Aloo baingan is a simple and flavorful Indian curry that combines potatoes and eggplant, or brinjal, cooked with aromatic spices. In Hindi, 'aloo' means potato and 'baingan' refers to eggplant. These two vegetables form the core of this naturally gluten-free and vegan dish. Also called brinjal sabzi, it pairs well with roti or Basmati rice, making for a delightful meal that can be prepared in under 30 minutes. Aloo baingan is known for its savory and mildly spicy flavor. It is a comforting and satisfying dish that is enjoyed by both vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike.
Using an Instant Pot to make this wholesome and tasty aloo baingan masala not only saves time but also requires minimal effort. It is a hearty eggplant curry perfect for a quick weeknight dinner, providing a hassle-free and nutritious meal. However, this aloo baingan recipe can also be prepared using a stovetop cooker if preferred.
There are various ways to prepare this humble eggplant masala, and here is my version. Below, you will find the list of ingredients, helpful tips, and step-by-step instructions for making this healthy and delicious brinjal curry without the need for frying the eggplants.
Why you will love this recipe?
- Easy and quick: This recipe can be prepared in under 30 minutes, making it perfect for busy weeknights when you want a delicious meal without spending too much time in the kitchen.
- Healthy and nutritious: Aloo baingan is a wholesome and nutritious dish that combines the goodness of potatoes and eggplant. It is naturally gluten-free and vegan, making it suitable for a wide range of dietary preferences.
- Flavorful spices: The aromatic spices used in this recipe add a depth of flavor to the dish. These spices not only enhance the taste but also offer various health benefits.
- No frying Required: Unlike some variations of aloo baingan that involve frying eggplants, this recipe avoids the frying step. This makes it a healthier option without compromising on taste.
Potato and eggplant: These are the main ingredients of aloo baingan.
Onion and tomatoes: They form the base of the curry.
Spices: Whole spice used is cumin seeds. The powdered spices used are ground coriander, chili powder, turmeric, and garam masala.
Kasoori methi: Or dried fenugreek leaves. This is an optional ingredient and can be skipped.
Other ingredients: Ginger, garlic, cilantro, and lime/lemon.
Step 1: Set the Instant Pot in saute mode and add oil. Add cumin seeds, onion, ginger, and garlic. Saute for 3 minutes, until the onion softens (images 1 and 2).
Step 2: Add tomatoes, Kasoori methi, coriander powder, chili powder, turmeric powder, sugar, and salt. Mix well and saute for 2 minutes (images 3 and 4).
Step 3: Add potato and eggplant cubes. Add ⅓ cup water and mix well. Secure the IP lid and set it to pressure cook mode for 3 minutes (images 5 and 6).
Step 4: Do a quick release of the pressure and open the lid once the pin drops. Add garam masala, lime juice, and cilantro (images 7 and 8).
Alternate cooking methods
While my methi pulao recipe uses the Instant Pot, there are alternate cooking methods to prepare methi pulao or methi rice. Here are a few alternatives:
Stovetop pressure cooker: You can use a traditional stovetop pressure cooker to make aloo baingan. Follow this recipe with one cup of water and cook for one whistle in the cooker. Release the pressure immediately to avoid overcooking the eggplant.
Follow this recipe and cook on a stovetop pressure cooker for one whistle. To make it in a pan, follow this recipe and add 1 cup of water. Cover and simmer until the potatoes and eggplant are completely cooked (about 20 minutes).
Stovetop cooking: You can make this dish on a stovetop using a regular cooking pot or a frying pan. Follow the same steps as mentioned in the recipe and cook the vegetables on low to medium heat. Use one cup of water and cook covered on low heat for 18-20 minutes (or until all the vegetables are cooked).
Slow cooker/crock-pot method: To use a slow cooker or crock-pot to make aloo baingan, follow the recipe steps to cook the onion-tomato masala in a frying pan. Transfer the onion-tomato masala mixture along with potatoes and eggplant. Add the water, cover, and begin the cooking process on low heat for 3-4 hours, or until the vegetables are cooked and tender.
Cut the eggplants into similar-sized chunks, about 1-1.5 inches. This way, they will be cooked well and evenly. Cutting them into small pieces will turn them mushy.
I have used medium-sized globe eggplants for this dish and they work the best for this dish.
We need to add very little water before pressure cooking. Eggplants release a lot of moisture so adding more water can make the curry thin.
I use a small amount of sugar which balances the tangy tomatoes really well. This is optional and can be skipped.
What to serve with aloo baingan?
Potato eggplant curry is a flavorful dish that can be paired with some of these side dishes:
Flavored rice: Saffron rice and jeera rice are some delicious side dish options for this dish.
Bread: Naan is a popular Indian bread that is perfect for soaking up the rich sauce of baingan aloo masala. You can also serve other types of bread, such as roti or chapati. Poori, a deep-fried bread, is a delightful and indulgent choice to enjoy with aloo baingan. Its crispy texture and rich taste make it a satisfying combination.
Plain rice: Steamed basmati rice is a classic accompaniment to Indian curries, including aloo baingan. You can use sona masoori rice or red rice, depending on your preference.
Raita and salad: Raita is a yogurt-based side dish that can help balance the spiciness of any dish. Kachumber salad is also a great accompaniment to this curry.
Papadum: Papadum is a crispy Indian snack that can be served as a side dish or appetizer. It can be found in most Indian grocery stores and comes in a variety of flavors.
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Find my full collection of Indian potato recipes and Instant Pot Indian curries here.
Big chunks (1-1.5 inches) will need 3 minutes of pressure cooking, with a quick release of pressure to be cooked perfectly without turning mushy.
This brinjal curry can be stored in the refrigerator for up to five days. This curry is also freezer-friendly and can be frozen for up to 3 months.
It is really important to cut them into big pieces of 1-1.5 inches. Also, do a quick release of the pressure. If you let the pressure release naturally, the eggplants will be overcooked.
Yes. Skip onion and garlic, and cook ginger in tomatoes. The rest of the recipe remains the same.
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Instant Pot Aloo Baingan (Potato Eggplant Curry)
- 2 medium globe eggplant cut into 1-1.5 inch pieces
- 2 large potatoes cut into 1 inch pieces
- 2 tablespoon oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 large onion finely chopped
- 2 medium tomatoes finely chopped
- ½ tablespoon ginger finely chopped
- 2-3 cloves garlic finely chopped
- ¼ teaspoon sugar
- ¾ teaspoon salt adjust as per taste
- 2 tablespoon cilantro
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- ½ cup water
- 2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ½ teaspoon garam masala
- 1 tablespoon kasoori methi
- Set the Instant Pot in saute mode and add oil.
- Once it heats, add cumin seeds.
- Next, add onion, ginger, and garlic. Saute for 3 minutes, until the onion softens.
- Add tomatoes, Kasoori methi, coriander powder, chili powder, turmeric powder, sugar, and salt. Mix well and saute for 2 minutes.
- Deglaze the pot well.
- Add potato and eggplant cubes. Add ½ cup water and mix well.
- Secure the IP lid and set it to pressure cook mode for 3 minutes.
- Once the Instant Pot beeps, turn it off and do a quick release.
- Add garam masala, lime juice, and coriander leaves. Mix well.
- Serve with Basmati rice or roti.
Sounds delicious. I've not tried eggplant and potato together before.
Love that this recipe can be made in an instant pot, so simple!