Achari Baingan (Eggplant with Pickling Spices)

Achari Baingan (Eggplant with Pickling Spices)

Roasted eggplant slices are cooked in a tomato sauce infused with pickling South Asian spices. The aroma of nigella, cumin, fennel and fenugreek seeds make this vegetarian dish so appetizing. 
Recipe - Achari Baingan (Eggplant with Pickling Spices)

The 'achari masala' (pickling spice mix) is one of my go-to spices to elevate any dish be it with meat, chicken or veggies. I want to incorporate more veggies in my daily meals but I usually find them very boring. This 'Achari Baingan' is one of those recipes where you keep going back for another bite. It preserves the texture of the eggplant while also elevating its taste. The best part is that anybody can make it. No special cooking skill required whatsoever! So what are you waiting for, get on your aprons and get started?!

Recipe - Achari Baingan (Eggplant with Pickling Spices)


  • 500g eggplant
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp nigella seeds (kalonji)
  • 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds (meethi dana)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp or to taste salt
  • 3/4 tsp red chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 3 tomatoes (sliced)
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • fresh coriander leaves (chopped)


  1. Cut the eggplant in circles of around 1 cm thickness.
  2. Take a big pan/tawa, drizzle some oil and on maximum heat put the eggplant slices on it. Don't overlap. Spread as many as you can and leave the rest for the next time. Roast the eggplant on each side till they are slightly charred. Remove on a separate plate. Repeat the steps till you have roasted all of them. Eggplant soak a lot of oil which is fine, we just want charred edges which can be achieved without adding loads of oil. 
  3. In a new pot add the oil and when it heats up add the nigella, cumin, fennel and fenugreek seeds. Infuse with the oil for 2 mins and then add the tomatoes.
  4. Cover the pan and on medium-low heat let the tomatoes disintegrate. Also add the cumin powder, salt, red chili, coriander powder and turmeric. Cook everything till a masala begins to form and oil seeps out from the side.
  5. Then put the eggplant, add a splash of water (only a splash) and leave on dam (low heat) for 10-12 mins. When done some of the eggplant will be mushy and some firm (but cooked) and this is how we want it. Don't overcook it! Any water should have been dried and the oil will have seeped again out of the sides.
  6. Sprinkle some garam masala and coriander and serve.

Achari Baingan (Eggplant with Pickling Spices)