• 1 small to medium globe eggplant, unpeeled
  • ¼ cup neutral oil, plus more for pan-frying
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 6-7 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1-inch piece ginger, crushed
  • 2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped (or 3 small)
  • 1 small green chili pepper, such as Thai or Serrano, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • ¼-½ teaspoon red chili powder (to taste)
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt (or 1½ teaspoons sea salt)
  • 2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cubed into ¾-1 inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro leaves, finely chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon garam masala or chaat masala (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice


  • Heavy-bottomed pan with lid
  • Nonstick skillet


  1. Prepare Eggplant:
    • Slice off the stem of the eggplant and cut into ¾ inch-thick rounds, then dice into 1-inch cubes.
    • In a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, add oil and pan-fry the eggplant in batches until golden brown on each side, about 3 minutes per side. Set aside.
  2. Cook the Spices and Vegetables:
    • Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add cumin seeds and let them sizzle.
    • Add chopped onion and sauté until lightly golden. Deglaze the pan with 2 tablespoons of water.
    • Add garlic and ginger, continuing to sauté until the onions deepen in color.
    • Mix in chopped tomatoes, green chili, all dry spices, and salt. Cook until tomatoes soften and oil begins to separate.
  3. Combine and Cook Potatoes and Eggplant:
    • Add cubed potatoes to the curry base, stir, and cook briefly. Add ½ cup water, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.
    • Stir in the pan-fried eggplant and continue to cook for another 15-17 minutes, stirring occasionally. If needed, add water to prevent sticking.
  4. Final Seasoning and Serving:
    • If needed, raise the heat to allow the curry to thicken and the oil to separate once more.
    • Adjust seasoning, turn off the heat, and sprinkle with cilantro, garam masala or chaat masala, and lemon juice.
    • Serve hot with roti, naan, or your choice of bread.