Aubergine curry: an easy recipe for a side dish

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Aubergine curry

This aubergine curry is a side dish recipe based on Pakistani style of cooking. 

As always, I tweaked the recipe a little bit, in spice proportion and the method. However, I can assure you that this aubergine curry recipe is quick to make and delicious to eat. 

If you do how I do by using two frying pans at the same time, it should take you approximately half an hour to make the dish. So it’s an ideal choice for when you fancy a comfort vegetarian food that can be ready in no time. 

This vegan dish somehow reminds me of Indonesian Balado Terong. At the same time, it also reminds me of Turkish Imam Bayildi – that I featured in one of my Eid festive food ideas

The difference lies in the spices and cooking methods.

a dish of aubergine curry

Ingredients for aubergine curry baingan

Tomatoes, aubergine, onion, and some spices to make aubergine curry

Aubergine/ Eggplant/ Baingan

Needless to say, the main ingredient for this dish is Aubergine which is also called eggplant in some parts of the world. And it is called Baingan in Urdu. 

Onion

I used red onion when I cooked this aubergine in curry sauce for the photoshoot for this post. However, you can use yellow/brown onion. They’re the same.

Spices

For this simple and easy aubergine in a curry side dish, I use ground coriander, ground cumin, turmeric powder, chilli powder, and ground black pepper.

I also use fresh ginger and garlic paste. 

Tomatoes

Although I used fresh tomatoes for this recipe, you can always substitute it with canned/ tinned tomatoes. One can of chopped tomatoes is more than enough for this recipe.

Oil

You can use any type of cooking oil that you prefer. I personally use rapeseed oil or sunflower oil mostly. You will only need three tablespoons of oil for this eggplant curry recipe.

How to make aubergine curry in Pakistani style

The original recipe that I learned from my sister in law uses the method of cooking the raw aubergine pieces in the spice masala.

I prefer pan-roast the eggplant pieces first before I cook them in the curry sauce

aubergine pieces sprinkled with salt
1. sprinkle some salt over aubergines.
aubergines soaked in water
2. rinsing and washing the aubergines
aubergines pieces ready to cook
3. rinsed and squeezed aubergines
pan roasted aubergines
4. pan-roasted aubergines

And before I roast the veggie on a frying pan without oil, I would sprinkle the aubergine chunks with salt and let it rest while I get on with my sauce. Then after about 10 minutes when the aubergines release the sap, I rinse them with water and carefully squeeze the water as much as I can. 

I find this trick makes the aubergines taste fresher and tastier.

frying onions on the pan
1. fry the onion
frying onions with spices for aubergine curry
2. add the spices
tomato in spice masala for aubergine curry
3. add the tomatoes
spice masala for aubergine curry
4. the spice masala is ready

Then fry the aubergine pieces on a frying pan without anything. Stir it every now and again.

At the same time, make the curry sauce by frying the onion on a cooking pan.

When onion becomes slightly brown, add all the spices and fry until it gives aroma.

Add in the tomatoes and cook until they are softened. Mash the tomatoes as much as you can. When the curry sauce becomes smooth and thick, add the roasted aubergine in the sauce. And cook further for about 5 minutes with the cover on. 

Pakistani aubergine curry

Ways to enjoy aubergine dry curry

Unlike some curries, this aubergine curry is slightly dry. It doesn’t have much sauce or gravy. 

So the dish is lovely to enjoy with roti/ chapati, naan bread, pitta bread, or flatbread.

However, I personally love to eat it with plain rice. Maybe because in Indonesia we enjoy our aubergine curry – which is called Balado Terong – with rice. As you might know, rice is the main staple for Indonesians. So I’m used to having rice as well.

As a side dish, this eggplant curry is nice to pair with other similar dry curries such as Aloo Palak (potato and spinach curry), Aloo keema (minced meat and potato curry), lamb keema matar (lamb minced-meat curry with green peas), or chicken and peppers curry.

Aubergine curry recipe 

aubergine curry cooked in Pakistani style

Aubergine curry

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

This aubergine curry is delicious to eat with roti/ chapati, naan bread, pitta bread, or flatbread.

Ingredients

  • 300 gr/ 10.58 oz = 1 large aubergine, cut in 1 inch chunks.
  • 1 medium onion, chopped.
  • 2 beef tomatoes, chopped.
  • ½ inch ginger, finely minced.
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely minced.
  • 1 tsp ground coriander.
  • 1 tsp ground cumin.
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder.
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder.
  • ½ ground black pepper.
  • ¾ tsp salt, and a little bit more to wash aubergine.
  • 3 tbsp cooking oil.

Instructions

  1. Sprinkle some salt all over the aubergine. Set aside until the aubergine sweats, releasing its sap.
  2. When the aubergine releases its sap, rinse it with water and then carefully squeeze them as much as you can. Take care not to break the aubergine.
  3. Fry the aubergine pieces on a pan without oil. Keep stirring every now and again. Until all the aubergine is nicely browned.
  4. In the meantime, fry the onion until lightly golden and then add in the ginger-garlic paste, turmeric powder, coriander, cumin, chilli, black pepper, and salt. Cook further until all the spices give aroma.
  5. Then add in the chopped tomatoes. Give it a stir and let it cook with the lid on. Keep checking. When all the tomatoes become soft, mash them with a wooden spoon until you have a nice smooth sauce. Let it simmer until the oil slightly separates from the spice masala.
  6. Finally, add in the pan-roasted aubergine chunks into the spice masala. Stir and cook it with the lid on for about 5-10 minutes until the aubergine is soft and tender with a nice thick curry sauce.

Notes

  • If you don’t have Kashmiri chilli powder, you can substitute it with a mix of paprika powder and chilli powder. Or just use chilli powder. The difference is that Kashmiri chilli and paprika powder have an intense red colour that gives the dish a more vibrant colour. 
  • You can use any cooking oil that you like. I use either rapeseed oil or sunflower oil. 

Nutrition Information
Yield 4 Serving Size 1 Amount Per Serving Calories 354Total Fat 20gSaturated Fat 4gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 14gCholesterol 37mgSodium 479mgCarbohydrates 33gFiber 9gSugar 12gProtein 15g

The nutrition calculation you find here is just a guide provided by online nutrition calculator. You should not use to substitute advice from nutritionists or health practitioners.

Did you try the recipe?

Share how you like the recipe in the comments below and show a picture of your creation

Related posts

I hope you enjoy the post and you’re now intrigued to try this easy recipe for aubergine curry. If you did, it would be awesome if you could share what you think about the recipe in the comments below. Or, perhaps you want to share things you did to improvise the recipe? I’m sure others will love to learn it too. 

Before you go, don’t forget to check my other recipes that you may like. 

Thank you and all the best.

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  1. Love the inspiration for this recipe and the aubergine soaked in salt at the beginning some really useful tips that I would’ve never have thought of! I’m looking forward to making this recipe.

    1. Devy Dar Devy Dar Author says:

      Thank you. Hope it goes well with trying the recipe.

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