eggplant curry
Fresh baby brinjals are good for this recipe. Chop off the tail and give a nice gentle slit into 4 leaving 1/2 inch at the bottom.
Heat oil in the pan, fry these brinjals in medium flame and stir them occasionally.
Continue to fry them until the center of the eggplant well done. Remove from the oil.
To the same pan, black pepper, cumin seeds, and cinnamon stick. When they turn golden brown, add finely chopped onion. Continue to saute them till the onion becomes soft and tender.
Then add roughly chopped tomato. To make the tomato cooks faster and even add little salt while sauteing, as it helps the onion and tomato to turn little mushy.
Add red chili powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, and garam masala. And saute it for a minute, in medium-low heat.
The masalas should not get burned or undercooked. Burnt masala will spoil the dish, less sauteed masala will take a longer time to get cooked completely.
Add water and salt. In medium heat cook it until the masalas mixture cooked completely.
Add the kept aside fried brinjals and further cook it until it reached your desired consistency.
- Try adding green peas, this makes the gravy looks appealing.
- In this replace the baby eggplant with mushroom, potato, or paneer(Indian cottage cheese). To make the family believe that you are making different food every time, but actually, you are just replacing the main ingredient.
- Substitute sesame oil with butter or ghee for rich flavors.
How to serve?
- Serve as a side dish to the biryani(Indian spiced rice).
- Plus, simple plain rice is also a fabulous companion.
- This dish is spicy and excellent to pair up with any mild food.
- Indian dishes like roti, idli, or dosa are excellent to serve with.
- These are my hand picks main course, Hyderabadi dum Biryani, Veg biryani, Bagara Rice, and methi biryani.
The recipe FAQ
Yes, but the texture slightly varies from the Indian eggplant. The western eggplants tend to get cooked quickly and has a spongy texture. I would suggest you cut the eggplant like small strips to mimic the Indian eggplant's texture.
Baby eggplants(brinjal) are available in Indian or Asian stores. I usually get them from my nearby Indian store, here in Pennsylvania.
Yes, this is an authentic South Indian recipe, hence called for sesame seed oil. But it can be substituted with any neutral-flavored oil like canola oil or vegetable oil. Or enhance the taste with switching to butter or clarified butter(ghee).
Baby eggplant curry
- 5 tbsp sesame oil or any neutral-flavored cooking oil
- 500 grams baby eggplant / brinjal-slit lengthwise leaving 1/2 inch at the bottom
- 2 tbsp black pepper
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 inch cinnamon
- 1/2 cup onion finely chopped
- 1/2 cup tomato roughly chopped
- 1 tsp red chili powder
- 3 tsp coriander powder
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 11/2 cup water
- 1 tsp salt or as required
- 1 cup vegetable oil for frying
- Over medium heat, place a pan and add sesame oil and brinjal.
- Fry until the center of the eggplant is cooked thoroughly.
- Transfer to plate and set aside.
- In the same pan over medium heat, add black pepper, cumin seeds, and cinnamon stick.
- When they turn golden brown, add finely chopped onion.
- Continue to saute them till the onion becomes soft and tender.
- Then add tomato and saute until tomato becomes mushy(You may add a quarter teaspoon of salt to make it cook evenly).
- Add red chili powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, and garam masala.
- Turn the heat to medium-low and saute it for a minute. Make sure the spices should not get burned or undercooked.
- Add a cup of water and salt.
- Turn to medium heat and cook for 12 minutes or until the masalas in the mixture cooked completely.
- Finally, add the kept aside fried brinjals.
- Finally cook for 2 minutes or until it reach your desired consistency.
Other curry recipes
- Lima bean curry
- Mung bean curry
- Indian cauliflower curry
- Capsicum curry recipe
- Indian potato peas curry
- Instant pot potato curry
- Indian cabbage curry
- Indian salmon curry
- Moong vadi curry
- Malai kofta curry
- Indian okra curry
- Potato spinach curry