Nupur’s A-Z of Indian Vegetables: R is for Roasted Eggplant Sambhar

Lucky me, taking a breather from yard and housework for a long weekend getaway. But first, I finally get to rejoin the fun over at One Hot Stove, where lovely Nupur is hosting her weekly A-Z of Indian Vegetables!

Radishes, red peppers, red potatoes, all a possibility for “R” but I had none in the house. I was determined not to miss out on yet another week, so I made my favorite, sambhar — but instead of using plain eggplant, I roasted it. Roasting brings out the natural sweetness of eggplant, and the delicate Asian varieties take wonderfully to this treatment. Deglazing the roasting pan with a little water and adding it to the sambhar carries that lovely carmelized sweetness into the finished dish. The addition of fresh ginger is probably not authentic at all, but it compliments the taste of roasted eggplant.


Roasted Eggplant (Brinjal) Sambhar with Ginger

1/2 c toor dal, picked over and washed
1 small piece tamarind
2 fresh eggplants/brinjals (preferably long asian type)

For tadka:

1 tsp ghee

1″ piece very fresh ginger, peeled and quartered
1/2 tsp urad dal
1/2 tsp chana dal
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
a few methi seeds
1-2 dried red chiles
few curry leaves

For seasoning:

1 tsp kashmiri chile powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp methi powder

Salt to taste


Because my brinjals were so fresh and young, I didn’t put them in the oven but pan-roasted them in just a little cooking spray. To do this, heat a frying pan over med-high heat and spray with Pam, or use a little veg. oil. Cut the eggplant into half moons, somewhat thick, and place them in the hot pan. Let them cook, shaking the pan occasionally, for about 10-15 minutes, until they’re good and brown all over and smelling delicious. Turn off the heat and leave the eggplant in the pan. Add about a cup of warm water and stir it around, scraping up any little bits that stuck with a wooden spoon. Reserve the eggplant and this deglazing liquid.

The rest of the recipe is almost identical to the jackfruit sambhar I made a few weeks ago:

Pressure cook the dal with 1 1/2 c water. Mash to a smooth paste and set aside.

Soak the tamarind in about half a cup of hot water till soft. Strain the pulp and set the tamarind water aside.

In a saucepan, heat the ghee and do the tadka. I did the dals and methi first until fragrant, then popped the mustard; cumin, curry leaves and ginger were added last.

Add the roasted eggplant and its deglazing liquid along with the tamarind water, and simmer this mixture about 5 minutes or so, then add the powdered seasonings. Let it simmer together about 10 minutes, then add the mashed dal paste and 2 cups fresh cold water.

Bring everything to a boil, mixing well to blend the dal in completely. Boil just a minute or two, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Add salt to taste and simmer a further 15-20 minutes. Check the seasoning and adjust as necessary. Thin with a little more water to get the consistency you prefer.

sambhar with pan-roasted eggplant
roasted eggplant sambhar

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday weekend, and thanks for having me, Nupur! 🙂


  1. Suganya said

    My mom used to make this sambar with sun-dried eggplant pieces, but I am too lazy to make them myself. Yrs is a nice alternative.

    Hi Suganya, I’d love to try it with sun-dried eggplant — sounds wonderful! 🙂

  2. indosungod said

    Another lovely Eggplant dish. yes adding ginger to sambhar is new but why not? Looks really tasty. I will try sambhar your way with roasted eggplants soon. Have a few long eggplants.

    I’m sure you’ll have a gardenful of eggplants before this summer is through, ISG 🙂

  3. Nupur said

    Eggplant in sambar is delicious enough…but roasting the eggplant to really bring out the deep flavor? That is genius! Thanks so much for participating, Linda!

    I love roasted eggplant, Nupur – a weakness of mine as sometimes I eat it by itself! Thanks for your kind words and for having me again — A-Z is so much fun! 🙂

  4. Asha said

    That looks delicious,like an authentic Indian dish.Good idea to roast the Eggplants.Thanks for the new recipe,I can’t wait until I get some in my veggie patch!:)

    Thanks Asha — Won’t be long for your fresh veggies, the way your garden patch is looking in those photos! 🙂

  5. Trupti said

    Roasted Eggplant…..well! Now that is different, and I am sure a perfect complement to the toor daal. It looks really good, Linda.
    Enjoy the long weekend, we had ours last week.

    Glad you liked the look, Trupti! The weekends are flying by so fast I can hardly keep up with which is holiday and which is not. All too fast for me! 🙂

  6. Lata said

    Looks Yummy.

    Thank you, Lata 🙂

  7. Mishmash! said

    Linda….an authentic indian dish…and you re making it more tasty….see we re learning from you really appreciate you…..:)
    enjoy the weekend…

    You’re so sweet Shn — I really appreciate your kindness! Have a lovely weekend yourself 🙂

  8. sharmi said

    waw, that Sambar looks awesome. I love eggplant sambar. and also got this tip from you. must be tasting great.

    Thank you Sharmi! Eggplant is my favorite. If you try, I hope you enjoy! 🙂

  9. Asha said

    Linda,you wanted to know the real JF ,the difference betn raw and ripe and how it looks. I got the perfect site for you to see how it looks!!:))

    Thanks for the great link Asha! I know Bee is the Jackfruit Queen this month 😉 I am just fascinated by this fruit/veggie! 🙂

  10. Vani said

    Eggplant sambar looks absolutely yum, Linda!
    Prom girl looks beautiful!! Hope she had loads of fun!!
    Have a great Memorial Day weekend!

    Hi Vani, and thank you so much! I hope you had a great long weekend, too 🙂

  11. Sukanya said

    Hay this is my favorite dish…….It is looking YUM!……Nice picture…..

    Thanks very much, Sukanya — hard to go wrong with eggplants yes? 🙂

  12. sia said

    now a days i am learning indian cooking from u linda mouth watering recipe

    You’re so sweet to say, Supriya — I’m happy you liked it! 🙂

  13. swapna said

    Hi Linda
    u are amazing.becoming an expert in sambar.
    the dish looks lovely.

    Hi Swapna, and thank you! Sambhar is my favorite, so at least I get alot of practice! 🙂

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