Smoky Eggplant with Tamarind, Shallots and Garlic





I have never understood why so many people dislike eggplant. It’s silky, soft and it melts in your mouth when cooked and looks gorgeous purple or green! Check out this really good article on ‘The Kitchn’ about Learning to Love Eggplant. If you love eggplant like me you will surely enjoy this recipe! Iif you are in ‘I HATE eggplant’ category, try eating eggplant just one more time in this recipe and you might change your mind forever!

There are several famous grilled eggplant dishes.  This one is a not so well known but it sure is delicious.

Is it like the Middle Eastern classic Baba Ganoush? Nope, not really… No yogurt in my version (makes it vegan!) and No, this is also not the famous Indian ‘Bharta’.

My Smoky Eggplant is tangy, spicy, smoky, sweet and garlicky. YUM!

I have used a particular variety of eggplant which is unique to Konkan coast of Southern Karnataka region. It looks like Thai green eggplant but is a lot bigger. It’s sweet and plump and a little more fibrous than the other varieties. Green eggplant is also less bitter which makes it perfect for this grilled dish. You can use any variety of eggplant but the bigger ones are better for grilling. The souring agent used is Tamarind. I soaked fresh tamarind and extracted pulp out of it. But you can also buy ready to use tamarind pulp. Sweetener is jaggery which can be replaced with brown sugar if you don’t have access to it.

Grilled eggplant is mashed and mixed with shallots, tamarind pulp and jaggery, then simply tempered with green chili and garlic. It has a lovely smokiness from the grilling and tang from tamarind. Crunchy raw shallots are great to bite in silky mashed eggplant.

This is great served on hot rice, chapatti or any other fresh bread. It can even be served as a dip with some chips or vegetables.








till skin is charred









  • 1 big eggplant.
  • 2 shallots/onions
  • 2-3 tbsp tamarind pulp
  • 2-3 tbsp of powdered jaggery
  • Salt


  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 or 2 green chili
  • 5-6 garlic pods
  • Black mustard seeds


Grill your eggplant, I placed my eggplant directly on gas stove top but you can also use your oven or grill. Grill it till the skin is charred and soft to touch and the eggplant will be cooked inside.

Peel and mash the eggplant. Add tamarind pulp, salt and jaggery to it. Add enough water to thin it down to a think dip consistency. Now at this stage you’ll have to taste it and adjust the flavors till you get the perfect sweet and tangy taste. Once you get the taste right according to your palette, add finely chopped shallots or onions and mix well.

For tempering, heat oil in a little pan, add the black mustard seeds. When it starts spluttering, add finely chopped garlic and green chili and fry till the garlic is golden brown.

Add the tempering to the eggplant mixture and serve cold.


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  • Mohit

    Chinmayie! This was so good – I paired this with a ivy gourd stir fry. The aroma of it on hot brown rice with the vegetables was perfect.

    Thank you for this unique recipe.

  • Doudoune moncler

    Youre soooo gifted in writing. God is actually working with you in tremendous approaches. Youre doing a fantastic job! This was an incredible blog!

  • Ranjitha

    I love this dish!!! I (my mom) make(s) it quite regularly. But I like it without garlic.

  • Ashley

    This looks like something I had at a Turkish restaurant recently. It was so delicious…I bet this is, too! This looks really wonderful 🙂

  • Lindsey@Lindselicious

    Oooh I love eggplant and the pictures look delish! I dont even know where to get tamarind pulp. I’ll have to figure it out-this looks great.

    • Chinmayie

      Thank you Lindsey 🙂 Do you know any Indian/Asian store nearby? I assume they will have tamarind pulp 🙂

  • Gianna

    You’re blogging has really come on when I look back over previous posts. Actually I arrived here from a forum on an unrelated topic. Worth surfing sometimes. Thanks.

  • betty

    i love eggplant! i made a roasted eggplant and garlic soup with chickpeas and lentils this wk (yum!)

  • Trudy ~ Veggie num num

    Oh my! This recipe is right up my alley, I am happy to say I am one that LOVES eggplant and it teams so beautifully with tamarind, yum!! You have so many delicious looking recipes here, off to browse some more 🙂

    • Chinmayie

      Thanks for visiting my blog Trudy! SO happy to know you like it! I love your blog and you have some awesome recipes!! great to ‘meet’ you too!

  • Nami @ Just One Cookbook

    Oh I love eggplant and I always think of a new way to cook it. I LOVE the picture of eggplant after peeled. Beautiful… every photo you take is just amazing though. Haha. Now I’m craving for eggplant…

  • Heather

    Beautiful recipe!! I love your step by step photos. This is my kind of dish. I am glad for the info about eggplant as well!!

  • Kulsum at JourneyKitchen

    I must agree with others that your pictures are beautiful. Infact making a roasted eggplant look good is so difficult (been there). I like your perspective of photography on black, with an antic touch. Oh and I love the recipe!

    • Chinmayie

      Thank you so much Kulsum! Eggplant looks truly beautiful to me from all angles! lol… so never really thought photographing it is hard 🙂

  • Nadia

    Beautiful photos! Are you a professional photographer?

    • Chinmayie

      Hey Nadia! Thanks a ton! That’s a great compliment for me (especially because it’s coming from you!) as I am very new to photography! I have been using my camera for about 2 months and my blog is less than a month old! I am not a professional photographer 🙂

      • Nadia

        You are doing great Chinmayie, you photos are really beautiful! My blog is not so old either, it’s only a 6 months baby 🙂

        • Chinmayie

          That’s amazing! Your photos are super professional! LOVE your minimalistic style, in photos, layout and recipes! They almost look too beautiful to eat 🙂
          Will definitely follow you and try your recipes 🙂

  • Rachel @ Bakerita

    This looks so good! I love eggplant, but I’ve never tried tamarind so I’m really excited to try this!

  • Greeshma

    This is one of my fav dishes!
    Udupi guLLa is hard to find in blore 🙁

    • Chinmayie

      Where in Bangalore do you live Greeshma? There are so many Mangalore stores which store EVRYTHING Mangalorean I can possibly think of! I have one close to my house which stocks up everything from bamboo shoots to tender jackfruit!

      • Greeshma

        Can u list a few mangalorean stores? I live in HRBR layout. I havent found one near my place .I get to eat these things only when i go to my native.

  • don

    what do you eat this with? Rice? chapathi? what? I fall in the I TOTALLY HATE EGGPLANT category, but willing to give this a try

    • Chinmayie

      This tastes great with hot white rice 🙂 but i think it would be good as a dip/spread with some freshly bakes bread also!

  • Raquel.Erecipe

    I guess taste sour because of the tamarind and the green chili? I love sour and spicy taste , I will look forward to try this recipe

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