Sri Lankan Eggplant (Aubergine) Curry

Total Time
Prep 20 mins
Cook 30 mins

Eggplant is one of my favourite vegetables. This mouthwatering spicy dish is served in Sri Lanka on special occasions such as weddings. So good is it that I would happily eat it every day of the week if not for the high oil content. Definitely not one for calorie counters! It is usually served with a chicken curry and saffron rice. I love it hot, but cold the next day, it is sensational. If you wish, prior to cooking, you can cut each eggplant lengthwise into quarters, sprinkle with the salt and leave uncovered in a single layer for thirty minutes. Rinse the eggplant under a cold tap, pat-dry with kitchen paper, and slice into 1" cubes as directed below. I personally don't bother with the salting process. If you prefer to use baby eggplant, just slice crosswise into 1" cubes. Recipe obtained from a Sri Lankan friend.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Wash the eggplants, remove the stalk, and slice lengthwise into quarters.
  2. Cut each quarter lengthwise into 1" wide strips and then crosswise into 1" cubes.
  3. Heat 1-2 inches of peanut oil in a wok to medium-high heat (375F) and deep-fry the eggplant cubes in batches until golden brown (this takes around three to five minutes for each batch, adjusting oil temperature as necessary).
  4. Drain thoroughly on kitchen paper.
  5. In a medium-sized pan, heat the extra oil and saute and stir the onion until golden brown.
  6. Add the turmeric, cumin, coriander and mustard and stir for a couple of seconds before adding the garlic, ginger, chillies and curry leaves.
  7. Stir and saute for 30 seconds.
  8. Add the vinegar, coconut milk, salt to taste and the sugar and stir until well mixed.
  9. Bring slowly to the boil before adding the deep-fried eggplant cubes.
  10. Stir, then simmer gently on low heat until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes.
  11. Taste and season with a little more sugar and/or salt as desired.


Most Helpful

This didn't quite make the 5 star mark for me but it was almost there. I thought that the seasoning was spot on, my problem was the coconut milk. It might be a proper curry with it but I would have given 5 stars if I had left it out.

Annacia September 13, 2010

BrianH is one of my fav. chefs- so when I saw HE liked this one, I had to try it- and I am so glad I did. It looks slightly intimidating but this was an easy dish to do. And way tasty. It is ALMOST like a dish we love at a Boston restaurant- Bombay Club- but less greasy and no tomato. I will play with this recipe but it's great as-is also. Eggplant takes on a new sweetness and it's just so good. We ate the entire batch, the 2 of us. I did extra-spice a bit, as per Brian's suggestion, and also, didn't deep fry- I pan fried the eggplant, drained, and to soften, I simmered, covered, over low heat with all of the other ingredients for about 25 minutes. Perfection.

MrsMM August 28, 2007

I have dozens of recipes for aubergines curried or spiced, as I lived in Sri Lanka. I cook curry almost every day. Therefore when I saw this I had to give it a go. Easy to cook, but I would have preferred a little more spice, having said that I will cook this again and again, It is by far one of the easiest aubergine dishes I have cooked in more than 50 years. Thanks for sharing your recipe with us, very well done.

Brian Holley May 11, 2007

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