Indian restaurants in UK make the best brinjal bhaji and here is a quick and easy recipe that you can make at home. Famous as South Indian eggplant curry cooked with purple eggplant, sautéed onions, tomatoes, and with a combination of traditional Indian spices. Family-friendly best vegan recipe to serve for lunch or dinner with boiled basmati rice or chapati/naan.
Brinjal is a versatile vegetable that you can make in a variety of ways and it always comes out perfect with great taste. Pan-fried eggplant, casserole, curry, bharta, and every form is incredibly delicious and loaded with healthy vitamins so it’s great to incorporate eggplant in your daily diet.
I recently prepared the world’s most popular Lebanese Baba Ganoush without Tahini which is the perfect dip to serve with Turkish flatbread. Give it a try and you will love it!
What is brinjal bhaji?
Brinjal is baingan/eggplant or famous as aubergine. Bhaji is a traditional Indian dish prepared with diced vegetable pan fried to serve in a curry or as an appetizer. Here is the brinjal bhaji recipe cooked with thick gravy. It’s a famous south Indian eggplant curry that will give you a taste of full meal with naan and rice. Best to serve at lunch or dinner.
People from America and Canada know this as eggplant bhaji as the vegetable looks like an egg shape. In Uk, it’s famous as aubergine bhaji. Indian subcontinent, the recipe is popular with brinjal curry or bhaji as it resembles the nightshade family Solanaceae.
I grew up eating this veg curry as my mother used to make a different style of veg recipes at lunch and always serve it with rice. Sometimes she prepared eggplant curry with potatoes and but I love to have it solo as it makes a perfect taste with the combination of onions, tomatoes, and spices.
If you love vegan and seeking low-carb options then this recipe is for you. You only need fresh eggplants to make it. No rush to the grocery store as it will be prepared with minimal spices in a very short time. Epic in taste and looks beautiful with the combination of purple and red.
Eggplant is extremely tender and soft from the inside after cooking and it always gives a combination of sour and naturally sweet flavor along with vegetal bitterness that comes from the skin. You can make it with skin or without skin all depend upon your choice.
Why This Recipe Works
- It's simple, quick and easy and you don't need many ingredients.
- All ingredients are common and you can easily find in your pantry.
- It will prepare within 15 to 20 minutes.
- It pair so well with naan, paratha, and rice.
- Best recipe to serve as a side dish with chapathi at lunch or dinner.
Brinjal (eggplant): Used purple eggplant with less seeds. It's firm, soft and fresh with dark purple color. Quality of brinjal matters to make good bhaji.
Oil: Used to cook curry. It will work as a lubricator and help to make shiny and lustrous bhaji.
Onion: Finely chopped onion used in this recipe. I used my machine chopper to finely grate the onions as it helps to make perfect curry texture.
Garlic: Chopped garlic used in this recipe. (many people avoid garlic to saute veggies so if you don't like the flavor than simply skip it).
Tomato Paste: Peel the tomato skin and blend in chopper to get fresh tomato paste. Store bought tomato paste will change the taste of curry.
Spices: Salt, black salt, red chili powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder and homemade garam masala powder used in this recipe. (If you have curry powder, use it to skip spices individually).
How to make brinjal bhaji
1. Add oil in a pan and let it heat up for few minutes.
2. sauté onion until it become transluscent.
3. Add chopped garlic to sauté with onions.
4. As onion starts to change color, add spices along with garam masala.
5. Give it a good mix. Cook it for about 1 or 2 minutes on medium heat to get rid with spice rawness.
6. Now add tomato paste.
7. Cook the tomatoes on high heat to get 1 tone curry.
8. Add brinjal cubes and cook on high heat for about 1 or 2 minutes. Keep stirring during this process to mix the brinjal with curry.
9. Add a splash of water.
10. Give it a good mix.
11. Cover the pan and cook the brinjal on low heat for about 10 to 15 minutes.
12. After 15 minutes, it will be ready to serve.
Tips to Cook Brinjal
- Properly wash and clean the brinjal/eggplant before use.
- Always cut eggplant at time of cooking otherwise it will turn to change the color.
- Brining the eggplant is not necessary for this recipe but if you like to do then go for it.
- Use good quality eggplant.
- For brinjal bhaji, use it with skin.
- Never cook eggplant for long time.
- Pre salting is not necessary for this recipe.
- Avoid to make the bhaji watery in texture. It needs to be thick, consistent and semi dry in texture.
How to Store Leftover
Store the leftover in airtight glass container and refrigerate for 3 to 4 days. On kitchen counter, it will stay for 12 to 15 hours depending upon the room temperature. If it's hot and humid, store it in refrigerator.
If you want to freeze it then pack it in freezer bag and store it for 15 to 20 days. Veggies catch the bacteria easily so avoid to store longer as it doesn't carry food preservatives.
More Eggplant Ideas
Q & A
Yes, you can use Indian curry powder to skip adding spices individually. Curry powder is the complete package of spices with garam masala to add in curry.
Yes, it's fine to cook brinjal with skin. Eggplant skin is little bitter in taste so many people discard it but it's full of vitamins and add vegetal taste in curry that makes it delicious. The skin taste of baby eggplant is much better and advisable for cooking.
Inside of eggplant is firm, mild, creamy and has strong vegetal taste. The skin of eggplant is little bitter but full of vitamins contain antioxidant called nasunin, helps to protect cell membranes.
Here is the simple to find good eggplant with less seeds. Use small and younger eggplant that contains less seed. Mature/big eggplant are full of seeds and extremely mushy in texture.
Brinjal Bhaji (Indian Eggplant Curry)
- 2 Cups Brinjal cubes
- 1 tablespoon Oil
- ½ Cup Onion chopped
- ½ Cup Fresh Tomato Paste
- 2 Cloves Garlic Chopped
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- ⅓ teaspoon Black Salt
- ½ teaspoon Red Chili Powder
- ⅓ teaspoon Turmeric Powder
- ½ teaspoon Coriander Powder
- ½ teaspoon Garam Masala
- In a heated pan, pour oil. Sauté finely chopped onion and garlic until it changes color.
- Add spices and give it a good mix. Cook it for about 1 or 2 minutes on medium heat to get rid of spice rawness.
- Now add tomato paste and cook on high heat to get 1-tone curry.
- Add brinjal cubes and cook on high heat for about 1 or 2 minutes. Keep stirring during this process to mix the brinjal with the curry.
- Add a splash of water and give it a good mix.
- Cover the pan and cook the brinjal on low heat for about 10 to 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes, it will be ready to serve.
Quick and easy recipe of eggplant curry famous as Brinjal Bhaji in South India. Extremely delicious vegan idea for foodies to try at home.