Bengali Indian Eggplants

These eggplants are native to India but can be found at Asian or Indian supermarkets in most major cities. Be sure to find fresh, firm little eggplants. If they are old, they will appear slightly wrinkled and will absorb excessive oil. Mustard oil adds a delicious tang to the eggplants. 

makes 4 cups


8 baby eggplants (approximately 12 oz)

2 tsp salt

3 Tbsp mustard oil

2 Tbsp mustard oil 

1 tsp cumin seeds

2 cups minced onion

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp ajwain 

1 cup plain yogurt

2 Tbsp cilantro


  1. Leaving the stems intact, slice the eggplants in half lengthwise and sprinkle salt on them. Let rest for 20-30 minutes. Drain any liquid that may have collected on the eggplants and pat dry with paper towels.
  2. Heat up 3 Tbsp of mustard and cook the eggplants on both sides until they are golden brown. Remove them from the pan and set them aside. In the same pan, heat up the remaining mustard oil and pop the cumin seeds. Add the minced onion and cook them on medium heat until they are translucent and slightly brown.
  3. Add the sautéed eggplants, turmeric, chili powder, ajwain and yogurt. Turn the heat down and let the mixture simmer for 4-5 minutes. Turn the heat off and sprinkle with cilantro before serving.

ideas / variations

  • Use coconut milk instead of yogurt for a vegan option. 
  • Use olive oil or ghee instead of mustard oil.