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Eggplant sweet and sour curry(sri lankan brinjal pahi).

Eggplant sweet and sour curry(Sri Lankan brinjal pahi).

 

Brinjal/Eggplant is known as Wambatu in Sri Lanka and this brinjal curry is basically fried brinjal/eggplant mixed with spices and coconut milk.

 

The word “Pahi” is used for cooking curries sans the gravy and giving the dish the ability to be preserved longer.

 

It could also be considered as a pickled brinjal/eggplant dish but with the addition of various spices.

 

The vegetarian/vegan brinjal fry curry is sweet, tangy and spicy and is a very traditional dish that can be served at any festive occasion.

 

And if you are looking to impress your guest with a genuinely authentic  Sri Lankan meal then the brinjal/wambatu pahi is a must.

A brinjal/eggplant curry you can make ahead of time and take it with you for your loved ones living overseas.

 

An authentic Sri Lankan dish they would love to have while reminiscing of home-cooked meals from home.

 

Just make sure that you pack the brinjal curry in an airtight container with a few extra layers of wrapping to avoid seepage.

 

Save the recipe to your favorite Pinterest board!

 

Thank you note to my readers.

 

Utensils and appliances needed.

Chopping board & knife

Frying Pan

Colander/Drainer

Kitchen Towels

Plate

2-3 Containers/Bowls

 

Beginner’s tips on making

wambatu/brinjal pahi.

  • Have all the ingredients ready and prepared for the brinjal curry.

 

  • While frying the eggplant make sure to maintain a steady medium fire.

 

  • Make sure you fry them in small batches, the smaller brinjal slices tend to fry quicker than the large pieces so batch and fry them separately.

 

  • If you live in an apartment make sure the air vents of your stove is on, despite the brinjal pahi not having any unpleasant smell, the frying odor tends to cling, I realized this when I had to make the brinjal fry for my husband working overseas, I also had the doors to the bedrooms closed at all times.

 

  • Avoid stacking the fried brinjals on top of each other instead, spread them over the paper towels to remove any excess oil.

 

  • The use of too much tamarind and vinegar can cause the brinjal fry curry to really taste sour so please do taste the curry sauce as you make it. you want a perfect balance of sweet and sour coming through.

 

How to make tamarind juice.

If you are using tamarind pods

Warm 1/4 cup water. soak a few Tamarind pods(3-4) in warm water for 10 minutes.

Once it thickens squeeze the solids through a strainer to obtain the juice. use as per recipe instructions.

If you using tamarind pulp or paste

This is highly concentrated so use just half a teaspoon of tamarind paste or pulp with 1/4 cup water and use as per the recipe instruction.

 

More Brinjal/eggplant recipes!

Sri Lankan brinjal pickle/wambotu moju.

Sri Lankan creamy eggplant curry.

Spicy fried eggplant salad.

 

 

Storing- once you make the brinjal pahi, let it cool and separate into small portions and refrigerate. use within 2-3 weeks.

 

Freezing- can be frozen for 3 weeks.

 

Reheating- remove the brinjal pahi container from the freezer. set it out to reach room temperature, this may take a couple of hours. the brinjal pahi is not usually warmed but you can microwave it for 10-20 seconds.

 

Stop food waste-since the brinjal pahi has a longer storage life, I would recommend storing them in small batches. an individual can consume only 2-3 servings.

 

recipe difficulty rating.

 

How to make Sri Lankan

brinjal pahi.

 

Please make sure to read the recipe instructions carefully to avoid mistakes.

Ingredients

Ingredients mentioned below use standard measuring cups and spoons.

500g of brinjals(these can be large eggplants or medium-sized ones)
1  teaspoon of turmeric powder
Salt to season(1/2 to 1 teaspoon used as needed to season the eggplant slices)
2-3 cups of oil

1 tsp ground mustard seeds

1 tablespoon of coriander powder
1 teaspoon of cumin powder
1 teaspoon of fennel seed powder(1teaspoon of fennel seeds can also be ground in a grinder at home for this purpose)
A sprig of curry leaves
2-inch pandan piece
1 medium-sized onion sliced fine
1 tablespoon of minced ginger(1-inch piece crushed)
1 tablespoon of crushed garlic(3-4 pods)
3 green chillies split in the middle
A piece of cinnamon(2-inch)
1/3 cup coconut vinegar
2 tablespoons of tamarind juice(see notes above)
Salt to season
1 tablespoon of red chillie powder
1/2 cup thick coconut milk(see notes above)
1 tablespoon of sugar

Method

 

Have all the ingredients cut and ready for the brinjal fry.

ingredients for sweet and sour eggplant curry.

 

 

Have the liquid ingredients ready as well, these will be tamarind juice(2tbsp), coconut milk(1/2 cup), vinegar(1/3 cup)preferably natural coconut vinegar. more ingredients needed for brinjal/eggplant curry.

 

 

How to cut the eggplant

for the brinjal fry.

Wash the eggplant(500g) and remove the stem. cut the eggplant into round slices that are 1/2 inch thick.

sliced egg plant/aubergine pictures.

 

Once you cut them into circular slices, stack them into four and then cut them into thick strips.

strips of eggplant for the brinjal pahi.

 

Season the eggplant strips with turmeric and salt, make sure all the strips are covered in turmeric and salt.strips of eggplant for the brinjal pahi.

 

How to fry the eggplant/aubergines.

Have a plate ready with paper kitchen towels spread over it.

Place a deep frying pan over low medium heat and pour in the oil, heat the oil over medium fire for 2-3 minutes.

Maintain heat and fry the eggplant in small batches.

Fry until they are golden brown and crispy, drain any excess oil from the fried brinjals and place them on the paper towels.

Make sure not to pile up the fried brinjal batches on top of each other but place spread over the plate.

Set aside.fried eggplant/aubergine pictures.

 

Making the brinjal pahi gravy.

Into a large frying pan, add ground mustard powder(1tsp), curry leaves( a sprig), onions(1 medium sized), cinnamon(2 inch piece), ginger(1tbsp), garlic(1tbsp), green chillies(3), coriander powder(1tbsp), cumin powder(1tsp), red chilli powder(1tbsp), fennel powder(1tsp), tamarind juice(2tbsp), vinegar(1/3 cup).

Place the pan over low fire and heat for 3-5 minutes or just until you see the onions turn soft.tamamarind curry for the brinjal pahi.

 

Pour in the coconut milk(1/2 cup) and cook over a low-medium fire for 3 minutes season with salt. coconut milk sauce for the brinjal curry.

 

Add sugar(1tbsp) and cook until the coconut gravy for the brinjal pahi thickens and changes color.

Simmer until you have enough thick gravy that will coat the brinjals/aubergines.

Make sure to taste the brinjal pahi coconut gravy. the sourness of both tamarind and vinegar should come through but balanced by the sugar coconut milk and the spices.thick gravy for brinjal curry.

 

 

Once the brinjal gravy is thick and changes color, add the brinjal to this gravy, maintaining very low heat.

Avoid using a spoon to mix, shake the pan with the handle for the fried eggplant to spread out.fried brinjals/aubergine in coconut milk curry.

 

 

Use a fork or large spoon to combine the brinjals and the thick sauce while cooking over low heat for another 2 minutes.

Do the final tasting, you may have to season the brinjal pahi with salt and sugar(1 tsp) to balance the sour, sweet combo on the brinjal fried curry.Sri Lankan brinjal pahi

 

Yield: 5

Eggplant sweet and sour curry(sri lankan brinjal pahi).

Eggplant sweet and sour curry(sri lankan brinjal pahi).
Eggplant sweet and sour curry(Sri Lankan brinjal pahi).

 

Brinjal/Eggplant is known as Wambatu in Sri Lanka and this brinjal curry is basically fried brinjal/eggplant mixed with spices and coconut milk.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour

Ingredients

  • Ingredients mentioned below use standard measuring cups and spoons.
  • 500g of brinjals(these can be large eggplants or medium-sized ones)
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • Salt to season(1/2 to 1 teaspoon used as needed to season the eggplant slices)
  • 2-3 cups of oil
  • 1 tsp ground mustard seeds
  • 1 tablespoon of coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon of fennel seed powder(1teaspoon of fennel seeds can also be ground in a grinder at home for this purpose)
  • A sprig of curry leaves
  • 2-inch pandan piece
  • 1 medium-sized onion sliced fine
  • 1 tablespoon of minced ginger(1-inch piece crushed)
  • 1 tablespoon of crushed garlic(3-4 pods)
  • 3 green chillies split in the middle
  • A piece of cinnamon(2-inch)
  • 1/3 cup coconut vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of tamarind juice(see notes above)
  • Salt to season
  • 1 tablespoon of red chillie powder
  • 1/2 cup thick coconut milk(see notes above)
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar

Instructions

    Have all the ingredients cut and ready for the brinjal fry.

    Have the liquid ingredients ready as well, these will be tamarind juice(2tbsp), coconut milk(1/2 cup), vinegar(1/3 cup)preferably natural coconut vinegar.

    How to cut the eggplant for the brinjal fry.

    Wash the eggplant(500g) and remove the stem. cut the eggplant into round slices that are 1/2 inch thick.

    Once you cut them into circular slices, stack them into four and then cut them into thick strips.

    Season the eggplant strips with turmeric and salt, make sure all the strips are covered in turmeric and salt.

    HOW TO FRY THE EGGPLANT/AUBERGINES.

    Have a plate ready with paper kitchen towels spread over it.

    Place a deep frying pan over low medium heat and pour in the oil, heat the oil over medium fire for 2-3 minutes.

    Maintain heat and fry the eggplant in small batches.

    Fry until they are golden brown and crispy, drain any excess oil from the fried brinjals and place them on the paper towels.

    Make sure not to pile up the fried brinjal batches on top of each other but place spread over the plate.

    Set aside.

    Making the brinjal pahi gravy.

    Into a large frying pan, add ground mustard powder(1tsp), curry leaves( a sprig), onions(1 medium sized), cinnamon(2 inch piece), ginger(1tbsp), garlic(1tbsp), green chillies(3), coriander powder(1tbsp), cumin powder(1tsp), red chilli powder(1tbsp), fennel powder(1tsp), tamarind juice(2tbsp), vinegar(1/3 cup).

    Place the pan over low fire and heat for 3-5 minutes or just until you see the onions turn soft.

    Pour in the coconut milk(1/2 cup) and cook over a low-medium fire for 3 minutes season with salt. 

    Add sugar(1tbsp) and cook until the coconut gravy for the brinjal pahi thickens and changes color.

    Simmer until you have enough thick gravy that will coat the brinjals/aubergines.

    Make sure to taste the brinjal pahi coconut gravy. the sourness of both tamarind and vinegar should come through but balanced by the sugar coconut milk and the spices.

    Once the brinjal gravy is thick and changes color, add the brinjal to this gravy, maintaining very low heat.

    Avoid using a spoon to mix, shake the pan with the handle for the fried eggplant to spread out.

    Use a fork or large spoon to combine the brinjals and the thick sauce while cooking over low heat for another 2 minutes.

    Do the final tasting, you may have to season the brinjal pahi with salt and sugar(1 tsp) to balance the sour, sweet combo on the brinjal fried curry.

    Made this recipe?

    Please don’t forget to rate the recipe on the recipe card so other readers find it helpful and show me your recipe by tagging me #islandsmile178 on Instagram.

     

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

5

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 2529Total Fat: 276gSaturated Fat: 23gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 240gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 258mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 5gSugar: 11gProtein: 3g
Each recipe on this blog has been written with great care and love to the best of my ability with you in mind.
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Rev

Wednesday 25th of November 2020

Have made this twice so far and it has turned out delicious! Didn't have pandan so left that out both times. Thanks for the recipe.

jehan

Wednesday 25th of November 2020

Hi Rev, Thank you for writing to me regarding the outcome of the recipe. you are most welcome. Regards J

Laurie

Thursday 18th of June 2020

what can I substitute for pandan?

jehan

Monday 22nd of June 2020

Hi Laurie, no substitute but you can leave out the pandan leaf if it is not available.

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