Purnima Garg's Eggplant and Tomato Curry

September 6, 2009


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&MThe Editors

Serves: 4-6
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 20 min

Ingredients

  • 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
In This Recipe

Directions

  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).

More Great Recipes:
Indian|Cumin|Vegetable|Curry|Eggplant|Mustard|Tomato|Coriander|Fry|Summer|Vegan|Vegetarian

Reviews (44) Questions (1)

44 Reviews

betsyg October 22, 2018
I am preparing to make this a second time and my mouth is watering. It is very easy and fast to cook. Excellent leftover.
 
Author Comment
luvcookbooks October 24, 2018
Thanks for commenting! I think it makes an excellent lunch leftover.
 
shannon August 14, 2014
Fantastic way to use in season veggies! I subbed in chilis in adobo sauce and it worked great. My kids absolutely loved it and went back for seconds.
 
Hannah M. August 5, 2014
Made this a few nights ago and it was absolutely brilliant!<br />I added some cinnamon (because I'm a cinnamon freak and also it works surprisingly well with tomatoes) and upped all the other spices a bit. I served it with rice (brown, for chewiness) and the dish won me some new friends :)
 
geli June 28, 2014
Great recipe. I tried this last night with some normal eggplant and threw in a yellow squash. I'm sure the consistency was different as the eggplant fell apart a little too quick relative to the squash. But it tasted marvelous. And a quick and easy recipe too. I would love to try this again with some okra.
 
Rebekah G. April 15, 2014
This is absolutely delicious! I left the seeds in the chili and it was nice and spicy. Easy, gratifying recipe. Thanks!
 
Sofia B. September 15, 2013
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
 
María P. March 26, 2013
Hey wow dr garages recipe on food52! Good work, looks delicious!
 
María P. April 2, 2013
oh, i think the auto corrector messed up dr. Garg's name! oops
 
johanna October 15, 2012
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!
 
Author Comment
luvcookbooks October 15, 2012
By me, it's not a strict recipe. I just got a curry plant, will check your variation out once the plant gets bigger.
 
phyllis August 28, 2012
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.
 
Author Comment
luvcookbooks August 30, 2012
So glad you like it and commented!
 
ChefJune August 27, 2012
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.
 
Author Comment
luvcookbooks August 30, 2012
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?
 
ichibanbrianne December 11, 2011
I want to make this recipe right now. I LOVE bharta. One thing: do you mean coriander seed, or chopped coriander herb? Cheers!
 
Author Comment
luvcookbooks December 12, 2011
coriander seed <br />hope u like it
 
Anu March 30, 2014
We usually use coriander powder,not seeds
 
ichibanbrianne December 11, 2011
I want to make this recipe right now. I LOVE bharta. One thing: do you mean coriander seed, or chopped coriander herb? Cheers!
 
ichibanbrianne December 11, 2011
I want to make this recipe right now. I LOVE bharta. One thing: do you mean coriander seed, or chopped coriander herb? Cheers!
 
ichibanbrianne December 11, 2011
I want to make this recipe right now. I LOVE bharta. One thing: do you mean coriander seed, or chopped coriander herb? Cheers!
 
Author Comment
luvcookbooks December 8, 2011
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.
 
Heidrun December 8, 2011
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.
 
Author Comment
luvcookbooks December 8, 2011
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.
 
Author Comment
luvcookbooks December 8, 2011
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.
 
crazyblues October 24, 2011
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.
 
Author Comment
luvcookbooks December 8, 2011
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 :) <br />;
 
galleyslave September 28, 2011
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.
 
Author Comment
luvcookbooks December 8, 2011
luv chickpea curry, too= an even more popular recipe with my family.
 
VanessaS September 19, 2011
This is the second time I've made this, and I think it's becoming my favorite eggplant recipe. So good!
 
Author Comment
luvcookbooks December 8, 2011
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.
 
Author Comment
luvcookbooks December 8, 2011
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.
 
Author Comment
luvcookbooks December 8, 2011
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.
 
AntoniaJames September 20, 2010
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)
 
Author Comment
luvcookbooks September 20, 2010
I'm going to look up the chutney recipe, sounds delicious <br />I add spinach sometimes for the same reason, to add some color <br />glad you liked it!