South Indian Style Eggplant Brown Rice Pilaf

Posted by: EatFree

>> Gluten-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

This brown rice pilaf has a predominantly nutty flavor from the addition of the dals as well as the mustard seeds, with lemony undertones from the coriander and curry leaves and smokiness from the cumin.  The caramelized eggplant adds a nice sweetness and heartiness to the dish, satisfying any craving for meat. Look for the chana dal (split legume) at any Indian market or online. Dried curry leaves can also be substituted.


  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1.5 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 chile de arbol
  • 2 tablespoons  oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 8 fresh curry leaves, julienned
  • 1/4 cup chana dal
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1 cup medium red onion, diced
  • 1.5 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 1 serrano chili, slit
  • salt to taste
  • 1 big eggplant (about 1.25 pounds), cut into slivers
  • 4 cups cooked brown basmati rice, cooled


  1. Toast  coriander, cumin, and chile until fragrant.  Let cool.
  2. Heat oil.  Add mustard seeds, curry leaves, dal, and sesame. Cook until fragrant.  Add onion and cook for 3 to 4 minutes until onions are translucent.  Add garlic and chili.  Cook for 30 seconds.  Add eggplant and cook for several minutes or until eggplant is nicely wilted and caramelized, stirring constantly.
  3. Grind spices.  Add to eggplant mixture and stir for 30 seconds.   Add 2 and 1/2 cups of  water and let simmer for about 30-40 minutes covered or until dal is fully cooked through (add more water if needed throughout cooking).  Take off cover and evaporate off all excess moisture. Turn off heat (mixture should be relatively dry.)  Gently toss in chilled rice and enjoy!
This entry was posted on Monday, October 1st, 2012 at 6:56 pm and is filed under Gluten-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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