Tamarind Aubergine Curry

Tamarind Aubergine Curry

If you are an aubergine fan, then this dish is sure to become your next favourite thing. The fried aubergine picks up on the aniseed notes of the fennel and the sour kick from the tamarind, and the whole combination is just heavenly. Be careful not to taste it too much along the way, as you might have nothing left to eat at the end! Serve with some rice or paratha.

Serves 2


For the curry:

  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • Pinch of asafoetida
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 200ml (7 fl oz) water
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp tamarind paste

For the aubergine:

  • 1 aubergine, cut into fingers 5-7.5cm (2-3 inches) long
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2-3 tsp sunflower oil


  1. To prepare the aubergine, place it on a plate, sprinkle with the salt and set aside for 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil for the curry in a pan, add the asafoetida and let it sizzle for a few seconds. Then add the onions and cook over a medium heat for 10 minutes until golden.
  3. Heat the oil for the aubergine in a large frying pan. Pat the aubergine fingers dry, add them to the hot oil and cook over a high heat for 2 minutes until golden.
  4. While the aubergine is cooking, heat a small frying pan, add the fennel seeds and dry-roast over a low heat for a minute. Then use a pestle and mortar to crush them. Add the crushed fennel seeds to the onions and cook for a minute. Then stir in the ground spices and add the fried aubergine with the measured water. Cook over a low heat for 10 minutes
  5. Stir in the sugar and tamarind and cook over a high heat for 5 minutes until the sauce thickens, then serve.

Recipe from Chetna’s 30 Minute Indian by Chetna Makan (published by Mitchell Beazley, £20 hardback, octopusbooks.co.uk).