Recipe Contest Runner-Up: Spicy Indian Eggplant

Photos by Shane RedsarIt was difficult choosing just one winner of our eggplant recipe contest. Chef Ernest Miller of the Hollywood Farmer's Kitchen and I were forced to take many, many bites of the finalists. But this was such a close second, we had to publish it, too!

This Spicy Indian Eggplant recipe comes from L.A. resident Jessa Forsythe-Crane, who adapted it from She thought she didn't like eggplant, but made this on a whim one day -- Jessa loved it so much she added "OMG" to its name.

Check back here tomorrow to find the winning recipe. Until then, try this one out - it'd be perfect over basmati rice.

Best Spicy Indian Eggplant OMG
1 teaspoon fresh ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
3/4 cup water
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 medium eggplant, peeled
2 tablespoons Earth Balance (or your oil of choice)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Combine spices in a small bowl.

In a measuring cup, stir together water, sugar, and vinegar.

Cut eggplant into 1-inch cubes.

In a large non-stick skillet, heat oil over medium heat until foam subsides, then cook spices, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add eggplant and salt and toss to coat with spice mixture.

Stir vinegar mixture and add to eggplant mixture. Simmer mixture, covered, without stirring, 10 minutes or until eggplant is just tender.  

Uncover skillet and cook eggplant mixture at a rapid simmer, without stirring, until liquid is almost evaporated and eggplant is slightly charred (but not burned) on the bottom, about 15 minutes.

Remove skillet from heat and let eggplant stand, covered, 5 minutes.

Serve with liberal sprinkles of fresh cilantro.

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About the Author

Katherine is the former Living Managing Editor at She's been living in and writing about this area for over a decade.
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HOORAY! This dish is also awesome over garbanzo beans, fyi. Thanks so much!


Was looking for a recipe to use some farmer's market eggplants. I read this recipe and recognized it! Plagarized verbatim from a 1997 Gourmet.


Hi cookfromca,

As it happens, recipes -- lists of ingredients, and directions -- can't be copyrighted. Please see the U.S. Copyright Office's information about it:

The reader who submitted this recipe told us where she found it, and we linked to that blog in the post.

Thanks for reading!

Katherine Spiers
Editor, KCET Food


I'm not sure you understand the term "verbatim", cookfromca. I'll define it ,verbatim, via for you: "corresponding word for word to the original source or text: a verbatim record of the proceedings."
The recipe you claim was stolen sites's recipe as a source for inspiration: which is identical to the Gourmet recipe but Randomgirl never claims it as her own anyway. It's merely a collection of recipes she uses.
So try this recipe! You might like it.