Coconut Eggplant Indian Kerala Vegetarian

Eggplant Cooked In Roasted Coconut Gravy | South Indian Curry Recipe

Varutharacha Curry is a traditional South Indian curry that is popular in Kerala cuisine. The term “varutharacha” translates to “roasted coconut” in Malayalam. As the name suggests, the key characteristic of this curry is the use of roasted coconut, which imparts a rich and deep flavor to the dish. Varutharacha Curry can be made with various vegetables or seafood.

In this recipe, I’ve added eggplant or brinjal. A variety of vegetables like okra, moringa-drumsticks, bitter gourd, small-pearl onions can be added, or any kind of fish or shrimp can be added.

This curry can be enjoyed with rice, chapati, appam, idiyappam, orotti, etc.

Eggplant Cooked In Roasted Coconut Gravy | South Indian Curry Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Indian
Serves: 5 people
For roasting coconut
  • Coconut, grated- 1½ cups
  • Small onions or pearl onions- 3
  • Curry leaves- 8 leaves
  • Kashmiri Chili powder- ½ to 1 tbsp
  • Coriander powder- 1 tbsp
  • Whole peppercorns- 1 tsp
  • Water- 1 cup while grinding
For making gravy
  • Eggplant or Brinjal, diced- 2 cups
  • Tamarind extract- ½ cup (2-inch slice, soaked in ½ cup warm water)
  • Curry leaves- 1 sprig
  • Salt- 1½ tsp
  1. In a small bowl, soak fresh tamarind in ½ cup of lukewarm water for 5 minutes.
  2. Squeeze the soaked tamarind in water to extract the juice, strain the juice & discard the skin & seeds.
  3. Place a large pan over medium heat.
  4. Add grated coconut, small onions & curry leaves, roast over medium heat till the coconut turns golden brown in color.
  5. Keep stirring for even roasting and to avoid the coconut from burning.
  6. When the coconut turns golden brown, add Kashmiri chili powder (for less spice add ½ tbsp), coriander powder & whole black peppercorns.
  7. If you want this less spicy, add less whole peppercorns.
  8. Combine everything well, saute for 2 minutes.
  9. Take the pan off the heat, let cool down.
  10. In a blender, grind the roasted coconut along with 1 cup water to a smooth paste.
  11. If the mixture is too thick add some more water while grinding.
  12. Use a claypan or non-stick saucepan: add the diced eggplant and curry leaves; combine well.
  13. Add the ground coconut paste & rinse the blender jar with ½ cup water & add that as well.
  14. Add ½ cup of the tamarind extract to the gravy, combine well.
  15. Add salt & combine well.
  16. Place the pan over medium heat & close with a lid, cook covered for 20 minutes till the eggplant has turned soft.
  17. If the gravy is too thick, add some water to thin it down and cook further for a few minutes.
  18. Taste the gravy, adjust salt according to your needs.
  19. Take the pan off the heat, keep it covered for a few minutes.
  20. Enjoy this roasted coconut curry with rice, chapati, appam, idiyappam or pathiri.
Instead of eggplant, veggies like okra, drumsticks-moringa, bitter gourd, small-pearl onions can be added. Or add fish like sea bream, sea bass, sardines, mackerel, kingfish, pomfret or add shrimp.



Thas is the author of Cooking with Thas, a popular food blog with recipes from Indian, American and Fusion Cuisines. She has been blogging since 2009 and been featured in several magazines. Read more...