Purnima Garg's Eggplant and Tomato Curry

By • September 6, 2009 • 39 Comments


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Author Notes: This recipe came from a co-worker who is from India. I used to walk hopefully to her office every afternoon to see what she was having for lunch. She always shared, and one Thanksgiving came over and showed me several of her recipes, including this one.luvcookbooks

Food52 Review: Japanese eggplant has firmer flesh than regular eggplant, which means it holds up when stewed. We're not sure if that's why luvcookbooks calls for this type, but it works really well here as you simmer slices of the eggplant with canned tomatoes, onion and a mix of spices, including cumin, mustard seeds, coriander and garam masala. Luvcookbooks has you toast the spices and brown the onion, which gives it a richness and sweetness that permeates the dish. Then you add the eggplant and tomatoes and cook them until the eggplant is tender. (You'll need to add water a few times to keep the pan from drying out.) In less than 20 minutes, you'll have a wonderful, fragrant dish that would be great with grilled lamb or roasted chicken. - A&MA&M

Serves 4-6

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 4 Japanese (long and thin) eggplants, sliced 1/2 inch thick
  • 1 serrano chile, seeded and chopped fine
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 14 ounces canned diced tomatoes, with juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  1. Heat oil in a large frying pan until it shimmers. Add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds and heat about 30 seconds, until they pop.
  2. Add the sliced onions, and stir occasionally over medium high heat until they are deep brown in spots (this will take a while, but makes a big difference to the taste and they won't burn if you are careful).
  3. Add the eggplant and fry until the skin is turning brown and the flesh just starts to soften. You may have to add a little more oil.
  4. Add the chile, coriander, garam masala, tomatoes, and salt and pepper. Turn heat to medium low and cook until the eggplant is soft. Add a little water if it is getting too dry but it will be more solid than watery.
  5. Serve with white rice, spicy Indian lime pickle, and plain full-fat Greek yogurt (you only use a little yogurt and the low-fat yogurt tastes thin and sour).

Tags: Healthy, quick, Vegetarian

Comments (39) Questions (1)

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8 days ago Rebekah Powell

This is absolutely delicious! I left the seeds in the chili and it was nice and spicy. Easy, gratifying recipe. Thanks!

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7 months ago Tigerlillyblu

Love the simplicity of making this dish, as well as, the fragrant smell and taste it has to offer. Made this recipe a couple times, mostly with japanese eggplants. Today, I used four small italian eggplants because that's all I had. Before cooking the eggplant, I chopped, salted and rinsed them to remove the bitterness (for 30 minutes). Italian eggplants have thicker skins that contain a lot of bitterness. Substituted the serrano chile with two dry chiles and doubled the garam masala. Simmered for 45 minutes. Served over fragrant Indian Basmati rice. Delicious!! Recommend sticking to japanese eggplants or dominican eggplants (beautiful, marbled cream/purple looking eggplants) because their skin has less bitterness, and no salting step is required. Thank you for posting, luvcookbooks

Stringio

about 1 year ago María Pía Castillo Trujillo

Hey wow dr garages recipe on food52! Good work, looks delicious!

Stringio

about 1 year ago María Pía Castillo Trujillo

oh, i think the auto corrector messed up dr. Garg's name! oops

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over 1 year ago johanna

This was really delicious - and easy and quick! I added curry leaves because I had some in the fridge (not sure if that is strictly 'correct' but it tasted good) Thank you!

Birthday_2012

over 1 year ago luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

By me, it's not a strict recipe. I just got a curry plant, will check your variation out once the plant gets bigger.

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over 1 year ago phyllis

I cooked this for dinner tonight and added in some chicken because i didn't have enough eggplant for a meal for two. It was delicious. Thank you.

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over 1 year ago luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

So glad you like it and commented!

Junechamp

over 1 year ago ChefJune

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Oh my goodness! This sounds SO good. I am making it tonight. Going to stop off on the way home to get the eggplant and brown mustard seed.

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over 1 year ago luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

Glad you liked the recipe, let me know how the dish turns out for you. I always serve it as a main dish, did you?

Bri

over 2 years ago ichibanbrianne

I want to make this recipe right now. I LOVE bharta. One thing: do you mean coriander seed, or chopped coriander herb? Cheers!

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over 2 years ago luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

coriander seed
hope u like it

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24 days ago Anu

We usually use coriander powder,not seeds

Bri

over 2 years ago ichibanbrianne

I want to make this recipe right now. I LOVE bharta. One thing: do you mean coriander seed, or chopped coriander herb? Cheers!

Bri

over 2 years ago ichibanbrianne

I want to make this recipe right now. I LOVE bharta. One thing: do you mean coriander seed, or chopped coriander herb? Cheers!

Bri

over 2 years ago ichibanbrianne

I want to make this recipe right now. I LOVE bharta. One thing: do you mean coriander seed, or chopped coriander herb? Cheers!

Birthday_2012

over 2 years ago luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

Heidrun, I tried four times to reply but my answer did not add FOUR times so I'm trying up here. Step 2 will take about 5 minutes, more if you use less oil and less if you use more oil. Depends a little on size of pan, source of heat, etc. Step 3 will take a little more than 5 but not more than 7 or 8, depends on tyype of eggplant and size of pieces. Important part is how they look and roasted smell. Step 4 15-25 minutes, again depending... definitely not an hour and a half!! It's a week night recipe in one pot, my fave kind.

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over 2 years ago Heidrun

I realize that these times all vary quite a bit, but can you give a rough idea of how long you expect steps 2, 3 and 4 to take each? I want to sort of plan out this meal, but I can't tell if it will take a half hour or an hour and a half.

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over 2 years ago luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

Hi, step 2 will take about 5 minutes, more if you use less oil and less if you use more oil, depends a bit on conditions like heat, size of pan, how fine you chop your onions, etc. Step 3 a little more than 5 minutes, depending on what kind of eggplant and the size of the pieces. The important thing in each step is making sure the color is right. Also, don't add too much oil to the eggplants, they are very greedy! The fourth step will take 15 to 25 minutes, again depending... definitely not an hour and a half, thank goodness! It's a weeknight supper dish in one pot, my favorite kind. Hope this is helpful.

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over 2 years ago luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

This is my third try of getting this answer to add! Step 2 will take about 5 minutes, more if you use less oil and less if you use more oil. Depends a bit on your pan size, source of heat, etc. Step 3 a little more than 5 minutes, depending on type of eggplant and how big the pieces are, but no more than 7 or 8. The important thing is the color at each step and the roasted smell. Also don't add too much oil to the eggplant, they are very greedy! Step 4 15 to 25 minutes, again depending... definitely not an hour and a half!! It's a weeknight dinner in one pot, my favorite kind. Hope this is helpful and REALLY hope it adds this time.

Stringio

over 2 years ago crazyblues

made this for the second time, tonight. yum. it's an easy recipe, with a lovely complicated taste. I am a certified born again eggplant eater. Thanks for loosening me up.

Birthday_2012

over 2 years ago luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

Glad you like it! I'm trying to recreate a family friend's eggplant curry that roasts, peels, and mashes the eggplant. Will post when it's ready. I'm glad you think it's a complex taste, it has a main dish flavor that vegetables don't always have. And amen to being born again :)
;

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over 2 years ago galleyslave

I've got a recipe very like this for a stew that includes garbanzos, which makes it a real stick-to-your-ribs meal, and fabulous with a slice of garlic bread.

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over 2 years ago luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

luv chickpea curry, too= an even more popular recipe with my family.

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over 2 years ago VanessaS

This is the second time I've made this, and I think it's becoming my favorite eggplant recipe. So good!

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over 2 years ago luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

Glad you like it. I have a new favorite that is a sweet and spicy Chinese Eggplant based on a Barbara Tropp recipe. My son will eat a whole pan like it's popcorn.

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over 2 years ago luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

Glad you liked it. I have another new favorite, a sweet and spicy Chinese Eggplant based on a Barbara Tropp recipe. My son will eat it like popcorn.

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over 2 years ago luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

Glad you liked it. I have another new favorite, a sweet and spicy Chinese Eggplant based on a Barbara Tropp recipe. My son will eat it like popcorn.

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over 3 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Terrific recipe!! I made it on Friday, adding a few fresh string beans toward the end of the cooking to get some more color onto the table. Served over brown basmati with a spoonful of lacto-fermented mint and coriander chutney (now a favorite staple in my fridge), some cucumber raita, and my "everyday" masoor dal with cauliflower and carrots. This one's a keeper, to be sure. ;o)

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over 3 years ago luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

I'm going to look up the chutney recipe, sounds delicious
I add spinach sometimes for the same reason, to add some color
glad you liked it!

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almost 4 years ago luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

I'm glad you liked the recipe, let me know how it comes out.

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almost 4 years ago dymnyno

This sounds so great that I am making it tonight! my Japanese eggplants are not ready yet so I have to use a big one.

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over 2 years ago luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

Just seeing this, glad you liked the recipe. It's still good with a big eggplant.

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over 4 years ago Rhonda35

Absolutely delicious! I used regular eggplant and cut each slice into quarters. Then I salted it, let it drain and rinsed it to reduce bitterness. Only other change I made was I added 1 T good-quality curry powder when I added the eggplant to the onions. This is a recipe that I will return to again and again. Super-easy to make, too. Thanks for sharing!

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6 months ago Andochina

This looks like another great vegetarian recipe. Question: If I can find Japanese eggplants do you think I can skip salting and draining it in the colander and just slice and add directly?
Thanks Again

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6 months ago luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

Definitely skip salting and draining if you have Japanese eggplants, hope it turns out well for you!

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over 4 years ago luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

If you use a globe eggplant, slice it a little thinner and cut each slice into quarters. It doesn't hold its shape like the Japanese eggplant and it's a little bitter. I put some chopped fresh cilantro in for the last five minutes with a globe eggplant.

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over 4 years ago Bev

I suggest that canola oil be replaced with ghee (clarified butter). My reasons are 2-fold: Canola oil is now compromised as a likely GM (genetically modified) food and there is no labeling that assures us eaters that it is safe. The other more tasty reason is that ghee gives a buttery, nutty flavor and appeal that is superior in all ways, aside from being the traditional oil used in Indian cooking. Thank you

Ml

over 4 years ago Michelle_SF

Made it today for lunch tomorrow. It's already delicious, but I know it will taste even better after a day. It took a little longer to cook than I thought, but maybe that's because I used globe eggplant?