Brinjal Curry Recipe (Eggplant Curry)
Brinjal Curry, an everyday Indian curried dish made with eggplants, onions, tomatoes, herbs and spices. This one pot comforting curry is quick to make under 25 mins & is packed with delicious flavors. In India, brinjal curry is made in so many ways. Apart from this simplest recipe, I have also shared a few stuffed eggplant curry recipes like Gutti Vanakaya, Bharwa Baingan and Hyderabadi Bagara Baingan.
But all of them do take some time, as the nuts and seeds are roasted, cooled and then ground. So this simple brinjal curry comes to rescue when you are longing for something quick and simple. You can also easily make variations to the basic recipe I have shared here.
For a simple Indian meal, serve it over rice or with any Indian flatbreads of your choice like roti or parathas.
Brinjal also known as aubergine or eggplant is a widely used vegetable in Indian cuisine. It is a low calorie veggie that has some nutrients like iron and minerals. It is widely used to make curry, sambar, chutney, stir fry and bharta.
If you love eggplants you will love these Eggplant recipes I have shared earlier:
Brinjal Stir Fry
Eggplants come in different varieties, sizes and colors. The flavor, texture and taste of your brinjal curry depends on the kind used. Every variety has a different texture & taste.
While the larger varieties have a spongy texture and won’t dissolve in the curry easily. The smaller variety are more tender so they cook up to softer and mushy texture quickly. This gives a thicker curry & the brinjal soaks up all the flavors quickly.
In South India, smaller varieties are more commonly used for curry. These taste buttery and are more flavorful after cooking. These come in 2 colors – purple and green. However any kind of brinjals can be used but tender brinjal with no seeds or lesser seeds taste best. Here is the picture of the kind of brinjals I have used.
My recipe will help you make a simple South Indian style vankaya curry. Read my tips section for variations.
More simple curry recipes,
Raw banana curry
Bitter gourd curry
How to Make Brinjal Curry (Stepwise photos)
1. Chop 1 large or 2 medium onions, 1 large or 2 medium tomatoes and 1 green chili. I prefer to deseed the tomatoes for this curry. If you want you can also puree them in a blender. We will need ¾ to 1 cup onions and ¾ to 1 tomatoes.
2. Wash and cube 250 grams of brinjals. Immerse them in a bowl of water to prevent bitter taste and discoloring. I usually add ¼ tsp of salt to the water as it prevents the veggie from turning bitter. But if left long, brinjal will absorb the salt. So do it just before using them.
Make Onion Tomato Masala
3. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a pot. Add ¼ teaspoon mustard seeds and ½ cumin seeds. When they begin to splutter add 1 sprig curry leaves. Fry for a minute.
4. Then add onions and fry until golden or transparent.
5. Next fry 1 teaspoon ginger garlic, just until a nice aroma comes out.
6. Then add tomatoes and sprinkle ¼ teaspoon salt. Fry for about 2 mins and then cook covered until the tomatoes turn mushy.
7. Add ½ to 1 teaspoon red chili powder, 1 teaspoon garam masala and 1/8 teaspoon turmeric. You can add all of these to suit your taste.
8. Saute until the raw smell of chili powder goes away. The masala turns aromatic at this stage.
Make Eggplant Curry
9. Remove the brinjal cubes from water and add to the pot.
10. Saute them for 3 mins on a medium heat.
11. Pour half cup water. If you prefer a dry brinjal curry then reduce the water. Add as and when needed while you cook.
12. Mix and cook covered on a low flame.
13. When the brinjal is cooked, you will notice the skin turns loose or wilted depending on the kind of eggplants used. It turns soft too.
14. Taste test and add more salt if needed. You want you can simmer this longer until the eggplants turn mushy. Optional – Pour ¼ cup thick coconut milk and stir well. When the brinjal curry begins to bubble turn off the heat. Sprinkle coriander leaves if you have.
Serve brinjal curry with rice or roti, chapati.
- Buy fresh young brinjals from fresh/ framers market. Use them up as early as possible as newly picked ones are rarely bitter. The longer they sit in the supermarkets or in fridge, they are more likely to taste bitter.
- Choose small to medium sized young eggplants as they have lesser seeds. If you still find seeds, remove them as they store the bitter taste in them.
- Add the chopped brinjals to salted water as this prevents them from discoloring and turning bitter. If you find any seeds, remove them first and then add to salted water.
- Do not leave the cut brinjals uncooked too long. I always chop them while the onions are sautéed so they don’t sit on the counter for longer.
- Cut eggplants soak up salt if you leave them for too long in the water. So add salt with caution while you cook.
Variations of Eggplant Curry
- This recipe uses minimal amount of spices. Traditional Indian dishes are lighter in the usage of spices, keeping the flavor of vegetables intact, so does this recipe. You may adjust the spices to your taste. You may use more garam masala, curry powder or even sambar powder if you prefer.
- This recipe gives you a moderate amount of gravy. For more gravy, you may add ¼ cup of thick coconut milk at the last step before turning off the stove. For a dry curry, add lesser water and evaporate most of the liquid.
- My Mom would always make brinjal curry with green peas as they impart a sweeter tone to the curry. You can use ¾ cup fresh or frozen green peas. To use fresh peas, add them when the brinjals are half cooked. If using frozen, add them towards the end, 2 mins before turning off the stove.
- Sometimes I also add 1 to 2 medium potatoes that are diced to 1 inch pieces. I add them along with the eggplants. The curry will take a little longer but the flavors are great. You will need to up all the ground spices and salt if you use potatoes.
Brinjal Curry Recipe (Eggplant Curry)
For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card
Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )
- 250 grams brinjal (9 oz, young fresh eggplants)
- 2 tbsp oil
- ¼ teaspoon mustard seeds
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds (Jeera)
- 1 sprig curry leaves (skip if you don’t have)
- ¾ to 1 cup onions chopped finely (1 large or 2 medium)
- 1 green chili (chopped or slit)
- ¾ to 1 cup tomato chopped or pureed (1 large or 2 medium)
- 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste or fine chopped garlic
- ½ to 1 teaspoon red chili powder (adjust to taste)
- ⅛ teaspoon turmeric
- ⅓ teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
- 1 teaspoon garam masala (or curry powder as needed, adjust to taste)
- 2 tbsp coriander leaves chopped (optional)
- To make brinjal curry, first add oil to a pan and heat it. Next add mustard & cumin seeds.
- When they begin to pop, add the curry leaves. Fry for about a minute.
- Then add onions and green chili. Saute them stirring occasionally until they turn golden.
- While the onions fry, rinse and cube brinjals. If you find any seeds, cut them up and discard.
- Keep them immersed in a bowl of water with ¼ tsp salt. This prevents discoloring & avoids bitter taste in the eggplants.
- When the onions turn golden, add ginger garlic and saute until the raw smell goes off. This takes about 40 to 60 seconds.
- Then add tomatoes and salt. Fry for 2 mins. Cook covered until the tomatoes turn soft & mushy.
- Then add red chilli powder, turmeric and garam masala. Saute until the masala turns fragrant.
How to Make Brinjal Curry
- Drain the water and add chopped brinjal to the pan. Saute for 2 to 3 mins on a medium flame.
- Pour half cup water. Cover and cook till the brinjals turns soft and tender. If you prefer a dry curry then reduce the water.
- Simmer till the brinjal curry becomes thick & slightly mushy. Taste test and add more salt, red chilli powder or garam masala if needed.
- For a gravy curry, add thick coconut milk and simmer for a minute.
- When the curry begins to bubble, turn off the heat and sprinkle coriander leaves.
- Serve brinjal curry with rice, roti or any flatbreads.
- To save time, prepare as you cook. You only need to chop the onions and begin cooking, prepare the rest as you cook.
- To avoid bitter taste, use fresh and young eggplants with no or lesser seeds.
Immersing chopped eggplants in salted water prevents them from turning bitter and darker. However if left too long, they soak up the salt as well. So adjust the amount of salt in your curry accordingly.
- Use good flavorful garam masala or curry powder. Every spice powder is different. If your curry does not turn flavorful, it is because of the spice powder. So add more to suit your taste.
- You can also use sambar powder, curry powder or pav bhaji masala as a substitute to garam masala.
- Add upto ¾ cup green peas or 1 medium potato diced to 1 inch cubes for variation.
- For a more flavorful gravy, use ¼ cup thick coconut milk at the last step and simmer just for a minute.
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.
NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)
© Swasthi’s Recipes
Recipe first published in November 2015. Updated and republished in March 2021.
I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills.
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Best curried eggplant. have tried others but yours is delicious, will definitely make again. Add coconut cream as suggested, I like gravy. turned out really good thanks. Im gonna check out some of your other recipes now.
Thank you so much Kaye.
I followed this eggplant recipe to the letter (except for cooking the eggplants almost twice once in the oven and next in the sauce) and it was mega delicious. I love to throw in a large potato and cook the dish in vegetable broth. Absolutely delicious! Will make this again.
Wow! love how you made it. Yes I too add potatoes a lot of times. Thank you Tara.
Hi there! This recipe looks great. Unfortunately I don’t have scales. Do you think 250gms would be equal to one or two medium sized eggplants?
Hi, Use 2½ cups chopped pieces (about ¾ inch pieces)
Making and eating this curry took me back to what my father used to make which was an okra dish so similar to this. I made basmati rice, naan and “tandoori” chicken, tomato cucumber salad and the eggplant curry complimented all flavours so well, and also with lime and mango pickles too so I had to serve with both! Thank you very much 🙂
Glad to know Leela! That’s really awesome!
Thank you so much!
I just love all yr recipes. Every dish of yrs comes out well swasthi no doubt on it.
Thank you so much!
Thank you Saipriya
Great curry and doesn’t take too long. I skipped the green chillies and curry leaves as I didn’t have them, but the flavour was slightly ‘flat’ at the end. Added a squeeze of tomato puree, a little lemon juice and quarter teaspoon more salt and it was perfect. I’d love to try it with the green chillies and curry leaves – next time!
“12. Mix and cook covered on a low flame.”
Roughly, how many minutes does this step take? You don’t mention.
Cook time depends on the kind of brinjals. In the next step I mentioned how it looks once it is cooked
I loved this eggplant recipe! I can’t wait to receive the eggplants from my neighbors garden to make it. I use Japanese eggplants, which I love!
Thank you for the recipe!
I keep a few Indian spices in my pantry because I love Indian food!
Welcome! So glad you liked it!
Thank you so much for leaving a comment!!
Thank you for sharing the recipe. Aubergine is one of my favourite vegetables and I am going to make this dish.
In my local supermarket, I see some large yellow lime (indvidually wrapped sometimes) which says Curry Lime. I would be grateful if you could advise me on this (how to use it/recipe for curry perhaps?).
You are welcome! I guess it is the curry cucumber. If yes then you may check the cucumber curry recipe here. If you are not sure it is the same, you can take a look at the curry cucumber itself on this post: dosakaya pachadi.
Hope this helps
I’ve cooked this so many times before and it always turns out great and incredibly tasty!
Glad to know! Thank you!
Swasthi, simple to follow and delectable to eat. This was so amazing. My family enjoyed eating this recipe of brinjal for the first time in their life!! Only change was instead of lime juice I put tomatoes. Made our day in this lock down.
Glad your family loved it. Thank you so much!
THANK YOU! THIS IS A GREAT RECIPE. A REAL KEEPER!
You are welcome!
It is so yummy.
Had to adjust salt and chilli powder durung eating.
Good in rice and chapati too.
Thanks a lot.
You are welcome! Glad to know
This turned out amazing! Pre-fried the brinjal, also added some coconut milk to the curry, and the gravy turned a beautiful shade of red. Thanks for the recipe!
You are welcome! Glad to know
Love that you used coconut milk.
Hi, the gravy didn’t turn out as thick as ur pic shows. Why do you think so?
Some kinds of brinjals are very tender. When slightly overcooked the gravy turns thick as some of the pieces dissolve in the gravy. I used the smaller kind of purple eggplants here.You can just mashup some of the pieces. Hope this helps
Lovely curry. It was very easy to make and big on flavors.
Thanks for trying Tama,
Glad you liked it
The gravy in last pic looks yummy. But not the one which you cooked and took pic of. Why is it so?
It is the same curry cooked and shown in the first and last picture. They look different because both are shot with different cameras with different lighting source. The last pic was shot with the day light so it looks good.
how many cups of chopped brinjals make 250g?
They will come upto 2.5 to 3 cups.
I tried a lot of recipes from your blog and 90% of the time it comes our well. Thank you for the recipes ita easy for the beginners and its turns out well
Thanks for trying. Glad to know the recipes are useful. 10% whenever your dish doesn’t turn out good please leave a comment I will help you to fix it or at least let you know where you went wrong.