Eggplant Curry Recipe | Baingan Curry

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Eggplant curry  or baingan curry is a delicious and flavorful dish that’s popular in many cuisines around the world.

Eggplant, also known as brinjal in some regions, is the star ingredient in this curry.

When cooked properly, eggplant becomes incredibly tender and soaks up the flavors of the spices and sauce, making it a perfect choice for a curry.

This eggplant curry recipe is relatively simple to prepare and can be customized to suit your taste preferences.

Eggplant Curry

Key Takeaways:

  • Eggplant curry is a popular and flavorful dish enjoyed in various cuisines worldwide.
  • Eggplant, also known as brinjal, is the star ingredient in this curry, known for its tender texture.
  • The recipe is versatile and can be customized to suit different taste preferences, whether mild or spicy.
  • Serve eggplant curry with options like steamed rice, naan bread, or crusty bread for a satisfying meal.
  • There are numerous alternatives to eggplant curry, including cauliflower, chickpea, potato, and mushroom curries, among others, to suit various dietary preferences and flavor profiles.

The Ingredients

Eggplant curry ingredients

  • Eggplant or begun: 2 pieces (chunky cut and cleaned)
  • Tomato: 1-piece big size (chopped)
  • Onion: 1-piece big size (chopped)
  • Coriander leaves: 2 tbsp
  • Green chilis: 2 pieces
  • Curry leaves: 1 tbsp
  • Ginger-garlic paste: 2 tbsp
  • Cumin seed: ½ tbsp
  • Roasted spice powder: 2 tbsp (1 tbsp cumin seeds + 1 tbsp coriander seeds + 2 green cardamom)
  • Cumin powder: ½ tbsp
  • Coriander powder: ½ tbsp
  • Turmeric powder: 1 tbsp
  • Kashmiri red chili powder: 1 tbsp
  • Red chili powder: 1 tbsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Mustard oil: 3 tbsp

How to Cook Eggplant Curry (Step by Step Images)?

1. Add 3 tbsp of mustard oil to the wok and heat it up. Put in the cumin seeds and curry leaves, then sauté everything for 2 seconds.

(Expert tip: Add oil according to your preference.)

Adding oil, cumin seeds and curry leaves

2. When the curry leaves and cumin seeds are fried, add the chopped onions. Stir until they turn a light brown color.

Adding the chopped onions stirring

3. Add the chopped tomatoes once the onions are fried. Then sauté everything for 10 seconds until it becomes dry.

Adding the chopped tomatoes

4. Add the green chilis. Break and add them to the spice mixture. Add the ginger-garlic paste and stir-fry for 1 minute until the raw smell dissipates.

Adding the green chilis and ginger-garlic paste

5. As soon as the raw smell from the ginger-garlic paste dissipates, add the powdered spices: turmeric powder, Kashmiri red chili powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, and red chili powder.

Adding turmeric powder, Kashmiri red chili powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, and red chili powder

6. Add 2 tsp of salt and mix well. Now add a little water to cook the spices. Stir well until the raw smell dissipates.

Adding salt and mixing

7. After 1 minute of stirring the spices, add the eggplant pieces and mix thoroughly.

Adding the eggplant pieces and mixing thoroughly

8. When the stirring is done for 1 min, add 1 cup of water. Mix well, then cover.

Adding water and covering with lid

9. After a few minutes of cooking, it is done. Sprinkle coriander leaves and roasted spices, and mix everything well. Turn off the flame.

Sprinkling coriander leaves and roasted spices

10. Transfer the Eggplant Curry to a bowl and enjoy.

Eggplant Curry Featured Image

Pro Tips for Making Best Eggplant Curry

Making the best eggplant curry requires attention to detail and some culinary know-how. Here are some pro tips to help you create a flavorful and satisfying eggplant curry:

Choose the Right Eggplant: Look for eggplants that are firm, smooth-skinned, and free of blemishes. Younger, smaller eggplants tend to be less bitter and have a better texture.

If you’re using larger eggplants, consider salting and draining them to remove excess moisture and bitterness.

Prep the Eggplant: Cut the eggplant into evenly sized pieces to ensure even cooking. If you have the time, you can sprinkle them with salt and let them sit for about 15-30 minutes to draw out moisture and reduce bitterness. Rinse and pat dry before using.

Dry Roasting Spices: Dry roasting whole spices like cumin seeds, coriander seeds, and cardamom pods before grinding or using them in your curry can intensify their flavors. Simply heat them in a dry skillet until fragrant, then grind them as needed.

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Balancing Spices: Achieving the right balance of spices is crucial. Experiment with different combinations of spices like cumin, coriander, turmeric, garam masala, and chili powder to find the flavor profile you prefer.

Layer Flavors: Take your time to build flavors in your curry. Start by sautéing aromatics like onions, garlic, and ginger in oil until they’re well browned. Then add your spices and let them toast briefly before adding other ingredients.

Use Fresh Ingredients: Whenever possible, use fresh herbs like cilantro and fresh tomatoes instead of canned. Fresh ingredients can elevate the flavor of your curry.

Control the Heat: Adjust the level of heat in your curry to your preference. If you like it spicy, add more chili powder or fresh chili peppers. For a milder curry, reduce the amount of heat-inducing ingredients.

Consider a Base: Depending on your preference, you can make your eggplant curry with a tomato-based sauce, a coconut milk base, or a yogurt base. Each will give your curry a distinct flavor and texture, so choose according to your taste.

Simmer Slowly: Allow your curry to simmer slowly to meld the flavors and achieve a rich, thick sauce. This can take some time but is well worth the wait.

Finish with Fresh Herbs: Just before serving, sprinkle fresh cilantro or parsley over your eggplant curry. This adds a burst of fresh flavor and a pop of color to your dish.

With these pro tips in mind, you can create a mouthwatering eggplant curry that’s sure to impress your family and friends. Enjoy your culinary adventure!

What to Serve with Eggplant Curry?

Here are some delicious options to serve with your eggplant curry:

Steamed Rice: A simple and classic choice. Basmati rice or jasmine rice works particularly well with eggplant curry. The fluffy texture of the rice complements the saucy curry.

Naan Bread: Warm, soft naan bread is perfect for scooping up the curry sauce. You can make plain naan or try variations like garlic naan or stuffed naan for added flavor.

Roti or Chapati: These unleavened Indian flatbreads are a great alternative to naan. They’re easy to make and are perfect for soaking up the curry.

Paratha: Flaky and buttery, parathas are another type of Indian flatbread that pairs wonderfully with eggplant curry. You can make plain parathas or stuffed versions like aloo paratha (potato-stuffed) for extra variety.

Pita Bread: If you’re in the mood for a Middle Eastern touch, warm pita bread is a good option. It’s great for scooping up the curry or for making quick wraps.

Feel free to mix and match these side dishes to create a meal that suits your taste preferences and dietary needs. The key is to have a variety of textures and flavors to complement the rich and flavorful eggplant curry.

How Does Eggplant Curry Taste?

Eggplant curry is a flavorful and aromatic dish known for its rich, savory, and slightly spicy taste. The taste of eggplant curry can vary depending on the specific recipe and regional influences, but here are some general characteristics of its flavor:

Umami-Rich: Eggplant has a natural umami quality, which means it contributes a savory, meaty flavor to the curry. When cooked properly, eggplant becomes tender and absorbs the flavors of the spices and sauce, adding depth to the overall taste.

Aromatic: The curry is often fragrant with a blend of spices like cumin, coriander, turmeric, and garam masala. These spices give the dish an aromatic quality that is both inviting and appetizing.

Balanced Heat: Depending on the recipe, eggplant curry can have varying levels of spiciness. It’s typically balanced, with heat from spices like chili powder or fresh chili peppers. The heat level can be adjusted to suit your preferences.

Tangy and Sour: Many eggplant curry recipes include ingredients like tomatoes, tamarind, or yogurt, which can impart a mild tanginess and sourness to the dish. This adds complexity and helps balance the richness.

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Herbaceous: Fresh herbs like cilantro or parsley are often used as garnishes in eggplant curry. They add a bright, herbaceous note to the dish, enhancing its overall flavor profile.

Mild Bitterness: Depending on the type of eggplant used and its preparation, there can be a mild bitterness to the dish. However, this bitterness is often balanced by the other flavors and is not overpowering.

Overall, eggplant curry offers a delightful combination of savory, spicy, tangy, and aromatic flavors.

It’s a versatile dish that can be adjusted to suit your personal taste preferences, whether you prefer it mild or fiery, creamy or tomato-based.

Enjoyed with the right side dishes, it makes for a satisfying and comforting meal.

Eggplant Curry Alternatives

Here are some alternatives to eggplant curry:

Cauliflower Curry: Make a flavorful cauliflower curry by using cauliflower florets as the main ingredient. Cauliflower absorbs the spices and sauces well, resulting in a delicious curry.

Chickpea Curry: Chickpea curry is a popular vegetarian dish made with chickpeas cooked in a tomato-based sauce with a blend of spices. It’s hearty and protein-rich.

Potato Curry (Aloo Curry): Potatoes are a versatile ingredient for curry. You can make aloo curry with diced or whole potatoes in various spice-infused gravies.

Palak Paneer: Palak paneer is a North Indian dish featuring spinach and paneer (Indian cheese) cooked in a creamy tomato-based sauce. It’s a great alternative for those who want a vegetarian option with a rich, creamy texture.

Mushroom Curry: Mushroom curry is a flavorful choice for mushroom lovers. You can use various types of mushrooms and create a savory, aromatic curry.

Mixed Vegetable Curry: Create a colorful and diverse curry by combining various vegetables like carrots, peas, bell peppers, and beans in a rich sauce.

Pumpkin Curry: Similar to butternut squash, pumpkin can be used to create a sweet and savory curry that’s both unique and delicious.

These are just a few alternatives to traditional eggplant curry. The world of curries is vast and diverse, so don’t hesitate to experiment with different ingredients and flavor combinations to find your favorite curry alternatives.

Recipe Card:

Eggplant Curry Featured Image

Eggplant Curry (Baingan Curry)

By Mita Mondal
Eggplant curry is a flavorful and aromatic dish made with eggplant (brinjal) cooked in a spiced gravy, often featuring ingredients like tomatoes, onions, and various spices.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4
Calories 144 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 pieces Eggplant (chunky cut and cleaned)
  • 1 piece Tomato (chopped)
  • 1 piece Onion (chopped)
  • 2 tbsp Coriander leaves
  • 2 pieces Green chili
  • 1 tbsp Curry leaves
  • 2 tbsp Ginger-garlic paste
  • ½ tbsp Cumin seed
  • 2 tbsp Roasted spice powder (1 tbsp cumin seeds + 1 tbsp coriander seeds + 2 green cardamom)
  • ½ tbsp Cumin powder
  • ½ tbsp Coriander powder
  • 1 tbsp Turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp Kashmiri red chili powder
  • 1 tbsp Red chili powder
  • 3 tbsp Mustard oil
  • Salt to taste

Instructions
 

  • Heat 3 tbsp of mustard oil in a wok. Once hot, add cumin seeds and curry leaves, and sauté for 2 seconds. (Pro tip: Adjust the amount of oil according to your preference.)
  • Once the curry leaves and cumin seeds are fragrant, add the chopped onions. Stir until they turn a light brown color.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes to the onions and sauté for about 10 seconds until the mixture becomes dry.
  • Incorporate the green chilis by breaking and adding them to the spice mixture. Also, add the ginger-garlic paste, and stir-fry for 1 minute until the raw smell dissipates.
  • As soon as the raw smell disappears from the ginger-garlic paste, introduce the powdered spices: turmeric powder, Kashmiri red chili powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, and red chili powder.
  • Add 2 tsp of salt and mix thoroughly. Then, add a small amount of water to help cook the spices. Stir until the raw smell dissipates.
  • After about 1 minute of stirring the spices, add the eggplant pieces and mix them in thoroughly.
  • Once the eggplant is well incorporated, pour in 1 cup of water. Mix well and cover.
  • Let it cook for a few minutes until done. Sprinkle fresh coriander leaves and the roasted spice powder, and mix everything thoroughly. Turn off the heat.
  • Transfer the Eggplant Curry to a serving bowl and savor the flavors. Enjoy your meal!

Video

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Notes

Eggplant Selection: Choose fresh, firm eggplants for the best results. Smaller eggplants tend to be less bitter, but larger ones can work well if properly prepared.
Salting Eggplant (Optional): If you're concerned about bitterness in eggplants, you can salt them before cooking. Slice or cube the eggplant, sprinkle with salt, and let it sit for about 15-30 minutes. Rinse and pat dry before using.
Oil Choice: Mustard oil is commonly used in Indian cooking for its unique flavor, but you can use other cooking oils like vegetable oil, canola oil, or even ghee if you prefer.
Spice Levels: Adjust the amount of chili powder or green chilis to control the spiciness of the curry. Taste as you go and add more if needed.
Spice Freshness: Using freshly ground spices can make a significant difference in flavor. Consider grinding your cumin and coriander seeds just before using them.
Consistency: The amount of water you add can affect the consistency of the curry. Add more water if you prefer a thinner sauce or less if you want it thicker.
Covering and Simmering: Cover the pot while simmering to cook the eggplant thoroughly and allow it to absorb the flavors. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
Garnishing: Fresh coriander leaves (cilantro) and roasted spice powder are great garnishes that add freshness and depth to the curry. Don't skip them if possible.
Make It Vegan: To make this curry completely vegan, use a plant-based oil instead of ghee or butter.
Serving Suggestions: Enjoy eggplant curry with rice, naan, or any other bread of your choice. A side of yogurt or raita can complement the spiciness.
Storage: Eggplant curry can be refrigerated for a few days. Reheat gently on the stovetop or in the microwave before serving.
Customization: Feel free to add other vegetables like bell peppers, peas, or potatoes to the curry to create variations in flavor and texture.
Experiment: Don't be afraid to experiment with spices and flavors to make the curry your own. You can try different combinations of spices or even add a splash of coconut milk for a creamy twist.
Patience: Let the curry simmer slowly to allow the flavors to meld and develop. This extra time is often worth it for a richer taste.
With these recipe notes in mind, you can confidently prepare a delicious and customized eggplant curry that suits your taste preferences.

Nutrition Info (Estimation Only)

Nutrition Facts
Eggplant Curry (Baingan Curry)
Amount per Serving
Calories
 
144
Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
12
g
18
%
Saturated Fat
 
1
g
6
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
3
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
7
g
Sodium
 
948
mg
41
%
Potassium
 
272
mg
8
%
Carbohydrates
 
9
g
3
%
Fiber
 
3
g
13
%
 
2
g
2
%
Protein
 
2
g
4
%
Vitamin A
 
1755
IU
35
%
Vitamin C
 
155
mg
188
%
Calcium
 
76
mg
8
%
Iron
 
3
mg
17
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Conclusion

Eggplant curry is a basic, easy-to-cook, and highly delectable dish.

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Anyone can prepare it with some common Indian spices, and it is an all-season recipe.

Eggplant curry is best served with roti and rice. It can be enjoyed during both lunch and dinner times.

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