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Brinjal Bhaji

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Do you love Brinjal Bhaji but haven’t a clue how to prepare it? In this recipe When you combine the flavour and texture of roasted aubergine, the heavenly blend of onion, garlic, chilli and ginger, and the scent of fresh coriander and other aromatic spices, what have you got? Your new favourite curry – brinjal bhaji!

Bowl of brinjal bhaji and naan bread

Brinjal bhaji recipe

Brinjal bhaji, otherwise known as aubergine bhaji, is an incredible Indian dish that has a creamy texture and rich taste. It’s actually on the healthier end of the curry spectrum, as the creaminess comes from the aubergine, rather than actual cream or yoghurt.

It’s also 100% vegan! And as veganism is becoming more and more popular, this delicious Indian aubergine curry is increasingly springing up on menus of Indian restaurants all over the UK.

Do you love brinjal bhaji but haven’t a clue how to cook it? Or, have you never even heard of it and are curious to give it a go? In this recipe, you will see a step-by-step on how to cook this most authentic of Indian aubergine recipes.

Grilled eggplant in a strainer

Items you’ll need to make brinjal bhaji

There are a few things you’ll need to make this aubergine curry Indian recipe:

  • Baking tray – you’ll need a good quality non-stick baking stray to roast your eggplant.
  • Cast iron pan – a heavy duty cast iron frying pan is the the best way to cook a curry. It will last for years too.
  • Measuring spoons – use this ingenious six-piece measuring spoon set to get the precise spice measurements every time
  • Spice box – store your ground spices and seeds in this 7 compartment stainless steel spice box
  • Pestle and mortar – if you prefer to grind your own seeds, invest in a quality pestle and mortar. The smell of freshly ground spices is absolutely incredible!
  • Dishes – these authentic curry serving dishes will make for an authentic Indian culinary experience
  • Serving spoons – serve up your aubergine bhaji with this collection stylish serving spoons
  • Storage tubs – get a set of airtight storage tubs for leftovers. After all, curry tastes better the next day!

Products you’ll need for this recipe

There are a few things you’ll need to make this aubergine curry Indian recipe:

  • Baking tray – you’ll need a good quality non-stick baking stray to roast your eggplant.
  • Cast iron pan – a heavy duty cast iron frying pan is the the best way to cook a curry. It will last for years too.
  • Measuring spoons – use this ingenious six-piece measuring spoon set to get the precise spice measurements every time
  • Spice box – store your ground spices and seeds in this 7 compartment stainless steel spice box
  • Pestle and mortar – if you prefer to grind your own seeds, invest in a quality pestle and mortar. The smell of freshly ground spices is absolutely incredible!
  • Dishes – these authentic curry serving dishes will make for an authentic Indian culinary experience
  • Serving spoons – serve up your aubergine bhaji with this collection stylish serving spoons
  • Storage tubs – get a set of airtight storage tubs for leftovers. After all, curry tastes better the next day!
Eggplant peeled and cooked

What is brinjal bhaji?

The first time I came across brinjal bhaji on an Indian menu I was perplexed. Thinking of an onion bhaji, I wondered what greasy, deep-fried monstrosity would appear if I ordered it. What arrived was nothing like I imagined it would be.

It tasted wonderful! Creamy and rich yet light and subtly spiced, it won me over after the first mouthful. Since then, I’ve never looked back, ordering it at every opportunity.

Onions and curry being made in a saucepan

If all else fails and my brain freezes and I become tongue-tied, I just play the “English is my second language”-card and I get away with it. Most of the t

Aubergine curry

This version of aubergine bhaji is a Punjabi twist on the dish. It’s twice cooked – first the aubergine is roasted in the oven for 30 minutes. Then you peel the skin off and stir in the aubergine in with onions, garlic, chillies, ginger, tomato and a blend of aromatic spices, sautéing everything for a few minutes, before adding a final flourish of fresh coriander.

What I especially like about this recipe is that it’s not drenched in oil. So many standard British Indian restaurants serve up overly greasy food.

Aubergines are like sponges and they can become too greasy when pan-fried in oil. Before you know it, you’re sitting with a highly calorific, somewhat unhealthy plate of food in front of you.

Instead, here the aubergines are cooked in their skins for 30 minutes in the oven until soft, then peeled and finely chopped. This dramatically reduces the need for oil and suddenly turns this aubergine bhaji into an ultra healthy, delicious vegan meal.

Simmer brinjal bhaji in a pan

Why use different types of chilli in a curry?

This aubergine bhaji recipe uses two whole dried red chillies, red chilli powder and two green chillies. You might wonder why different types of chillies are used in a single recipe. Surely, they all serve the same purpose…

Actually, no! Dried chillies are in fact used to temper and flavour a dish, while chilli powder is used to add heat. At home I made this curry again and went a bit easy on the chillies across the spectrum. It’s much easier to add heat afterwards, than trying to save a dish after you’ve gone overboard on the heat.

Spicy eggplant in a pan

Other great aubergine recipes

Brinjal Bhaji is the equivalent of the aubergine based Middle Eastern classic baba ghanoush. But while brinjal, or aubergine bhaji is a delicious meal in its own right, baba ghanoush is best treated like a dip and served with naan or your favourite bread. It goes well with lentil dishes and makes a fabulous lunch.

If you love mixing aubergines with spices, check out this delectable Japanese style katsu curry. Or, if like your curries with a tang, check out this masala grilled aubergine.

If you’re vegan or considering making the switch away from animal products, have a look at my vegan aubergine recipes. You’ll discover some creative ways to replace meat, with some mouthwatering Middle Eastern, Italian, Greek and Indian dishes to inspire you.

How to store aubergine bhaji

A big plus is that this is a recipe that’s ideal for bulk cooking. If you go to the market you can easily pick up six aubergines for £3 and have a mini-cooking session. Then you can store your leftovers in the fridge or freezer. They’ll gain an even more intense flavour, as the ingredients have a chance to breathe and blend with one another.

If you’d like to freeze your curry, omit the garam masala and fresh coriander. This is because these ingredients don’t freeze well. Only after thawing can you stir in the garam masala and top with coriander for maximum impact.

What to serve with brinjal bhaji

This aubergine curry is best served with traditional Indian bread or rice. You’ll want to mop up the juices of this incredibly flavoured curry, making the most out of every mouthful.

Any naan bread would be a perfect pairing with this dish. Get creative and cook your own peshwari naan. Or, try this kerala peratha, a flaky, doughy Indian flatbread.

When it comes to rice, jazz things up a little. Cook your own authentic Indian rice dish – keema rice takes rice to a new level.

Bowl of brinjal bhaji and naan

Other incredible curry recipes

If you’re a regular Greedy Gourmet reader, you’ll know that I absolutely adore Indian cuisine. So, if you’re keen on mastering some more Indian recipes and are on the lookout for your next curry fix, have a look at some of these irresistible dishes:

Cook More Indian Food At Home

What is your favourite way of enjoying aubergine?

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Bowl of brinjal bhaji and naan bread

Brinjal Bhaji


  • Author: Michelle Minnaar
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 side dish servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Brinjal bhaji, also known as “aubergine bhaji”, is a vegan aubergine recipe that is typically served as a starter or side dish as part of an Indian meal.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 large aubergines/eggplants
  • 30ml (2 tbsp) vegetable oil
  • 2.5ml (½ tsp) cumin seeds
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 2 whole dried red chillies
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 5ml (1 tsp) red chilli powder
  • 5ml (1 tsp) cumin, roasted and ground
  • 2 chopped tomatoes
  • 2.5cm (1 inch) piece of ginger, chopped
  • 2 green chillies, chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1.25ml (¼ tsp) garam masala
  • 15ml (1 tbsp) chopped fresh coriander

Instructions

  1. Cook the aubergine in the tandoor or alternatively, smear a little oil on the aubergine and roast it in a moderate oven for about 10-15 minutes. When the skin starts to wrinkle and soften, allow to cool, then peel off the skin and mash to a pulp.
  2. Heat oil in a pan, add cumin seeds and red chillies and when they begin to crackle, add the garlic and sauté will golden brown.
  3. Now add the onions and sauté until they too begin to turn brown.
  4. Add the chilli powder and cumin powder and cook for half a minute.
  5. Add the tomatoes and cook until they are mashed.
  6. Add the ginger and green chillies and mix in the mashed aubergine pulp and stir well for two more minutes.
  7. Add salt and fresh coriander and sprinkle the garam masala.
  8. Mix well and turn the heat off after 30 seconds.
  9. Serve with your peshwari naan or kashmiri naan

  • Category: Curry
  • Method: Braise
  • Cuisine: Indian

Keywords: brinjal bhaji, aubergine bhaji, indian aubergine recipes, indian side dish, vegan indian recipe, brinjal recipes,

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