A Minimum Effort Maximum Results Kinda Recipe

Indian Style Roast Eggplant With Tomato & Garlic

This dish NEVER fails to get compliments … it’s SO easy, yet tastes as though you expended time, effort and skills preparing it. Plus, and this is a funny one~ no onions required. Now, anyone who knows Indian cooking knows cutting and frying onions is likely to feature somewhere. Many seasoned South Asian cooks I know will declare that any recipe claiming deliciousness AND zero addition of onions must be looked at with suspicion! I say – no onions means time saved and, knowing how perfectly this turns out every time,  it must be added to your list of ‘easy AND delicious things to make in the kitchen’ immediately!

I was never interested in cooking when I was younger and living at home, so I never asked my mama about her signature items (I just happily ate them!). However this is one I did learn and years later, when I had a chance to make it for her she praised it and asked for the recipe! ‘MAMA! you are the one who gave it to me!’. I suggest you take this as a testament to how good this is that the original chef found it delicious enough to compliment!

Mama Teli’s Roast Eggplant with Tomatoes and Garlic ~

2 Large Aubergines/Eggplant. (I usually use two large eggplants but this time I only had the little ones so that is fine too)


2 Tomatoes (the number of tomato/ aubergine ratio should be aprox the same and again this time I only had the smaller plum tomatoes on hand so that is what I used)

5-6 Cloves of Garlic, (go ahead and use more if you like)

Fresh bunch Coriander/Cilantro


3 Tbs Oil, Salt to taste , 1 Tsp Turmeric, 1 Heaped Tsp Coriander/Cilantro Powder, 1/2 Tsp Chilli Powder (optional)


Pre-heat your oven to a really high temp. I do 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut the aubergines into chunks toss with oil and salt and put into the preheated oven for about 15-20 mins or until a little charred. This is the secret to the success of this dish.


Most South Asian eggplant curries require the vegetable to be fried in oil and since aubergines are like a sponge they soak up A LOT of oil. By doing it this way the aubergines are cooked by baking and not much oil (nor much time spent standing over a frying pan) is required at all. Like I said minimum effort maximum results, and now you can call it pretty healthy too.

While they are in oven – slice / chop the tomatoes and crush, grate or chop the  garlic – I like to crush mine using a traditional method of a wooden pestle and mortar.



Add some oil to pan and sauté garlic. Don’t let it brown!


Just before it browns add the tomatoes mix for 3 mins and add a generous bunch of chopped coriander/cilantro. Add a pinch of salt and let them soften by covering.


Once a little soft add the spices and add more salt to taste but remember the aubergines also have salt in them so don’t over do it!


Once all mixed up add aubergines to tomatoes and cover keep on high heat for a few mins – mix and turn to low/medium low cook till oil comes on top, making sure to mix in between to prevent sticking to the bottom.


So delicious just like that. The sweetness and ‘melt in the mouth’ taste of the roast aubergine compliments the tart tomatoes and perfect blend of Indian spices. It’s a good one.


Variations – Add green or red chopped pepper, add green chillies or add potatoes or add all four! here I chose to add one red, half a green, and one jalapeño pepper.



Serve hot or  cold with plain boiled white rice or naan bread or even use it as a dip with tortillas. Garnish with fresh coriander and add a dollop of natural yogurt to the side.


If you bake the aubergines in advance and once cooled, flat pack into a zip-lock and freeze, then it’s an instant meal when you are short of time as you can just take it out the freezer and add to tomatoes and garlic as above. My Argentinian neighbor, who had never cooked Indian food before, tasted this and immediately asked me for the recipe and method. Now she tells me it’s totally one of her favorite ‘go to’ quick meals.

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  • Reply Vanessa L McGreevy October 24, 2017 at 1:02 am

    Deeeeeelish!!! Now if I only had some fresh “Mama Teli Naan to dip in it!! 😉

  • Reply M H March 28, 2017 at 6:02 pm

    ASA. I’ve made this dish so many times and it’s always been a winner. Husband thinks aubergines are his favourite now…Three years back when we got married, it was ‘but I don’t like aubergines’! Have shared the recipe with many others, jazakillah!

    A quick Q…Have only made it with aubergines, was hoping to try with the other vegetables as well…at what point would one add the potatoes?

    • Reply Sumaya March 29, 2017 at 1:39 am

      Yay! So glad to know the aubergine love continues! You can add the potatoes in straight away after you have added the aubergines and given them a good mix.

  • Reply Hafsa November 10, 2016 at 12:32 am

    Salam, This dish was super yummy and very simple to make. Made this beautiful dish for an international food competition at my child’s Islamic school, the rules were, make something from a different culture that you’ve never made before. I’m so glad I made this dish cause I ended up winning thanks to this recipe. Thanks for sharing Sumaya!

  • Reply Leila October 9, 2016 at 11:49 am

    Thanks for sharing this recipe. The explosion of flavors left me wanting more! This will get added to my ‘go to’ dishes, I did adjust slightly, I used 4 tomatoes for two large egg plants, and since we are big garlic fans I used 8 garlics 🙂 – so delicious! I think I might try this recipe with chicken on the bone next!

    • Reply Sumaya October 9, 2016 at 11:43 pm

      So glad you liked it Leila! I love adding extra garlic too! 8 garlics sounds just about right to me 🙂

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