Sour and Spicy Eggplant

In this dish, eggplant pieces are cooked in tamarind water and finally, enlivened with a spicy coconut paste. This has well-rounded flavour and goes well with plain white rice or roti.


Serves 4 to 6


500g brinjal, chopped into ½-inch cubes

5-8 dried red chiili peppers

2 teaspoons coriander seeds

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 teaspoon dried peanuts

½ teaspoon white sesame seeds

Vegetable oil to cook

¼ cup/25g finely grated coconut

1 tablespoon de-seeded tamarind pulp

1 medium onion, finely chopped

Salt to taste

¼ teaspoon turmeric powder



  1. Place the eggplant cubes in a bowl of water.
  2. In a pan, separately roast the red-chilli peppers, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, peanuts and sesame seeds until fragrant, adding a few drops of oil as required. Transfer them to a bowl.
  3. Add the grated coconut to the pan and roast until slightly golden. Transfer to the bowl and let cool to the room temperature.
  4. Using an electric blender, blend all the roasted ingredients to a thick, smooth paste, adding water a little at a time.
  5. Extract the juice of tamarind in 2 cups/500ml water and discard the pulp.
  6. Add 2 tablespoons oil in a medium pan and place over medium-low heat.
  7. Add the onions and cook, until golden, stirring frequently.
  8. Drain the eggplant, discarding the water, and add to the pan. Add the salt and turmeric powder. Mix.
  9. Add the tamarind water. Cover and cook, until the eggplant cubes are tender, stirring occasionally.
  10. Add the paste from the blender. Mix well. If it’s too dry, you may add some water as required. Mix.
  11. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. The final consistency of the dish should be semi-dry.
  12. Taste and adjust the seasoning as required. Remove from the heat.
  13. Leave for 30 minutes for the flavours to blend, before serving.

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