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healthy brinjal curry in pot with fresh curry leaves
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3.5 from 2 votes

📋 RECIPE: South Indian Eggplant Curry

South Indian eggplant curry is easy to make vegan curry that is full of amazing flavors! The curry sauce is made from scratch. It has intense smoky flavors from eggplants roasted in pan. A word – this curry is BOLD in FLAVORS, has good amount of heat but not too spicy and VERY TASTY!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Course: curry, mains
Cuisine: Indian, South Indian
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 182kcal


  • 1 lb eggplant brinjal or aubergine (400 grams)
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoon vegetable oil canola oil

Curry Sauce-

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds (also called brown mustard seeds)
  • 1 onion thinly sliced
  • ½ cup tomato pulp or tomato Passata, see Notes 3
  • 1 Serrano peppers optional, use with seeds if you want extra heat
  • 1 tablespoon ginger minced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic minced fine
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 1 cup water plus extra as needed
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • ¼ cup coconut milk thick full cream

Spice Powders –

  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder cayenne pepper – use more if you like to increase heat
  • 2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 3 teaspoon coriander powder


Roasting Eggplants:

  • Chop eggplants lengthwise into half in the center. Cut each half into two(again in the center lengthwise).
  • Cut horizontally making 2 to 3 inch pieces.
  • Sprinkle 1 teaspoon kosher salt and ½ teaspoon turmeric powder on the eggplants.
  • Toss to coat each piece of eggplant well.
  • Heat 2 tablespoon of cooking oil(canola oil) in a large skillet or pan.
  • Arrange eggplants in single row in the pan. Roast eggplants in small batches if you have to, make sure you don’t over crowd the pan.
  • Roast on medium heat 3 to 5 minutes. Flip them over and cook on other side.
  • Eggplants will turn dark brown once roasted. It will be almost cooked and skin will be wilted.
  • Remove it from pot and set aside until use.

Make Curry Sauce:

  • In the same pan add remaining oil. Once oil is hot enough, add black mustard seeds and allow it to crackle.
  • Add onions (sliced or diced) and saute until it turns transparent.
  • Add Serrano peppers (optional), minced ginger-garlic and curry leaves. Cook for a minute constantly stirring.
  • Pour tomato pulp (or tomato passata). Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until tomato is cooked well.
  • It’s time for spice powders. In goes turmeric powder, chili powder (cayenne pepper), cumin powder, coriander powder and salt to taste. Mix well.
  • Pour half cup water and let it come to rapid boil.
  • Add roasted eggplants to the sauce.
  • Partially cover and simmer cook for about 20-30 minutes. Give a gentle stir once or twice and add water as needed if sauce turns too dry. Do NOT add too much water. Your curry should be thick.
  • Pour thick full fat coconut milk and stir well.
  • Wait for a minute and turn off heat.
  • Garnish with fresh coriander leaves.
  • Serve hot with rice, roti(flatbread) or biryani.



  1. Use can use any type of eggplant. Even the smaller ones or baby eggplants. Make sure to cut same size so it cooks evenly.
  2. Roasting eggplants can be done in oven if you prefer that. While roasting eggplants in a pan on stove top, make sure you don’t over crowd them. Roast in one single layer and cook on both side until it’s almost done.
  3. Tomato pulp is made by blanching whole tomatoes in boiling water for 4 minutes. Then remove skin and pulse it in processor. Use can use canned crushed tomatoes as substitute.
  4. Use fresh curry leaves. No substitute for curry leaves, don’t recommend skipping it. If you can’t get fresh, use dried curry leaves, not quite the same flavors, but that is the best substitute for it. Curry leaves gives distinct South Indian flavor which cannot be achieved by using bay leaves in place.
  5. Same goes with mustard seeds. Use black or brown mustard seeds only for authentic South Indian flavor in the curry. Yellow/white mustard seeds won’t work in the same way and won’t give you the same flavor.
  6. If you tasted the real Indian curries, you know that it has layers of spices that hits your palate at different levels. It’s achieved by add different spices like turmeric powder, red chili or cayenne pepper, cumin powder and coriander powder. You can get the same flavors by using curry powder.
  7. This curry is thick, rich and dense in flavors. Use thick full cream coconut milk for the curry.
Nutritional Info – Please keep in mind that nutritional information provided is only a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.
Originally posted in August 2016. Re-posting in October 2020 with new pictures and video.


Calories: 182kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Sodium: 636mg | Potassium: 454mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 191IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 53mg | Iron: 2mg