A quick and easy brinjal bhaji (aubergine bhaji) which is perfect served as a main dish or vegetable side alongside curries, rice and breads.
🍴 Why you will love this recipe
This rich and delicately spiced aubergine curry is totally delicious. Packed with flavour from garlic, chilli, coriander and spices it has the beautiful texture of almost-falling-apart aubergines, but cooks in just 20 minutes.
I usually serve it as a side dish alongside a curry, a dhal and perhaps a rice dish or naan bread, but for a quick weeknight supper it is delicious as a main meal with pilau rice.
Brinjal bhaji is not to be confused with deep-fried onion bhaji, which is a very different dish!
Whilst in a traditional brinjal bhaji the aubergines would be first cooked in a tandoor oven, I've created a quick and easy version here by first gently frying the aubergines, then covering the pan and cooking in spices and sauce until very soft.
📝 What you need
Aubergines You can use either 2 large aubergines or 10-12 baby aubergines, (in which case quarter them rather than cutting into chunks).
Green Pepper I'm not usually a fan of green peppers but in this dish their slightly bitter, grassy flavour really adds to the dish.
Garam Masala is a blend of various spices used in Indian cooking. Using a spice blend saves having to buy lots of separate spices. Garam masala usually contains a blend of cinnamon, mace, peppercorns, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, and cardamon pods.
Coriander Fresh coriander really finishes off the dish. If you separate the stalks from the leaves early on, you can chop the stalks and add to the brinjal bhaji along with the spices, then stir through the chopped leaves right at the end of cooking time.
👩🏽🍳 How to make your Brinjal Bhaji
For a full, printable recipe with ingredients and detailed instructions, scroll to the bottom of this page 👇🏼 .
Cut the aubergines into large chunks. Peel and slice the onion, and cut the pepper into chunks.
Fry the aubergine, pepper and onion for 6-8 minutes until starting to soften. Add garlic, chilli, spices and cook for a further 2 minutes. Add tomato purée, water, sugar, salt and balsamic vinegar. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
🔪 Top Tips & FAQs
Adjust the consistency of your brinjal bhaji before serving. If it is too dry, add a splash of water. If it is too watery, simmer uncovered for a minute or two until thick.
Don't let the aubergine burn in the first stage of frying - stir regularly and turn down to a more gentle heat if necessary.
Yes, this freezes well so is perfect for batch-cooking for the freezer. This works particularly well if you serve it as a side dish - you can freeze small quantities and just defrost when you need a vegetable side-dish for a curry night.
This will keep for up to 3 days in the fridge, as long as it is in an airtight container. The flavours actually mellow and develop after a day or two, so if you're entertaining you can make this a day ahead and reheat before serving.
🍽 If you liked that...
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Brinjal Bhaji (Aubergine Bhaji)
- 2 large aubergines or 10-12 baby aubergines
- 1 onion
- 1 green pepper
- 3 tablespoon sunflower or rapeseed oil
- 2 cloves garlic peeled and crushed
- 1 red chilli de-seeded and sliced
- 4 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar caster or light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoon tomato purée
- 80 ml water
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- fresh coriander
- Trim the ends from the aubergines and cut into lerge chunks 3-4cm.
- Peel and slice the onion. Trim and de-seed the pepper and cut into chunks.
- Heat the oil in a large lidded frying pan or casserole dish. Fry the aubergine, onion and pepper over a medium heat for 6-8 minutes, stirring frequently, until softened.
- Add the garlic, chilli, garam masala, salt and sugar. Stir well and cook for a further 2 minutes.
- Add the tomato purée, water and balsamic vinegar. Cover the pan with a lid and simmer for 10 minutes. If the sauce is a little watery, remove the lid and simmer for a further 2-3 minutes until thick.
- Taste and adjust seasoning as required. Finely chop the coriander leaves and stir through the brinjal bhaji, then serve alongside curries and rice dishes.
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