The secret to a delicious flavourful raita is layers of flavour.
Not only is the yogurt flavoured with spices but the addition of tadka (spice infused oil) sprinkled overtop gives it an extra burst of flavour.
Eggplant raita is great on its own, as a snack or severed as a side with biryani or your favourite curry.
I like using the variety of eggplant that is thinner with light purple skin (called Chinese eggplant over here). The other varieties of eggplant will also work but I find the longer thinner variety is a bit lighter in flavour, less bitter and has a thinner skin which is more edible – all that works really well in this raita.
Don’t like eggplant? Not to worry, skip out and just use raw diced cucumber instead. Or try boiled beetroot for a beetroot raita. See the recipe notes for these variations.
Ready in less than 15 minutes this eggplant raita is easy and delicious. Great to make ahead as the flavours develop more the longer it sits.
Easy Eggplant Raita
- 1 medium eggplant (recommend Chinese eggplant – with light purple skin)
- 1 cup yogurt (I recommend the full fat version for a creamy flavour)
- 1/2 cup water (or milk for a creamier version)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 1/4 tsp ground cumin
- 5-6 curry leaves
- 1/2 tsp whole cumin seeds
- 1-2 whole dried chilli
- oil (for frying)
Fry the Eggplant
- Wash and thinly slice the eggplant.
- Heat a large frying pan with 2-3 tbsp oil (enough to coat the bottom the pan) on medium heat.
- Fry the eggplant in batches. Place in a single layer, cook for about 2-3 mins then flip over and cook another 2-3 mins, till softened and golden brown. Add more oil to the pan for the next batch.
- Set aside and prepare the yogurt.
- Mix the yogurt with 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp coriander, 1/4 tsp cumin and 1/2 cup water.
- Stir to reach the consistency you like. I prefer a thicker raita, but if you want a thinner consistency raita add more water or milk to thin it out.
- Mix the fried eggplant into the yogurt mixture. This can be made ahead of time and refrigerated up to 2 days till you are ready to serve.
Tardka (Flavoured Oil Topping)
- When ready to serve, heat 3 tbsp of oil in a small frying pan on medium heat.
- Add the dried red chilli, 7-8 curry leaves, 1/2 tsp cumin seeds.
- Cook for 1-2 mins till it starts to sputter and get fragrant (careful not to overcook or the spices will burn).
- Carefully pour the flavoured oil and spices over the raita (it will sputter a bit).