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  • Writer's pictureTina Brand

Nanna's eggplant curry

When we're together, there's always a request for Nanna's eggplant curry. It is an anomaly, not really fitting into any category for 'origin'. My mother took flavours from her Southeast Asian neighbours and created this sweet-sour chunky, yummy, saucy 'curry' that goes equally well with a roast veggies and cous cous salad, or an indian vegetarian meal with dahl and a simple raita.

We won't tell anyone you eat spoonfuls straight from the pot , Izzy .....

Eggplant Curry

  • 4 firm and large purple eggplants

  • 2 red capsicums, de-seeded and chopped into large pieces

  • 2 red tomatoes, chopped roughly

  • 1 tablespoons peeled and chopped fresh ginger

  • six cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

  • 1 sprig fresh curry leaves if you have it

  • 1 large onion, sliced

  • 2 level tablespoons turmeric powder

  • 2 teaspoons cummin seeds

  • 2 teaspoons mustard seeds

  • 2 tablespoons salt

  • 2 teaspoons chilli powder

  • 5-6 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 1 cup of water

  • 3 tablespoons tamarind paste

  • 1/4 cup white vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • vegetable oil for frying


-Chop up eggplants into pieces about finger length and double finger length in thickness.

-Mix the chopped eggplant with the turmeric and salt cover and set aside for a few minutes.

-Meanwhile, mix together the tamarind paste, the chilli powder, white vinegar, sugar and tomato paste with a cup of water. Set aside.

-Line two cookie sheets with baking paper, and arrange the eggplant pieces on them.

-Bake in a heated 180 degrees celsius oven until the pieces are crumpled and golden brown, but not burnt. Set aside too cool.

-Heat a heavy pan with two tablespoons of oil.

-Throw in the curry leaves and mustard seeds.

-When the seeds start to pop, add the cumin seeds, onion, ginger and garlic, and stir.

-Add the cooked eggplant pieces and the capsicum.

-Now add the prepared sauce and stir well.

-Add the chopped tomatoes, giving everything one last stir.

-Cover, lower the heat to a simmer and cook for half an hour, stirring occasionally.

-Adjust seasoning according to your taste: a splash more vinegar for sourness, more sugar for sweetness. And of course more chilli powder for heat.

-The end result should be a yummy, thick sauce. The eggplant should be very tender.


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