Begare baingan

Spiced eggplant with tamarind

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Lands of the Curry Leaf

Lands of the Curry Leaf

By Peter Kuruvita

Published 2018

  • About

I love the creamy texture of eggplant; it is such a flavour magnet. This is a very simple dish, with a twist of sourness from the tamarind. Serve with rice or roti, or as a condiment for other dishes.

Preparation 15 minutes
Cooking 15 minutes


  • 8 long, thin eggplants (aubergines)
  • 2 tablespoons crushed dried red chillies
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon ajwain seeds
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons salt, or to taste
  • 4 Indian green chillies, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons virgin coconut oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh Garlic paste
  • 2 tablespoons tamarind paste, tamarind pureé or Tamarind chutney, mixed with a little water
  • 1 bunch coriander (cilantro), chopped
  • ½ bunch mint, leaves picked
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

To Garnish

  • sliced Indian green chillies
  • coriander (cilantro) sprigs
  • lemon slices


Leaving the skin on, cut the eggplant into 2.5 cm (1 inch) chunks. Place in a bowl and sprinkle with the spices and salt. Toss to coat the eggplant with the spices. Mix the chopped green chilli and ginger through and set aside.

Heat the coconut oil in a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, along with the ginger garlic paste and garlic paste. Cook, stirring, for 2–3 minutes, until fragrant.

Add the eggplant and mix well to combine. Stir in the tamarind paste, coriander and mint and cook for 10 minutes, stirring now and then.

Just before serving, stir the lemon juice through. Serve garnished with green chilli, coriander and lemon slices.