Brinjal Curry, Baingan / Eggplant Masala Recipe

Brinjal Curry or Eggplant Masala is an absolutely tempting vegetarian dish, coated with a thick gravy, teeming with spices and tamarind. You will love the spicy, tangy gravy, that tastes like a pleasing South Indian fish curry. Yes, you heard me right, it is like a vegetarian fish curry. 😊 You must have tasted various Brinjal dishes, but this Brinjal Masala curry, would really blow your taste buds! Brinjal was never in my favourite list, and it is prepared only few times a year at my home. Brinjal Masala or Baingan Masala fry are the only Brinjal dishes that my hubby and kids welcome.

It was Renuchechi, my talented, bubbly, dear friend and neighbor, who gave this classic recipe for Brinjal curry. She is a talented homemaker and artist, and recently we had a delicious lunch get together at her home, where everyone was raving about her “fishless” fish curry. It was so flavorful and tasty, that, I had to ask her for the Brinjal curry recipe. I have tried to simplify her recipe without compromising on the taste and flavours. Although I never use store bought Fish Masala powders, I tried it as directed by her, as I didn’t want to go wrong on this one. It came out perfect! But for those who do not want to use the fish masala, please check my video recipe, as I have adjusted the spices to get that perfect taste like fish masala. All thanks to dear Renuchechi for her wonderful recipe.

Tomatoes and Tamarind gives this Brinjal curry a tangy flavour and the coconut milk perfectly balances all flavours. It reminded me of my spicy and Tangy fish curry which is another tasty recipe for the fish curry lovers. If you are not a big fan of spicy food, cut down on green chilies and spices, it would still be very tempting with delicious flavors. Brinjal Masala curry is now in my favourite vegetarian list like Cauliflower Mappas, Aloo Gobi, Black chickpeas and Potato Curry, Kadachakka Mappas and Vendakka Mappas.

With the Christmas Noyambu/abstinence going on, this Brinjal curry is a great and healthy lunch option for one and all. Also check my Vegetarian lunch and dinner recipes like Paneer Korma, Butter Paneer, Palak Paneer, Aloo Gobi, Soya cutlets, Pepper Mushroom, Soya Manchurian, Kadachakka MappasMushroom Masala, Bhindi Masala, Vendakka Mappas, Gobi Manchurian, Tomato rice in coconut milk, Paneer rice, Pulao etc. If you like vegetarian recipes, do not forget to check my Aloo Shimla Mirch recipe, a wonderful combination dish of slow roasted Potatoes and Capsicum.

Brinjal is also known as Eggplant or Aubergine; in Kerala, it is called Vazhuthananga or Kathirikka. It has proven health benefits (check below) and is rich in iron and minerals. Small purple Brinjals were used in this recipe as it has unique taste and flavors. Here is the delectable recipe for spicy Brinjal Curry. Enjoy!

Ingredients for Brinjal Curry:

Small purple Brinjal: 4 nos
Small Onion/ Pearl Onion: 1 handful
Garlic: 12 cloves
Ginger: 1” piece
Green Chilly: 2 nos.
Coriander Powder: 1 ½ tsp
Kashmiri Chili powder: 1 ½ tsp or 2 tsp
Turmeric Powder:  ½ tsp + ¼ tsp
Pepper Powder: ½ tsp
Fish Masala (any good brand): 1 ½ tbsp *
Tomato: 2 nos
Tamarind (Valan Puli/ Sambar Puli): small lime size ball
Curry leaves: 3 sprigs
Coconut Milk: 1 cup (thin) Half cup thick milk
Coconut Oil: 2 tbsp
Mustards, shallot, curry leaves: for garnish

Note: If you do not want to use Fish Masala, check the video for ingredients.

Step by step recipe for Brinjal Curry

  1. Clean and cut the Brinjal into half inch-thick slices. Marinate with turmeric powder and salt for 20 minutes.
  2. Heat 1 tsp coconut oil in a pan and shallow fry the Brinjal pieces till slightly brown. Keep aside.

Brinjal Curry, Baingan/Eggplant Masala Brinjal Curry, Baingan/Eggplant Masala

  1. In the same pan, pour more coconut oil and fry sliced garlic and chopped ginger.
  2. Add slit green chilies and curry leaves.
  3. Then add sliced pearl onions/ shallots and sauté for a while.
  4. Once it is transparent, add Coriander powder, Chili Powder, Turmeric Powder, Pepper Powder and Fish Masala (Check video if you don’t want fish masala).
  5. Pour little water in intervals and fry (to avoid burning of Masala).
  6. Slice the tomatoes and add to the gravy. Fry till the tomatoes are mashed.

Brinjal Curry, Baingan/Eggplant Masala Brinjal Curry, Baingan/Eggplant Masala Brinjal Curry, Baingan/Eggplant Masala Brinjal Curry, Baingan/Eggplant Masala

  1. Soak tamarind in half cup water and extract juice.
  2. Pour the tamarind juice and thin coconut milk to the gravy. Let it boil and add the Brinjal pieces and combine well.
  3. Cover the pan with a lid and cook on slow fire for few minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Lastly, add half cup thick coconut milk, combine and take off the flame.

Brinjal Curry, Baingan/Eggplant Masala Brinjal Curry, Baingan/Eggplant Masala Brinjal Curry, Baingan/Eggplant Masala

  1. Transfer to a plate. In another pan, heat little oil and crackle mustards, fry curry leaves, shallots and pour over the Brinjal Curry. Your Eggplant Masala/ spicy Brinjal Curry is ready. Enjoy!


  • Small Purple Brinjals are best for this type of Brinjal Masala.
  • Marinating in salt will make it moisture free and helps to absorb less oil when frying, while keeping it tender.
  • Adjust the chilies and other spices according to your spice tolerance level.
  • Use Coconut oil for the best flavours and taste.
  • Sambar Puli measure should be adjusted according to your desired tanginess.
  • I have used Kitchen Treasure Fish Masala for this recipe. Use any good brand of fish masala.
  • If you are not keen about fish masala, add more coriander powder, chilli powder and add little roasted Fenugreek /Uluva powder to get the fish curry masala taste.
  • Serve Brinjal Curry with rice or rotis.

Health Benefits of Brinjal:

  • The skin of Eggplant is rich in antioxidants, fiber, potassium and magnesium.
  • Phyto nutrients and vitamins in the Brinjal is good for heart health.
  • Anthocyanin pigments present in Eggplant helps to reduce blood pressure and facilitate blood flow to the brain.
  • Brinjal is loaded with vitamins and minerals and is low in calories.
  • It is also good for your skin and hair.

If you like this Eggplant curry recipe, share with your friends using the share buttons on the side or put in your comments. I will be happy to see your comments. God Bless!!

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