Achari Baingan

I used to avoid eating eggplant altogether as a teenager….it was squishy and didn’t look very appetizing. I then realized that it’s not the ingredients but the recipe you use that makes the difference. Ever since I have made my likes and dislikes about the recipes I use and not about the ingredients. There are limits to this, of course, hahaha! This recipe is definitely on my ‘likes’ list. Achari comes from the hindi word ‘achar’ meaning pickles. This recipe originated in Punjab and is a combination of many spices that are typically used in Indian pickles. The result is a hot, tangy and aromatic eggplant achar! Enjoy it with some hot phulka’s 🙂


  • Prep time – 10 minutes
  • Cook time – 25 minutes


  • Small Brinjal (Trim stem and slice each eggplant into four quarters) – 12
  • Ginger Garlic paste – 1 tsp
  • Curry leaves – 10
  • Hing/ Asafoetida – 1/4 tsp
  • Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
  • Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp
  • Fennel Seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Fenugreek Seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Nigella Seeds/ Kalonji – 1/4 tsp
  • Coriander Powder – 1 tsp (heaping)
  • Garam Masala Powder – 1 tsp
  • Kashmiri Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
    • Use slightly less chilli powder if you want it mildly spicy
  • Turmeric Powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Cumin Powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Amchur Powder/ Dry Mango Powder – 3/4 tsp
  • Oil – 2 tbsp
    • If you have mustard oil, you can use this too
  • Brown Sugar – 1/4 tsp
  • Salt – 1 tsp
  • Coriander (chopped) for garnish


  1. Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds and nigella seeds
  2. When the mustard seeds start to crackle, and the other seeds turn light brown, add the hing and curry leaves. Saute for a minute
  3. Add the ginger-garlic paste and saute for another minute
  4. Add the coriander powder, turmeric powder, chilli powder and cumin powder. Fry for a minute on medium-low heat, ensuring that you don’t burn the masalas and spices
  5. Add the eggplant and mix well with the spice mixture until well combined
  6. Add 1/4 cup water. Cover and cook the egg plant on medium heat for 3 minutes
  7. Add the salt and saute well. Cover and cook for 5 minutes on medium heat. Add water if required to ensure that the eggplant does not get burnt
  8. Add the garam masala, amchur powder and sugar. Mix well. Cover and cook for 10 minutes on medium heat. Again, add little water if required to prevent the eggplant from getting burnt
  9. Add the chopped coriander as garnish and gently mix. The eggplant should be soft yet retain its shape….that’s the texture you are looking for. Fry until water has evaporated.
  10. Ready to serve 🙂

Achari Baingan 1.JPG




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