Eggplant curry is a spicy preparation of aubergines, cooked in a thick gravy. The dish is considered to be a staple in many parts of India and is also relished by the residents of the Far East, particularly Thailand. Mustard, cumin, coriander, and fenugreek are some of the usual spices required to cook the curry. The recipe for curried aubergine varies from region to region with Bagara Baingan, being an extremely popular dish of Southern India.
The dish can be cooked with finger eggplants or the larger sized ones. While the curries often require the eggplants to be fried or grilled, a coconut and yogurt based gravy can be prepared with cubed pieces of aubergines being allowed to simmer in it.
The baked eggplant curry originated in the United States of America. Curry powder, tomato puree, peppers and chopped onions are the other ingredients required to prepare it. The Indian dish may also be prepared with additional vegetables, the potato being the most popular among them. Cabbages, peas, cauliflower, and carrots are also added to the curry occasionally. The Maharastrian version of the curry uses roasted peanut powder as the main garnish instead of coriander or cilantro.
Eggplant Curry is usually served hot with steamed rice or a variety of Indian flatbreads. However, the variants may be consumed as an entire meal or a standalone dish.
Overview of Eggplant Curry Recipe
The first step of the preparing the curry begins by tempering cumin seeds in hot vegetable oil and frying onions in it. Curry powder or the individual spices like turmeric, chili, coriander, and cumin in the powdered form are added next. Chopped tomatoes and green chilies are also included before sauteeing the mixture briefly. A cupful of water is then added to the spices and brought to a boil before the heat is reduced and the curry starts simmering. The diced eggplant pieces go into the simmering curry which is seasoned with salt and served after sprinkling the curry with a pinch of garam masala powder.
Popular Variations of Eggplant Curry Recipes
There are numerous variations of the eggplant curries, prepared according to regional preferences. The most popular among them are:-
- Baigan Bharta- A form of roasted or grilled eggplants being cooked with spices and yogurt. This variant is not gravy based and is usually served with Indian breads.
- Bagara Baigan- A typical curried eggplant dish, popular in the South of India, is prepared by adding spices and ground, roasted peanuts and sesame seeds to fried eggplants. Tamarind extract is added to impart it a rich sour flavor.
- Thai Eggplant Massaman Curry- A dish of green, striped eggplants cooked with the Massaman paste along with coconut milk, keffir lime leaves and roasted peanuts.
- Mchuzi wa Biringani- A Swahili dish cooked with eggplants and curry powder and containing minced meat as an additional ingredient.
Eggplant curry is also used as a spicy pizza topping in USA.