Brinjal Bhaji is a popular Indian restaurant's side dish or main dish made with aubergine, onion, aromatic spices, and herbs.
This brinjal bhaji recipe is perfect for serving with other curries, rice and chapati.
Read on to learn how to make this aubergine dish at home or jump straight to what you need to know?
What is Brinjal Bhaji?
Brinjal Bhaji, also known as aubergine curry or aubergine bhaji, is a popular Indian dish that dates back centuries.
Believed to have originated in the Indian state of Maharashtra.
Aubergine Curry was traditionally made with an eggplant called brinjal, native to India. However, you can make Aubergine Curry with any eggplant.
It is best to prepare aubergine bhaji in a large pan or wok, stirring with a wooden/plastic spatula or spoon. You will also need a baking tray for roasted aubergine.
The ingredients needed to create brinjal bhaji are as follows, we include suitable substitute ingredients.
Aubergines and eggplants are the same things; they have different names in different countries.
The aubergine is the star of this Indian curry, so choose ones that are fresh and in season.
Small aubergines with thinner skins or baby aubergines are best. Avoid eggplants which are old, dull and wrinkly skinned.
Cut the aubergine into small cubes.
The best way to prepare aubergine is by cutting it into small cubes and drizzling them with oil.
We find it best to roast aubergine whilst preparing the curry sauce. You could gently stir fry them instead.
Use brown or yellow onions finely chopped.
In a pan, gently fry the chopped onion in cooking oil, stirring occasionally. Cook until soft and golden.
Garlic and Chilli
Use garlic and green chillies, dried chillies or red chilli to add some heat to the Aubergine Curry.
You can choose your favourite type of chilli; we like it spicy, so use two birdseye red chillies and include the seeds for extra heat.
Adjust the amount or type of chilli depending on how spicy you like your brinjal bhaji. You can add more spice through curry powder which contains chilli powder.
Separate the fresh coriander leaves from the stems and keep leaves for garnishing the aubergine bhaji.
Meanwhile, chop the coriander stems and add them in with the onion, garlic and chillies.
Use aromatic Indian spices to make this authentic curry.
The spices used in this recipe are curry powder which contains Coriander Seed, Cumin Seeds, Salt, Chilli Powder, Fenugreek, Garlic Powder, Ginger, Paprika, Turmeric, Cinnamon, Black Pepper, Clove, Bay Leaf and Cardamom.
I use a medium heat curry powder from the supermarkets, you can adjust seasoning by using mild or hot instead or choose a different blend such as garam masala, tandoori masala or madras powder.
Or make your own curry powder blend if you prefer.
I like to add a little extra turmeric and cumin for flavour.
Tomato purée is used to thicken the brinjal bhaji and give it a rich red colour; stir with the onions and spices on medium heat to make up the curry paste.
We like to use chopped tomatoes, you can use ripe fresh tomatoes instead.
Adding sugar to brinjal bhaji for extra sweetness is optional.
Use soft brown sugar or other suitable sweeteners.
Allow the curry sauce to boil, then lower to simmer and stir occasionally.
Add the roasted aubergine in with the prepared curry sauce. Stir through and simmer for 10 minutes allowing the brinjal bhaji to thicken.
Use the below recipe card for all the ingredient measurements and cooking times.
What to serve with?
Serve brinjal bhaji with fresh coriander leaves on top. Use as a main and add some side dishes like our jeera rice recipe and chapati for a complete meal.
Don't forget the cucumber raita yoghurt or mango chutney on the side!
Or serve as a side dish with other curry dishes, some paratha and onion bhaji.
📖 Step by Step Recipe
Brinjal Bhaji (Indian Aubergine Curry)
- 2 Large Aubergines (600g) diced
- 3 tablespoon Olive Oil for Roasting Aubergines
- Salt and Pepper
- 1 tablespoon Oil for Onions
- 1 Onion Finely chopped
- Handful of Fresh Coriander (Cilantro) Stems - Cooking Leaves - Garnish
- 1-2 Chillies finely chopped - adjust amount and type used to your taste.
- 4 cloves Garlic Cloves finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon Curry Powder or garam masala
- 1 teaspoon Cumin
- ½ teaspoon Turmeric
- 2 tablespoon Tomato Puree
- 1 can Chopped Tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon Soft Light Brown Sugar optional
- Dice aubergine, place in a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil, stir through to coat.2 Large Aubergines (600g), 3 tablespoon Olive Oil
- Spread aubergine in a roasting tin and season with salt and pepper. Place in preheated oven (at 200 °C fan / 220 °C / 425°F / gas mark 7) for 15 minutes.Salt and Pepper
- Meanwhile, heat oil in a pan over medium - low heat. Add onions, cook for 5 minutes until softened stirring often.1 tablespoon Oil, 1 Onion
- Separate the coriander leaves from the stalks, save the leaves for garnishing, and chop stems for cooking.Handful of Fresh Coriander (Cilantro)
- Once onions are soft and golden add coriander stalks, garlic and chilli stir fry for 2 minutes.Handful of Fresh Coriander (Cilantro), 1-2 Chillies, 4 cloves Garlic Cloves
- Stir in the spices, and fry for a few seconds.1 tablespoon Curry Powder, 1 teaspoon Cumin, ½ teaspoon Turmeric
- Next add tomato puree and stir into a curry paste.2 tablespoon Tomato Puree
- Add chopped tomatoes.1 can Chopped Tomatoes
- Taste and add some sugar if you like a sweeter sauce.1 teaspoon Soft Light Brown Sugar
- Once cooked, add roasted aubergines to the sauce, stir and bring to a boil for a few seconds.
- Simmer for 10 minutes uncovered until the sauce has thickened.
- Serve with coriander leaves sprinkled on top.Handful of Fresh Coriander (Cilantro)
If you don't love eggplant (aubergine) as much as we do?
Sticking with vegan recipes? use another vegetable to substitute it with, such as courgette, potatoes, or cauliflower.
You could also add chickpeas for a more filling recipe.
This Aubergine dish is a fantastic vegan recipe that is full of flavour.
But if you like meat, you can also add it to the aubergine bhaji for a heartier dish. Cooked chicken, lamb, and beef are all popular choices.
Or make some tandoori chicken kebabs to serve it with.
Low Fat Option
Whilst cooking a brinjal bhaji, the aubergine requires a lot of oil.
For a low-fat version of this curry, try using spray oil or very little oil.
Dry Aubergine Bhaji
If you prefer a dry sauce, follow the brinjal bhaji recipe but use only ½ can of chopped tomatoes or none at all. Use a splash of water instead.
If you have leftovers or like batch cooking, make ahead and store in an airtight container in a fridge for three days.
This aubergine recipe can also be frozen for 2-3 months.
Reheat until piping hot before serving.
More Indian Recipes
For another vegetarian-friendly curry recipe, try our Chilli Paneer.
More Aubergine Recipes
We hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do! Aubergine bhaji is one of our go-to vegan recipes.
This brinjal bhaji recipe is sure to become your favourite curry! What's your favourite Indian recipe?
Let us know in the comments below, or tag us on social media. We love to see your photos!