Vegan Masaledar Baingan {spiced eggplant}

by Kiran on September 4, 2012 · 50 comments

in Curries, Indian, Vegan, Vegetarian


I don’t know what to crib about? Whether on the fact that fall is so fast upon us, or the political debates on every news channel these days?

Either way, I’m more than ready for a cup of pumpkin spice latte. Oh, don’t tell me you are not one of those people hogging Starbucks for this flavor every fall?


Since there isn’t any pumpkin popping up anytime soon (thank goodness!), let’s talk about or eat eggplant today.

Growing up, I loathed even at the idea of eating eggplant. And don’t tell me you loved eating it when you were an itty-bitty kid. Because that would just sound, well, finicky in my opinion.

But my mom had some tricks under her sleeve.

Well, literally.

She used eggplant in curries, tomato sauces and soups just to get me eating. I found my liking in curries and never stopped devouring eggplants ever since.

Ok, so I developed the taste for curries at a very tender age. Which Indian wouldn’t? Curries are chock-full of flavor, I could just slurp on it all day long provided the weather beckons it as well.

The notion that curries are, well, difficult to make is definitely not the case. If your pantry is equipped with some basic spices, you can easily whip up a pot of steaming homemade curry in no time.

Make this simple yummy recipe and let me know how easy it is to whip up curry — I’m crossing my fingers this challenge would not backfire on me.

Mmmm…. well, let’s throw in crossed toes as well just to be on the safer side 😉

Print This Recipe Print This Recipe


  • 8 – 10 baby eggplants, quartered
  • 2 cups water, boiled
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tbsp ginger
  • 3 – 4 green chilies
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 small star anise
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 8 – 10 fresh curry leaves
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Spice powder – dry roast 1 tsp whole cumin seeds, coriander seeds and 1/2 tsp cardamom seeds. Cool and finely grind into powder.


  1. In a medium saucepan with boiling water, add quartered eggplants and pinch of salt. Boil eggplants until half-cooked or for 2 minutes.
  2. Blend red onion, garlic cloves, ginger and green chilies and tomato into a smooth paste.
  3. Heat a large non-stick saucepan on medium. Once pan is hot, add coconut oil. Sprinkle in cumin seeds, mustard seeds, star anise, fresh curry leaves and turmeric powder. Fry until fragrant for 30 seconds.
  4. Add blended onion + tomato paste and fry for at least 10 to 12 minutes or until oil begins separating.
  5. Sprinkle in fresh spice powder and fry for a few more minutes until fragrant.
  6. Add half-cooked eggplants, coconut milk, salt and hot water. Stir to combine and cook covered for 15 minutes or until oil separates and eggplants are fully cooked.
  7. Serve hot with chapati/brown rice, with a cool and refreshing side salad.

Off to play catch-up on our DVR, including a few hours worth of The Big Bang Theory.

Yeah, priorities.

Love or hate curry? What’s your favorite curry and TV show? Curry + TV? A great combo in my opinion 😉


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Comments on this entry are closed.

1 Kristina September 4, 2012 at 11:58 PM

I just posted about the pumpkin chai shake I made yesterday… 😉

Kiran this sounds so very good – I have always loved eggplant (well, mom never made it when I was a kid, so…) and these flavors sound perfect! I will be trying this!

your photos are stunning as always.
Kristina recently posted..apples Caesar and chai, oh my!

2 Kiran September 11, 2012 at 12:03 AM

Kristina — thanks love. Do let me know how it tastes (if you tried this recipe).

ps: I need to check out your pumpkin chai shake recipe. Sounds delish 🙂

3 Choc Chip Uru September 5, 2012 at 1:21 AM

Eggplant curry is one of my favorites my friend, yours looks beautiful 🙂

Choc Chip Uru
Choc Chip Uru recently posted..Guest Post #4: Rustic Blueberry Tart

4 Rosa September 5, 2012 at 1:40 AM

A fabulous dish! Eggplants go so well with coconut milk and spices. Scrumptious.



5 Tadka Pasta September 5, 2012 at 1:47 AM

Can’t crib about this eggplant curry, it looks rich and delicious! And yeah, totally looking forward to those pumpkin spiced lattes!
Tadka Pasta recently posted..Summery Toast with Herby Notes

6 Raymund September 5, 2012 at 1:58 AM

Very nice photography! As always, I am impressed with your work both the recipe and creatives
Raymund recently posted..Berry Panna Cotta

7 Kiran September 11, 2012 at 12:04 AM

Raymund — thanks so much for the compliments and encouragements, my friend 🙂

8 chinmayie @ love food eat September 5, 2012 at 3:20 AM

I LOVE eggplant in any form! This curry had me drooling 🙂
chinmayie @ love food eat recently posted..A Vegetarian’s Thailand (Photo Post – 3)

9 Erica { } September 5, 2012 at 7:10 AM

I’ve never had curry!
:::hangs head in shame:::

Although, I do think Big Bang Theory is one of the greatest shows on TV, if that counts for anything 🙂
Erica { } recently posted..Food Rut Rectified + My Favorite Healthy Lunch

10 Kiran September 11, 2012 at 12:06 AM

Erica — totally agree about BBT!

11 Katie September 5, 2012 at 7:21 AM

This looks great. I think I would love to try this dish. Question, second ingredient says 2 cups boiled? Do you mean boiled water?
Katie recently posted..Key West Grilled Chicken Wings

12 Kiran September 11, 2012 at 12:08 AM

Katie — thanks for sighting the error. It’s corrected and yes, I meant boiled water 😀

Let me know how it tastes!

13 Helene Dsouza I Masala Herb September 5, 2012 at 10:11 AM

I realized that as well, kids don’t like eggplants…

However, nowadays it’s one of my favorite veggies. I want to try your curry, its different compared to the Goan curry what I am used to. Never ever cooked curry with star anise *Blush*. Does your curry belong to any particular region(s) in India?
Helene Dsouza I Masala Herb recently posted..Comment on Rare Indian Berries and more North Goa Impressions by Guest Post: Tartiflette | Five Euro Food

14 Kiran September 11, 2012 at 12:12 AM

Helene — I developed this recipe from scratch and it doesn’t belong to any particular regions in India. We use star anise in many curry recipes in Malaysia. Try it and let me know how it tastes 🙂

15 Faith September 5, 2012 at 11:00 AM

I LOVE curries (and eggplant!) and this is gorgeous. You’re so right, curries are easy to whip up if you have a well-stocked pantry!
Faith recently posted..Peanut Butter, Banana, & Honey Muffins

16 Kiran September 11, 2012 at 12:13 AM

Faith — thanks my dear 🙂

17 Aggie September 5, 2012 at 11:11 AM

This is my favorite dish to order out!! Im a little intimidated making it at home, but I will try your recipe soon (when I get adventurous). This looks SO delicious!!!

18 Kiran September 11, 2012 at 12:14 AM

Aggie — the perception about making curries are overrated. Let me know if I can assist you with anything 🙂

19 fabiola@notjustbaked September 5, 2012 at 12:36 PM

I am obsessed with curry, seriously. I devour it like no ones business! I love the way it smells through the whole house. waking up all of my senses. I cannot wait for Parenthood to start next, so excited!!!!
fabiola@notjustbaked recently posted..Enchiladas con Salsa Verde

20 Kiran September 11, 2012 at 12:25 AM

Fabiola — I’ve never watched Parenthood before. More curious now than ever 🙂

21 Juliana September 5, 2012 at 3:25 PM

Oh Kiran, these baby eggplants are so cute…and the recipe with curry looks and sounds delicious…I will have to try this out soon…we love eggplants and I am always looking for recipe 🙂
Thanks for the recipe and hope you are having a fun week!

22 Kiran September 11, 2012 at 1:06 PM

Juliana — thanks dear, and do let me know how it tastes 🙂

23 Laura (Tutti Dolci) September 6, 2012 at 12:31 AM

I love curry, the eggplant is perfect here!
Laura (Tutti Dolci) recently ebelskivers with nutella glaze

24 Cass @foodmyfriend September 6, 2012 at 1:12 AM

Those eggplants are beautiful Kiran 🙂 What a lovely vegan dish. I do a fair bit of vegan cooking but I need more hearty recipes like this!
Cass @foodmyfriend recently posted..Chai Spiced Cake with Fluffy Cinnamon Icing

25 Kiran September 11, 2012 at 3:10 PM

Cass — I didn’t realize it was vegan until after cooking 😉

26 Nami | Just One Cookbook September 6, 2012 at 2:34 AM

I’m a huge eggplant lover and eat at least once a week! This one looks so good, and I can dip chapati in this. Hmmm delicious!!
Nami | Just One Cookbook recently posted..Onigiri | Rice Balls おにぎり

27 Richa September 6, 2012 at 3:10 AM

you sound just like me and your mom like mine.:) my mom would mash up cooked eggplants into daals if i made a fuss about eating the pieces:)
i still make a bit of a fuss with them, but like them in bhartas, stuffed or a good masaledaar curry version!:))
the masala looks and sounds fabulous!
Richa recently posted..Beet Root and Beet Greens Stir fry. Vegan Glutenfree Indian recipe

28 Divya September 6, 2012 at 12:42 PM

Beautiful pictures and a delicious looking dish! I’m not the biggest fan of eggplant, but I think cooked like this, I can’t say no.

29 amy @ fearless homemaker September 6, 2012 at 5:20 PM

I never ate eggplant until a few years ago + it’s really grown on me. This version looks lovely, like something i’d eat massive amounts of. YUM!
amy @ fearless homemaker recently, cheddar + bacon quesadillas

30 Averie @ Averie Cooks September 6, 2012 at 5:28 PM

I’m horrible when it comes to making eggplant – I never seem to get it JUST exactly write so love your post and recipe. Need to try it!

31 Russell van Kraayenburg September 6, 2012 at 6:35 PM

This recipe looks fantastic! And I love eggplant. Yum!
Russell van Kraayenburg recently posted..Kitchen 101: Meat Cuts

32 Ashley - Baker by Nature September 6, 2012 at 8:11 PM

I’ve been buying a ton of eggplant lately, and running out of ideas for what to do with it! Making this – yummmm!
Ashley – Baker by Nature recently posted..Bacon and Cheese Roasted Corn Salad

33 Jen L | Tartine and Apron Strings September 6, 2012 at 8:14 PM

Absolutely delicious eggplant dish! I never used to like eggplants as well. I think it’s the texture. But now that I’m older, I just adore them! Your version is very interesting. I like spice-y stuff!
Jen L | Tartine and Apron Strings recently posted..Cured Hamachi with Mango-Peppercorn Salsa and Wasabi-Edamame Purée

34 French spoon September 7, 2012 at 10:07 AM

looks delicious!
French spoon recently posted..Frozen macarons

35 Swati September 10, 2012 at 1:57 PM

I am trying this tonight with the half cut brinjal in my refrigerator…hope the end result looks as good as yours 🙂
Swati recently sun-filled harbor

36 Angie@Angie's Recipes September 10, 2012 at 3:12 PM

You might not believe, but I have never had those egg-shaped eggplants! Gorgeous clicks!
Angie@Angie’s Recipes recently posted..Roasted Hokkaido Coconut Soup

37 Cucina italiana September 11, 2012 at 5:35 AM

What a wonderful dish! This is the perfect recipe for my vegetarian friend. Thanks.

38 Jamie September 14, 2012 at 12:37 PM

Oh my your photos are stunning! Gorgeous! And I don’t even remember eating eggplant when I was a kid – don’t remember the first time I even tried it. I love it now. And I definitely would love to try a bowl of this beautiful curry!
Jamie recently posted..CHOCOLATE BERRY RUM TRIFLE

39 turmericnspice September 15, 2012 at 10:24 PM

i love the texture of your curry ….

my favorite curry is egg curry
turmericnspice recently posted..Cupcake Party

40 Denise September 16, 2012 at 1:20 AM

Are curry leaves easy to find? Are they at Whole Foods or regular grocery stores? If not can I just use curry power or paste?

41 Debs @ The Spanish Wok September 16, 2012 at 11:11 AM

Curry, love it. Who doesn’t? Friday and/or Saturday nights are for curry here LOL. Perfect recipe for my event this month, come join in…..
Debs @ The Spanish Wok recently posted..To Grind or Not To Grind?

42 The Mistress of Spices September 18, 2012 at 2:23 PM

What a gorgeous looking eggplant curry, I will most definitely have to try it! Especially because I was one of those weird kids who always liked eggplant, and now even more so 😉 Congrats on today’s top 9 as well!

43 Charul @ Tadka Masala October 2, 2012 at 11:39 AM

I made this today. Substituted the coconut milk with some curd.
Somehow mine did not look as good as yours but it tasted delicious. Will try again for the same color and look.
Charul @ Tadka Masala recently posted..Butter Cookies with Nutella

44 Paul May 25, 2014 at 2:02 PM

Making this today. Cannot wait!

45 Ariana July 7, 2014 at 9:58 PM

I just made this curry and I gotta say I love it. I made a few changes for personal preference like adding three times as much coconut milk as I love gravy. I put in jalapeño peppers as well as green chillies. Also I put in crushed tomatoes and I chopped my onion garlic and ginger by hand. It was still amazing. Will be making it again and again. Thank you!!!

46 Kiran July 7, 2014 at 10:03 PM

Ariana — Hello and I’m so glad you loved this recipe. Recipes in general are meant to be personalized and I’m so happy you made it to suit your palate. Happy cooking!

47 Maheen Yaqoob August 23, 2014 at 6:49 AM

I made this and it was AHMAAAAAZIIIINNNG! So delicious!

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