this smokey dish is my aubergenius daughter’s very favorite! Actually, even the non-eggplant aficionados love this dish in our house. Normally, the eggplant is roasted over an open fire, but I roast them in the air fryer for a delicious char and easier approach to this curry. Use eggplants that seem light for their size – these will have fewer seeds than those that are heavier for their size.


2 medium eggplants                                                                          

1 ½ tbs oil 

1 tbs each ground ginger and garlic

1 chopped green chili (to taste)

½ tsp cumin seeds

Pinch hing

½ tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp red chili powder (to taste)

1 medium red onion, chopped

2 medium tomatoes, chopped

1 tsp cumin-coriander powder

¼ tsp garam masala

¾ teaspoon salt or to taste

4-5 curry leaves

½ tsp lemon juice

2 tbs chopped cilantro (garnish)


1 Preheat the air fryer to 450F

2 Rinse the eggplants and make 3-4 slits on the top and bottom. Lay them on a baking sheet and cook for approx. 10 min. Turn them over and cook for 10 more min. Depending on your air fryer, you may need to cook for longer. The eggplants should be charred on all sides

3 Let the eggplants cool and cut them in half. Scoop the insides of the eggplant out and place to the side. It’s ok to have a bit of the charred skin mixed into the eggplant

4 Heat oil in a skillet on medium heat and add ingredients in this order: cumin, hing, red onion, ginger, garlic, green chili, curry leaves, and turmeric. Saute for about 2 min (don’t brown the onions)

5 Add tomatoes, garam masala, and red chili powder and cook for 3 more minutes

6 Add the eggplant, cumin-coriander powder, and salt to the skillet. Mix together well. The eggplant should melt into the gravy but use a masher if needed. You may need to add water (1/8 cup at a time) to help the mixture come together

7 Cook for about 5 minutes on medium-low heat and stir every minute

8 Add lemon juice and taste and add additional spices to your taste

9 Garnish with cilantro and serve with your favorite roti/naan  

Food restrictions

🌱Vegan friendly
🌱Jain – omit ginger garlic and replace eggplant with peeled and diced zucchini. You will be surprised at how nicely this works

Tags: Indian

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