Indian Curry Recipe: Brinjal Sambar (Eggplant Sambar)

Updated on January 3, 2020
ShailaSheshadri profile image

I like to cook and eat natural, healthy, and tasty foods. I use minimal oil and don't use artificial colors or preservatives in my cooking.

Authentic Indian Brinjal (Eggplant) Sambar Curry
Authentic Indian Brinjal (Eggplant) Sambar Curry

Tickle Your Taste Buds With This Authentic Indian Brinjal Sambar

Green brinjal is a favorite veggie in Indian kitchens. They make many dishes with it. The variety I use here is a very special one. It has a unique aroma and flavor when cooked. This brinjal originates from a place called Mattu in Udupi, Lord Krishna's place. This eggplant is called Mattu Gulla in Kannada.

Brinjal is very low in saturated fat and cholesterol. It is a good source of vitamin B6, vitamin K, thiamine, folate, potassium, and manganese. It is also an excellent source of dietary fiber. It is known to be high in sodium and sugar.

A Delicious and Unique Dish

Once in a while, we use this vegetable—mainly to satisfy our taste buds. Brinjal dishes are truly delicious. They make us eat faster!

The authentic Indian sambar I show here is the easiest dish to make, but it still tastes super yummy. In this, I have not used any spice powders. Try this easy recipe. If you're unable to get the same variety of brinjal, you can use other varieties of eggplant/brinjal to make this sambar.

Here's the step-by-step recipe for you!

The sambar while it's cooking.
The sambar while it's cooking.

Cook Time

Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 25 min
Ready in: 30 min
Yields: Serves four people


  • 2 cups brinjal/eggplant, green ones preferred, cubed
  • 1 big lemon-sized tamarind, soaked in water
  • 5 to 6 green chilies, slit lengthwise
  • 1/2 teaspoon hing/asafoetida (1/4 teaspoon for the gravy, 1/4 teaspoon for the tempering)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, or as per taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar or jaggery powder, optional, to balance the taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 3 tablespoons fresh green coriander, finely chopped


  1. Use preferably green, round brinjal/eggplants. Wash them. Chop them into 1-inch cubes. Immerse them in water for 10 minutes. This will remove the black, sticky substance from them. Strain them before using.
  2. Place the eggplant cubes in a vessel or sauce pan. Add about 6 cups of water. Add in the slit green chilies, hing powder, some salt, and turmeric powder. Let the mix come to a boil.
  3. Add tamarind pulp and sugar/jaggery powder. Cover the vessel and cook on a medium-low heat until the brinjal cubes become soft.
  4. Stir the mix occasionally.
  5. The gravy starts becoming thicker once the brinjal cubes cook completely. Add remaining salt. The cubes will absorb the spices and become tasty.
  6. Check the taste and adjust the seasonings accordingly. Cook till brinjal becomes a bit mushy. Add chopped fresh coriander leaves. Mix well. Turn off the heat.
  7. Keep the vessel covered so that the aroma of the fresh green coriander blends with the sambar.
  8. Tempering this sambar with hing powder enhances its taste: Heat some ghee or coconut oil in a small pan. Add mustard seeds. Let them crackle. Add curry leaves and hing powder. Mix well. Turn off the heat.
  9. Pour the tempering on the sambar. Mix well. This yummy, aromatic brinjal sambar curry is ready!
  10. Serve it with hot rice, idli, dosa, or flatbread. This side dish is both hot and sour. Enjoy!

Photo Guide

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Matti Gulla, a patented brinjal.Brinjal/eggplant sambar boiling in a vessel.The sambar is ready!Authentic brinjal sambar.Another look at the authentic brinjal sambar.
Matti Gulla, a patented brinjal.
Matti Gulla, a patented brinjal.
Brinjal/eggplant sambar boiling in a vessel.
Brinjal/eggplant sambar boiling in a vessel.
The sambar is ready!
The sambar is ready!
Authentic brinjal sambar.
Authentic brinjal sambar.
Another look at the authentic brinjal sambar.
Another look at the authentic brinjal sambar.
5 stars for Brinjal/Eggplant Sambar

Nutritional Information for Brinjal Sambar

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1
Calories 170
Calories from Fat18
% Daily Value *
Fat 2 g3%
Saturated fat 0 g
Carbohydrates 21 g7%
Sugar 3 g
Fiber 7 g28%
Protein 8 g16%
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 170 mg7%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.


Submit a Comment
  • ShailaSheshadri profile imageAUTHOR


    2 years ago from Bengaluru

    Thanks Dora. This sambar/curry has a perfect combination of spiciness(green chilies) and sourness(tamarind). Asafetida/hing is also a must ingredient. Once you make this sambar, you will come to know its taste. It's worth trying.

  • MsDora profile image

    Dora Weithers 

    2 years ago from The Caribbean

    The tamarind in the ingredients has me wondering, but I like curry so it's worth a try. Thanks for the recipe.


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