In South Indian cooking, tamarind is used a lot to add sourness to dishes. It add a lovely fruity sourness and gives the dish a deep dark colour. My love for sweet and sour began at a very early age and this simple eggplant (also called Brinjal in India) fry with onions was one of my favorites.
The two essential components to the dish are, Tamarind and Jaggery. Tamarind is easily available either in a dried or paste form. When using whole dried tamarind, soak it in hot water for at least 20 minutes. It softens and when mashed, the pulp is released easily. The result is a tamarind juice. If you want to skip these steps, just buy tamarind paste. 🙂
Like most Indian dishes, start by tempering. Heat oil, add urad dal and mustard seeds. Once the seeds begin to pop and urad dal turns golden brown, add in curry leaves. There’s your tempering done. Then go ahead and saute onions and eggplant. Add in powdered spices, salt, tamarind juice and jaggery. Cook until eggplant is soft. And there you have a really easy, super tasty vegetarian stir fry dish.
Since this is a side dish, serve it with rice, chapati or the following dishes:
- Tomato Rice
- Coconut Methi Rice
- Sweet Corn Pilaf / Pulao
- Jeera or Cumin Rice
- Spinach Pulao
- Cabbage Roti
- Veggie Rice – Paella style
Watch the video to see how I made it. Hope you enjoy!
Happy Cooking !! 🙂
Total : 40 Mins Cooking : 20 Mins
- Sunflower oil – 1 Tbsp
- Onion, large dices – 1
- One large eggplant, diced
- Mustard seeds – ½ Tsp
- Urad Dal – 1 Tsp
- Curry leaves – 6 to 7
- Salt – to taste
- Powdered Jaggery – 2 Tbsp
- Dried Tamarind – 1 Tbsp (Alternative: Tamarind paste – 1 heaped tsp)
- Hot Water – 75 ml
- Chopped Coriander or parsley for garnish
- Turmeric Powder – ¼ Tsp
- Coriander Powder – 1 Tsp
- Chili Powder – ½ Tsp
- Garam Masala – ½ Tsp
For Tamarind Juice :
- Soak dried tamarind in hot water for 30 minutes.
- Mash and squeeze to extract as much pulp as possible. Filter into another bowl. Your tamarind juice is ready to be used.
- In a pan, heat oil. Add mustard seeds and urad dal. Fry until the dal turns golden brown and mustard seeds begin to pop. Then add curry leaves and diced onion. Fry until onion turns translucent.
- Add diced eggplant/brinjal and saute for a minute. Now add in powdered spices and salt. Give it a good mix. Fry for 5 minutes on a medium to low flame.
- Add extracted tamarind juice, powdered jaggery and stir. Let it simmer for another 10 minutes or until the eggplant is soft.
- Garnish with chopped coriander or parsley. Serve it hot with rice or rotis.