sour eggplant curry


Nik Sharma

Hey Friends, I’m a multi-award-winning and best-selling cookbook author and photographer.

spicy sour eggplant curry

Off late, I’ve been craving everything that tastes sour, especially anything with a citrusy taste or flavor. Cravings are like the insane beast and my relationship with this creature sometimes involves, feeding and nurturing it. I probably unconsciously knew this going in when I picked up these gorgeous baby eggplants that I would indulge in a session of souring things up with the hope that it would entail future moments where I would slurp sour spicy goodness from a big bowl while sitting outside in the sun.

baby eggplants

So I spent my morning with my precious wok, sautéing onions and ginger in hot coconut oil flavored with the heat of dried whole red chilies and fragrant cumin. Then came those cherubic eggplants that sizzled and sputtered as soon as their dark purple skins met the heat of the pan. Finally, I stirred in the coconut milk and lime juice and once the yellow broth came together, I inhaled the scent of the fresh lime juice and knew it was all worth it in the end.

hot spicy sour eggplant curry

This sour curry should be served hot with rice or bread or eaten directly. 

sour eggplant curry

sour eggplant curry

yields: 4 servings


1lb baby eggplants
1 tablespoon vinegar
2 tablespoon coconut oil
4 dried red chili peppers, whole (I used Kashmiri chili peppers)
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 1/2 cups red onion thinly sliced
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 inch ginger root, peeled and cut into thin strips
1 can/13.66 fluid ounces/403mL light coconut milk
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup lime juice, freshly squeezed
fresh mint leaves to garnish

1. Cut the eggplants crosswise from the bottom but leave the stems attached. Immerse the eggplants in a bowl containing cold water and vinegar to prevent blackening. Keep aside until ready to use
2. Heat the coconut oil in a large wok or saucepan with a lid on medium high for about 30 seconds. Add the chili and cumin to the wok and cook for 15 seconds. Immediately add the onions, turmeric powder and ginger root, stir occasionally and cook for about 4-5 minutes or until the onions turn translucent. At this point, drain the eggplants and add them to the wok, sauté on medium high for about 3 minutes, stir occasionally. The eggplants should have their skins slightly seared.
3. Add the coconut milk, water and salt. Bring the contents to a boil on a medium high flame and the reduce to a gentle simmer. Cook for another 20 minutes or until the eggplants are tender enough that a fork can easily pass through the flesh. Once the eggplant is cooked, fold in the fresh lemon juice. Cook for another minute and remove from the stove. Garnish with fresh mint leaves and serve hot with rice or flat bread.

10 Responses

  1. i was at this Indian restaurant and they served something similar..i had been thinking to recreate it and now i have a recipe to go by. thanks Nik. Hope California is treating you guys well 🙂

  2. Ah, cherubic eggplants indeed!! What beauties. 😀
    This curry looks magnificent. Your photography is seamlessly gorgeous, even in a new environment! (I panic when I move my kitchen table around.) 😀

  3. The eggplants look like they are straight from the farm. Loved the green stems. Loved the photography too. I made eggplants too yesterday but wish mine were fresh like yours.

  4. Aw… How cute those cherubic eggplants look!!!
    Shame they make a good curry bad. (please don't hate the eggplant hater!)

  5. I love curry and eggplant. I am not sure if I am put off my the 'sour' in the title. Ha! But maybe I have an unnurtured beast too and don't know it. Because I sure like the looks of this recipe. On the other hand I pretty much like all of your recipes.

  6. Am quite a lover of sour-sweet curries, I love the colors and love the bitterness of eggplant, eggplant needs that sourness to balance the flavors. I think this is a winner.

  7. Sounds delicious, Nik. My partner loves eggplant and I'm always looking for new ways to prepare it.Great post!

  8. i've never heard of the use of vinegar in curry, or sour curry even. this sounds delightful though.

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