Pan Fried Eggplant with Curry Powder

I’m sure all of you know by now that eggplant is my favorite vegetable. This is one of my favorite method of cooking eggplant. Its Jaffnese method i.e. northern Sri Lankan way of cooking eggplant. Typically I grew up eating this with Pittu for dinner. Pittu is made with red rice flour and steamed with grated coconut. It looks like couscous but in brown color. In North we also use Sri Lankan sesame oil to cook this dish. Sesame oil has a very strong nutty flavor that gets infused to eggplants. Some may not like strong flavor of sesame oil in which case you can use canola or sunflower oil. I would say it is an acquired taste.

Eggplants has mild sweetness, which enables it to easily blend with spices. I often serve fried eggplant with upuma another South Indian and Sri Lankan delicacy. Upuma is a savory dish made with semolina and vegetables. Now I have started to replace semolina with bulgur wheat. Bulgur wheat has iron, protein and dietary fiber hence more health

Also this is a very delicate dish because if you don’t follow the techniques you may end up with a mashed eggplant dish. I have managed to master it after many trial and errors.


  • You need a flat base non stick pan
  • Also a wooden or good quality plastic spoon/li>
  • If you use sesame oil use Sri Lankan or Indian sesame oil and do not use Chinese sesame oil as it has much stronger flavor./li>
  • Oil has to be at smoking level when you add diced eggplant/li>
  • Follow the recipe steps accurately/li>
  • The base of the pan has to have a thin layer of oil. Hence depending on the width of the base you may need to use 50-100ml oil/li>

Serves 3-4

100ml sesame or canola oil
1 large eggplant, diced
1 large onion thinly sliced
handful of curry leaves
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tbsp curry powder ( use less if you prefer less spicy)
Salt to taste

Heat oil till its smoking hot level. Add diced eggplant followed by onion, curry leaves and cumin seeds. Gently stir to make sure eggplant is coated with oil. Cook in high heat stirring occasionally till eggplant is slightly browned. Make sure not stir continuously or frequently as it will make eggplant mushy.

You can serve it with bread and melted cheese as a sandwich or like bruschetta. Also like me you can have it with uppuma, pittu or even rice.