Baby Eggplant with Tamarind & Black Pepper





Eggplant is one of my favorite vegetables. I love them boiled, baked, roasted, fried and even mashed! They are also very versatile as they can be added to anything from pastas, Thai curries to pizzas as topping. I simply love them in Indian cuisine though…


baby purple eggplants



baby heirloom purple eggplants



This Eggplant recipe is one of my mom’s signature dishes. Every single person who has tasted it has loved it :)

It’s tangy with the tamarind. Jaggery balances out the sour with sweetness. Black pepper and roasted red chilies add the right amount of heat. With just a handful of ingredients, I have always been amazed with how unique it tastes.

It’s simple, easy to cook and takes just 10 minutes as tiny baby eggplants cook very fast. Serve it with hot rotis or rice and I assure you some smiling faces!


spices for the eggplant fry



If you don’t have baby eggplants you can use bigger eggplants cut into big chunks. In this case, you might have to reduce the cooking time.

Use fresh and best quality spices here. It’s a very simple dish so the flavor of every ingredient really shines through.

I have used homemade coriander powder which was made by slightly roasting coriander seeds and then grinding them into a coarse powder.





  • 10 -12 small baby eggplants
  • 3 table spoons of oil
  • 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 3-4 table spoons of tamarind pulp
  • 2-3 table spoons of jaggery
  • 10-12 black pepper corns
  • 8-10 dry red chillies
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • salt

Trim the stalks of the eggplants, make cross marked slits on them and soak them in water for 30 mins. Discard the dark bitter water. This takes away the bitterness from the eggplants and prevents discoloration.

For the spice mixture – dry roast black pepper. Roast the dry red chilies with a drop of oil. Grind them dry without water into a course powder and keep aside.

Heat oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds. Add the eggplants when the mustard starts crackling. Sauté for a minute or 2 until they are coated with oil. Now add the tamarind pulp, jaggery and salt and let it took till soft. Add water if it looks too dry. When the eggplants are soft, turn off the heat, add the dry spice mixture and coriander powder and mix well.

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  • C V Manian

    This is a great dish made by our mothers and grandmas. There is one variation, where you could stuff the brinjal/egg plants with mixture of roasted coriander powder, chana dal, hing, freshly roasted ground nut (seng dana) and freshly roasted and ground red chilly powder. If you like cocoanut, you could sprinkle fresh cocoanut on the final cooked egg plants.

  • Ashwini

    Hey Chinnu
    I used to do this recipe without Black pepper,but it does make lot of difference and i liked it and prepared it couple of times now and my North and North-East friends liked it too (who are not used to tamarind and laggery.
    Its nice to see lot of healthy recipes in your blog.

    Hey I am very found of Beetroot because of it high nutrients and its good for blood purification, menstrual problems and it works as detoxification. Its part of my weekly food menu. I tried many variety, Salads, with yogurt etc and now I am in need of new recipe,your good in experimenting! Can you do your experiment on this red, beautiful,highly nutritious vegetable? :)


    • Chinmayie

      Thank you so much for trying my recipe Ashu! Glad you guys enjoyed it :)
      I ma not a huge beetroot fan myself but I know it’s a very nutritious vegetable. I would love to try and experiment and get some interesting recipes for you. Will definitely keep that in mind and have something on my blog soon! Thanks :)

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