brinjal curry

Brinjal Curry Recipe (Eggplant Curry)

Updated: April 29, 2023, By Swasthi, Comments, Jump to Recipe

Brinjal Curry aka Eggplant Curry is 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.

Brinjal Curry is Indian Eggplant curry



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 Chapati, roti or parathas.

About Brinjal

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. They are mostly used to make curry, sambar, chutney, stir fry and bharta.

If you love eggplants you will love these Eggplant recipes I have shared earlier:
Eggplant Potato Recipe
Aloo Baingan
Baingan Bharta
Brinjal Chutney
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 eggplant 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 eggplants can be used but tender veggies with no seeds or lesser seeds taste best. Here is the picture of the kind of brinjals I have used here.

brinjal swasthis recipes

My recipe will help you make a simple South Indian style curry. Read my tips section for variations.

More simple curry recipes,
Potato curry
Drumstick curry
Plantain curry (green banana curry)
Bitter gourd curry

How to make Brinjal Curry (Stepwise photos)

Preparation

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 chop them when you are ready to cook.

chopped brinjal in salt water to

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.

tempering spices in oil for brinjal curry

4. Then add onions and 1 slit or chopped green chili. Fry until golden or transparent.

frying onions

5. Next fry 1 teaspoon ginger garlic, just until a nice aroma comes out.

ginger garlic for brinjal curry

6. Then add tomatoes and sprinkle ¼ teaspoon salt. Fry for about 2 mins and then cook covered until the tomatoes turn mushy.

tomatoes for brinjal curry

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 or just use this Curry Powder.

spice in masala

8. Saute until the raw smell of chili powder goes away. The masala turns aromatic at this stage.

saute masala well

Make Eggplant Curry

9. Remove the brinjal cubes from water and add to the pot.

addition of brinjal

10. Saute them for 3 mins on a medium heat.

frying brinjal

11. Pour half cup water. If you prefer a dry brinjal curry then reduce the water. Add as and when needed as you cook.

water to make brinjal curry

12. Mix and cook covered on a low flame.

cook 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.

brinjal is cooked

14. Taste test and add more salt if needed. If u 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.

garnish brinjal curry with coriander leaves

Serve brinjal curry with rice or roti, chapati.

brinjal curry recipe

Pro Tips

  • 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

Related Recipes

Recipe Card

brinjal curry

Brinjal Curry Recipe (Eggplant Curry)

5 from 189 votes
Brinjal curry, a flavorful & delicious Indian dish made in the simplest way with eggplants & pantry staples like onions, spices and herbs. Serve it over rice or with any flatbreads of your choice.
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For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card

Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Servings3
AuthorSwasthi

Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )

  • 250 grams (9 oz) brinjal (young fresh eggplants)
  • 2 tablespoons 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)
  • teaspoon turmeric
  • teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala (or 1 tbsp Curry Powder or as needed, adjust to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons coriander leaves chopped (optional)


Instructions

  • 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.


Notes

  • 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.

Video

NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)

Nutrition Facts
Brinjal Curry Recipe (Eggplant Curry)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 133 Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Fat 9g14%
Sodium 453mg20%
Potassium 324mg9%
Carbohydrates 11g4%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 255IU5%
Vitamin C 28mg34%
Calcium 32mg3%
Iron 0.9mg5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Mention @SwasthisRecipes or tag #swasthisrecipes!

© Swasthi’s Recipes

Recipe first published in November 2015. Updated and republished in March 2021.

Brinjal Curry Recipe (Eggplant Curry)

About Swasthi

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. More about me

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5 stars
I would always oven roast or air fry my globe eggplants before adding to the curry or stew. But never knew soaking them in water brings out the bitterness and hydrates them. I sauteed the soaked eggplants for 5 minutes with the onions and spices to bring out the flavors. My kitchen smells amazing with the garam masala! I made your red lentil curry early this week and had the leftovers today with this curry and basmati rice. Both were delicious! Keep up the great work!

5 stars
Thank you for sharing.

Made this last night and it was delicious. I had everything in the store cupboard bar fresh green chilies so I used a dried one instead. And as I have a curry leaf bush in my garden I used fresh leaves and some dried ones for extra flavour. Thanks, Swasthi

5 stars
Made the egg plant curry it came out well. We really love al yr recipies. Awesome. Pls share some recipies for diabetic people. I am suffering so many years stil unable to bring my sugar down. I request u to share some recipies for me to have. I am 65 years old. Thank u so much.

5 stars
Awesome recipes keep it up…

5 stars
This is my absolute favorite! I lived in a domestic violence shelter many years ago and one of the residents used to make this for me all the time. It makes me think of her. I’ve been trying to replicate her recipe by memory for years until I came across this one. I managed to have most of the ingredients on hand (with the exception of the curry leaves) and made it exactly as instructed. Not only did it fill my belly but it also filled my heart. Thank you for sharing.

5 stars
Amazing! Thanks

5 stars
Thank you swasthi ❤️

Hi Swati, is it ok to add cow’s milk instead of coconut milk

5 stars
Thank you so much for this recipe, we love it and now have it most weeks!

5 stars
Thank you! This eggplant curry tastes authentic.

Super good aroma and taste
Keep it up
God bless

5 stars
Came out really good. I used sambar powder and also peas! Yum! Thanks!!

5 stars
First time I’ve ever prepared an Indian dish. Eggplant Masala is my favourite when at restaurant. I ventured to try preparing it, absolutely divine!!! Thank you!!!

5 stars
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.

5 stars
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.

5 stars
Nice??

4 stars
Loved it, so easy to make

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?

5 stars
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 🙂

5 stars
I just love all yr recipes. Every dish of yrs comes out well swasthi no doubt on it.