Eggplant in Exotic Spices

If you are a fan of Aachari Baingan, then try this healthier and quick version of the original favorite in which the eggplant is deep fried. After many experiments, I came up with this recipe to maintain the taste and yet do away with the oil. For those very special occasions, I still revert back to the ‘old faithful’, but to feed my family on a normal basis, this one works great.


Oil – 1 tbsp
Kalonji ( Onion Seeds) – ½ tsp
Saunf ( Fennel Seeds) – 1 tsp
Jeera ( Cumin Seeds) – ½ tsp
Rai ( Mustard Seeds) – ½ tsp
Haldi – ½ tsp
Ginger– 1 tsp (roughly crushed)
Garlic – 1 tsp (grated)
Diced tomatoes – 1, 14.5oz cans
Salt – to taste
Chili powder – ½ tsp or to taste
Eggplant – 4 long Chinese style, diced

1. Heat oil in a wok (Kadai) and put in all seeds- Onion, Fennel, Cumin and Mustard.
2. Once the Mustard Seeds sputter and the Jeera seeds get a golden color, add Haldi, Ginger and Garlic – sauté for a minute.
3. Add in tomatoes and cook covered, stirring frequently, till the mixture leaves oil.
4. Add in diced Eggplant, mix well and cook covered on medium heat till Eggplant looks done. Be careful not to overcook.
5. Season with Salt and Chili powder, mix well and serve hot.

1. Be careful not to burn the tomatoes. Hover around the stove while this is cooking.
2. The secret to this recipe lies in the Tomatoes mixture cooking well, so have patience and enjoy the process.

Watch & learn:

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0 thoughts on “Eggplant in Exotic Spices

  1. Could you please also mention the number of fresh tomatoes that can be used in place of a can of tomatoes? thanks a lot 🙂

    1. Hi Naira,

      It will always depend on the size of the tomatoes and the variety. If I had to guess, I would say about 4 medium.

  2. hi…ur receipes are so useful…can u pls tell me how to do 2 rajasthani receipes they are channa MAsala(kabuli channa) and onions masala (i.e they slit onions 4 sides but dont cut completely and fill some dry masalas and shallow fry can u tell the process)

    pls waiting fro ur response…thx

  3. The eggplant glut continues and this recipe looks good so I’ll be trying it out this coming week using passata.

    Am I right in thinking that the spices you fry at the start are essentially panch puran less the methi seeds? And if so, is there any reason not to use panch puran instead? TIA

    Milady 🙂

    1. Hi Milady,

      Yes, it is basically panch puran. This is one of our older videos and we had not introduced panch puran yet :).

  4. I made this for dinner and it came out very good. It is such an easy, quick and tasty recipe anybody can make it without spending much time.
    Thanks for posting.

  5. Hi Hetal and Anuja

    I made this for lunch today .. and it came out very tasty .. and not to mention .. rather a quick recipe .. thanks ..

    Am not able to see the food network site .. It says … “Not allowed to view in your country” … Germany … Anyways .. All the Very Best to you both …

  6. hi Hetal and Anuja
    This is a wonderful site that i have seen and its simple to make ur recipes.i hope u continue like this till end.i have never tried ur recipes yet but i would love to try as if im tamilian and settled in france so it helps me to improve my cook.thanks so much for your delightful recipes.keep it up……

  7. Awesome recipe. I’ve made it a few times now and it seems to taste better each time. I like the healthy spin you put on it as well. Your website is really great but I do have one recipe request. Can you show a recipe to make turnips (shelgham)? It is a vegetable I find so much, but I haven’t found a recipe I really like. Thanks 🙂 Keep up the great work!

  8. I was wondering how you make the original sabji. ie the less healthy way. It would be good to know, as that version is probably what I would make when we have guests.
    keep up the good work

  9. Hi, Hetal and Anuja,
    Thanks for the wonderful recipes. I tried 5-6 of them and all are really tasty. I will apreciate if you post stuffed eggplant(BHARELA RIGAN) or stuffed okra (BHARELA BHINDA)and UNDIU recpies. thanks again for the yummy recipes.

  10. Hello Ladies
    Just wanted to let you know that I made this for last night’s dinner and it was yummy….I just made half the recipe as I was not sure if my hubby would like it but he loved it and so did I….Thank you and keep up the good work….

  11. Great recipe. Tried it and loved it. I have had Aachari paneer rolls (kati rolls) in NYC and was wondering if you would demonstrate a kati roll recipe (any kind).
    Can we also substitute the eggplant with potatoes/panneer etc.

  12. Thanks :)guys, thanks a lot for this yummy recipe. I am a PURE Non vegetarian 😉 and I think ten times before cooking any vegetarian items but this one turened out so good – Thanks again , makes me more eager to dwell into the veg world…

  13. Hi mam!!

    Thank u for clarifying my doubt! Ill go ahead and make it and let u know how it turned! Thank you very much for clarifying my doubt.


  14. Hi Priya,

    The eggplant available in the american stores (big, fat one) will not be as good in this recipe. The Chinese eggplants are available in most Indian or Asian stores. Recently, we have been seeing them at Walmart also. They have a very good taste and softer (tender) texture. You can use these in sambar also but be careful not to overcook since they tend to be more tender than the big ones.

    This recipe is especially great for those that usually don’t like eggplant. It tastes great with chapati.

  15. hi mam!!
    My husband says the usual egg plant that we get in american stores is not good. I dont know its specific name. But i did see this chinese egg plant that u mentioned a few days back here in a american store. Can i go ahead and buy it? Will it give that indian taste of “Brinjal”. Im a tamilian so,can i use this chinese eggplant in my regular sambar? I don like eggplant right from my childhood. me….this dish is so tempting…my mouth was literally watering !! 🙂 Can this be had with chappati unlike any vegges???
    thank you,

  16. Hi, looking forward to trying this out. Thanks for sharing these wonderful recipes.

    Do you mind suggesting alternatives for the onion seed and the fennel seed. For onion would onion, or onion powder work. I am hesitant about strong fennel flavors.


  17. hi hetal n anuja,both of u r doing a fabulous job,i luv ur recipes,they r easy to make n healthy,i luved this eggplant recipe,earlier we used to have only fried eggplants or bharta,but this one proved eggplant can be used as curry,thanx a lot,God bless u both,regards.

  18. Thanks Anuja! I used to cook it before by seasoning it with salt in the beginning, like everything else! And used to wonder why my baingan don’t turn out like the others. I used to think maybe because I use less oil. This time I followed your recipe and sure enough, that made a difference. This was the best baingain I’ve made so far! I didn’t have the long eggplant, so I used the big eggplants, but it was a fabulous dish! Next time I’ll use the long eggplants and I think the skin would not be as hard as it was this time.

  19. The reason we salt at the end is to avoid the eggplant from releasing too much water and becoming mushy. This dish is great when you can see the pieces of Eggplant and it is not a mushy dish.
    Hope that helps. Enjoy!

  20. What is the reason to add salt after the cooking process?

    Thanks a lot for all the wonderful recipes. I’m trying these Baingan right now!

  21. I would like to see some curry recipes that can be poured on rice. Also some more fish recipes in this website. I love the videos it is very straightforward and easy to follow. Thanks!! Keep up the good work!!
    I love eggplant and that’s why I wanted to try this. 🙂

  22. im an iranian living in dubai so i got used to the indian food here and i love it.. i have been trying out your recipes for my fiance who is from kerala and he is so hard to please but these days he cant wait to get back home just to try the new dishes i have prepared for him and for once he wont tell me my food doesnot have spices 🙂 thanks to you both..i love this show and i specially love this dish 🙂

  23. I tried this recipe recently and it turned out really well. Eggplant is not my husbands fav vegetable, but I was surprised when he went for extra servings with this recipe.

    This recipe is going to stay on my fav list.


  24. Thanks for your e-mail and your feedback. Eggplant is a very underestimated vegetable and we are so glad to hear you liked this one.
    Thanks again
    Hetal & Anuja
    ShowMeTheCurry team

  25. For someone that drools at the very mention of eggplant and one of the few that likes eggplant in my family, this recipe is god-sent. The very first time that I ate this dish, I fell in love with it. Thank you Anuja & Hetal for publishing. Don’t blame me if some of my friends start emailing you.

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