4 Servings

Spiced Baby Eggplants

The farmers’ market in high summer is the best bet for finding the small, inky-purple, round eggplants used in this recipe. They may be labeled Japanese, Indian, Italian—or simply “baby.” If you have an Asian grocer near you, try that. Alternately, use another small, purple- or lilac-colored type.



    • 1 1-inch piece ginger, peeled, finely grated
    • 2 garlic cloves, finely grated
    • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
    • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
    • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
    • 5 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more for serving
    • 1 teaspoon Kashmiri chili powder or sweet smoked paprika, plus more for serving
    • 1½ pounds Indian eggplants (about 12)
    • Kosher salt
    • Raita and coarsely chopped cilantro (for serving)





  • Mix ginger, garlic, coriander, cumin, turmeric, 2 Tbsp. oil, and 1 tsp. chili powder in a small bowl.

  • Quarter eggplants lengthwise through rounded bottom, stopping ½” short of the stem. Gently pry quarters open without detaching flesh from stem; season with salt. Spoon spice mix into each eggplant, making sure inside flesh is coated.

  • Heat 3 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet, preferably nonstick, over medium-high. Cook eggplants in a single layer, turning occasionally, until golden brown all over, 8–10 minutes total. Reduce heat to low and add ¼ cup water. Cover and cook, turning eggplants halfway through, until tender, 12–16 minutes.

  • Spoon raita on a platter. Arrange eggplants over, then top with cilantro. Sprinkle with more chili powder and drizzle with oil.