Best roasted eggplant curry

Title card of the Eggplant curry recipe

Fall is my favorite season for two reasons. One is the eating Spicy curries and the second is baking. I love homemade rustic breads. Naturally, with more homemade breadmaking, I have been making curries better suited to pair with bread.  Specifically, I have been selecting recipes, to match the complex nutty flavor of rye whole wheat sourdough breads. Today, I am sharing one of my favorite curry recipes to pair with Rye bread. Sri Lankan air fried Eggplant curry !

Image of Sri Lankan Roasted eggplant Curry
Roasted Eggplant curry

Sri Lankan Eggplant curry is a delicious vegan curry made from eggplants and aromatic spices. It is a traditional and popular Sri Lankan curry dish. It is a vegan, gluten-free, and nut-free recipe that is very easy to make. If you decided to make it, you will be rewarded with rich and creamy texture of air-fried eggplant, the depth of flavors from spices, and bit of tartness from tamarind with a creamy flavorful thick sauce from coconut milk.

Health Benefits of Eggplants and Eggplant curry

crop harvester with fresh eggplants in box

Best health aspect of eating Eggplants is how much fiber it packs in with the lower calorie amount per cup of serving. In our busy life one thing we always strive to do is add as much fiber to our diet by eating more high fiber vegetables. Hi fiber intake is helpful in blood sugar management and better lipid profile and aids in healthy weight loss. As we now know, every little bit of vegetables we eat helps. Eggplants are a great way to do just that. According to Healthline, Eggplants are also very high in Manganese. It is a very important micronutrient and a trace element for a better metabolism. Making a big batch of curry is a very convenient and effective way to have this wonderful vegetable ready to go when you need it.

This healthy curry can be happily enjoyed any time of the day for lunch or dinner. Cooked with minimum oil and maximum flavors, you get health, flavors, and comfort in a single serving.

How to make the Curry Powder

Use of spices like turmeric, curry powder, mustard seeds, cardamom, and curry leaves ensure taste, aroma as well as health benefits of spices. Lets revisit how to make the seasoning base for this curry. One way to make the curry easily is with the red curry seasoning base that we made earlier.

link to my post on how to make red curry seasoning

However, I am going to give the recipe on how to make it the old fashioned Sri Lankan way, just in case if you do not have the seasoning base with you.

Image of curry powder, chilies, cardamom and Malabar tamarind
Spice blend for the Eggplant curry

Curry powder for this recipe is 2 part coriander powder, 2 part Spanish paprika ,1 part cumin powder and 1 part cayenne pepper. Mix them together and dry roast in a heavy bottomed skillet for few minute until fragrant.

With that under way, lets read little bit about serving suggestions to air fried Eggplant curry.

What to serve with Sri Lankan Eggplant Curry?

  • Rice: You can serve it with plain boiled rice, garlic rice, coconut rice. The rice really soaks up the flavor of the curry.
  • Flat bread: You can serve it with a traditional whole wheat flatbread, paratha or even lacha paratha. It is very wholesome and enjoyable.
  • Sourdough bread: Spicy and thick sauce in this curry is perfect for this tangy and nutty bread. It helps to cut the tartness and enhances the flavor and mouthfeel.

Sri Lankan Eggplant Curry Recipe

Preparation time: 30 min. Cooking time: 45 min.

Total time: 1 hour 15 minutes ( with air frying time)

Serving: 4


Image of what ingredients are used in making the curry
Seasoning base for eggplant curry
  • 6 medium-sized eggplants
  • 3 tablespoons vinegar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium red onion, chopped
  • 4 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • 6-8 Curry leaves
  • 4 Cloves
  • 4 Cardamom pods
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 2 tsp Spanish paprika
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp of mustard seeds
  • 5 Dry green chilies
  • ½ cup Tamarind paste
  • Salt, to taste


  1. Wash the Eggplants and trim the top crown. Cut them into thin strips lengthwise.
  2. Place the Eggplants in a large bowl. Pour the vinegar, and sprinkle turmeric and salt. Using your hand, mix well so that each piece is coated with spice. Let it sit for about 30 minutes to marinade.
  3. Air fry at 375-degree f for 10 minutes or until the edges start to turn golden brown. Flip the pieces after 5 minutes.
  4. In a large skillet or pot, heat oil over medium heat. mustard seeds, let it crackle.
  5. Add chopped onions and cook for 3 to 5 minutes until they caramelize to light brown. Add grated ginger, minced garlic, and cook for a minute or two.
  6. Throw in handful of curry leaves, cardamom pods, cloves, coriander, paprika, cumin, cayenne, turmeric, and curry powder.
  7. Sprinkle a splash of water and let it cook until the oil is released.
  8. Mix in air-fried Eggplant, and dry red chilies. Mix well.
  9. Reduce the heat to low and cover the pot. Let it simmer for 20 minutes.
  10. Add tamarind paste and continue to cook on low heat for 5 minutes.
  11. Once the curry reaches a thick consistency