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Kalonji Baingan – Stuffed Aubergine Fry

Kalonji Baingan – Stuffed Aubergine Fry a famous Banarasi dish is an explosion of spicy and tangy flavours, made by stuffing baby eggplants (baingan/aubergine) with a medley of pickling spices and then frying in mustard oil tempered with Indian five spice (paanch phoron).

Banarasi Kalonji Baingan - Stuffed Aubergine Fry ( Stuffed Brinjal Fry)

Food is not rational. Food is culture, habit, craving and identity.

~Jonathan Safran Foer

Kalonji Baingan - Stuffed Aubergine Fry

Few weeks back my husband and I, while we were shopping for grocery in a supermarket store, there he sighted these lovely baby eggplants.

He quickly picked it up and asked timidly, whether I can make Kalonji Baingan. 

I was like what?!!! with a big question mark on my face!

Seriously!! Never heard of Kalonji baingan before.. This is so weird.. I know!! 

Definitely needed him to enlighten me about this dish.

Kalonji Baingan - Stuffed Aubergine Fry

Its a famous Banaras cuisine or Varanasi cuisine. My mother in law is from Banaras city and she is an AMAZING cook. He said he grew up eating this..

Hubby explained very enthusiastically about this dish and how it tastes. And he really did well. Its is like aubergine pickle.. Baby Aubergines (baingan or eggplants) are stuffed and cooked with spicy and tangy pickling spices..

Well his elucidation surely did make my mouth water.. 😀

I was so intrigued!! Had to make it as soon as possible. Most important was so eagar to taste this Kalonji Baingan… 😀 SO excited!! 

Kalonji Baingan - Stuffed Aubergine Fry


As soon I reached home, called up my MIL and took notes of how to make it, how much masalas and spices and so on.. 

Couldn’t wait one more precious second and jumped straight into making it.


Kalonji Baingan - Stuffed Aubergine Fry

Kalonji stands for nigella seeds and Baingan stands for eggplant or aubergine

But in Banarasi cuisine, kalonji refers a medly of different spices blends made with coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, mustard seeds, nigella seeds, fenugreeks seeds(methi) and carom seeds(ajwain). These spices are roasted along with some dried red chillies and then whizzed into a fine powder.


Kalonji Baingan - Stuffed Aubergine Fry


Roasting the spices. Stuffing the aubergine and then frying it in mustard oil tempered with Indian five spice (paanch phoron), seems like so much work. Naaa it isn’t! it didn’t take much time at all and it is so easy SIMPLE!! 

Oh!!  the aroma of these spices.. I had already fallen in love with this Kalonji baingan.

Finally, the time has come..Couldn’t wait any longer..  Served it with hot steamed rice as a side.. 

Yummmm!! It was just like a party in my mouth. So many different flavours. I have never tasted anything like it.. It was so so good.


Kalonji Baingan - Stuffed Aubergine Fry

After eating this my first question to the Mr.. How come you never mentioned about this amazing dish before.. We are married 5 years and now you say it.. You deprived me of having this super delicious dish for the last 5 years.. Apparently he remembered about this Kalonji Baingan – Stuffed Aubergine Fry after seeing those glorious baby aubergines.. 

I wouldn’t have known about this dish at all if Hubby hadn’t mentioned it to me.. 😀

So all thanks to him and my MIL for introducing me to this dish so that I could recreate it and bring this flavour to you.

Guys you got to make this amazing dish.. you are definitely gonna love it.. Promise! 🙂


Kalonji Baingan - Stuffed Aubergine Fry
This famous Banarasi dish is spicy and tangy dish made by stuffing baby eggplants (baingan/aubergine) with a medley of pickling spices and then frying in mustard oil tempered with Indian five spice (paanch phoron).
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  1. 500 gms Baby aubergine/ egg plant/ baingan (washed)
  2. 1/2 tsp Indian five spice/ panch phoron (mixture of equal amount of cumin seeds, fennel seeds, mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds and nigella seeds)
  3. 3 tbsp mustard oil/ vegetable oil
For the Stuffing
  1. 2 Dried red chilli
  2. 1 1/2 tbsp coriander seeds
  3. 1 tsp mustard seeds
  4. 1 tsp cumin seeds
  5. 1 1/2 tsp nigella seeds/ kalonji
  6. 1 tsp fennel seeds
  7. 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds/ methi seeds
  8. 1/4 tsp carom seeds/ aijwain
  9. 1/2 tsp tumeric powder
  10. 1 1/2 tsp amchur powder (dried mango powder) or 1 tbsp of lemon juice
  11. 1 tsp chilli powder
  12. 1/2 tsp sugar
  13. salt to taste
  14. 2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
  1. Heat a skillet and dry roast the dried red chillies, coriander seeds, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, nigella seeds/kalonji, fenugreek seeds/methi, carom seeds/ajwain and fennel seeds until you get a nutty aroma wafts through the kitchen, take care not to burn the seeds.
  2. Cool it and then whizz it into a fine powder .
  3. Now to the roasted spice powder add turmeric powder, amchur powder (dried mango powder), chilli powder, sugar and salt and mix properly.
  4. Keep 1 tablespoon of this roasted masala aside.
  5. Then slowly add 1 1/2 tbsp water to the rest of the roasted powder mixture so that it binds well.
  6. Wash the eggplant/ aubergine/ baingan and then slit through the eggplant just like a criss cross leaving the stems on. Stuff the eggplants with the prepared roasted spice powder stuffing.
  7. Now heat mustard oil in the pan or karahi to smoking point, then reduce the heat and add the indian five spice/panch phoron and let it splutter.
  8. Once it starts spluttering arrange the stuffed eggplants in the pan and cover the pan with a lid and cook in the low flame.
  9. Slowly turn the eggplant making sure it does not break, to ensure it cooks on all sides.
  10. Add the remaining leftover masala with some salt and stir gently. Continue cooking covered until its soft and cooked on all sides.
  11. Add chopped coriander leaves and give a final mix. Remove from the flame.
  12. Serve this delicious stuffed eggplants (kalonji baingan) with Rice or Roti (Indian Flat Bread).
Gastronomic BONG

Kalonji Baingan - Stuffed Aubergine Fry


I hope you enjoy this Kalonji Baingan – Stuffed Aubergine Fry as much as I do.. 🙂


Kalonji Baingan - Stuffed Aubergine Fry

Bon Appetite!!!

Love Arpita

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  • Katalina @ Peas and Peonies
    August 12, 2015

    wow the spices that you used must take this veggie dish to a whole new level, also your photography is so gorgeous.

  • Angie@Angie's Recipes
    August 12, 2015

    I have never seen this kind of eggplant over here..they are so adorable. And the spices loaded stuffing sounds and looks really tempting and delicious. A great vegetarian dish, Arpita.

  • Gayle @ Pumpkin 'N Spice
    August 12, 2015

    This is such a pretty dish, Arpita! I love it! So creative and different from what I have had. Sounds so flavorful, too!

  • Helen @ Scrummy Lane
    August 12, 2015

    Wow, this is so special that you made a lovely traditional loved-by-family recipe, Arpita! I love aubergines but have never seen the baby ones and certainly not stuffed with all these gorgeous spices. Just delicious!

  • This looks like it has so much flavour. We love stuffed aubergine, but baby aubergines are really hard to find here.

  • Joanne
    August 13, 2015

    These baby eggplants are so cute!! And I’m sure delicious when stuffed with all this awesomeness.

  • Beautiful pictures and what a flavorful way to serve eggplant! Looks so good!

  • I have never added kalonji to Baingan. I am sure it adds such a nice pickle-y taste. These are incredible, Girl! I need to make them soon!

  • annie@ciaochowbambina
    August 14, 2015

    I love baby eggplant! And I can imagine how delicious and savory this dish is! Gorgeous photos, my friend! Thanks for sharing!

  • Shashi at RunninSrilankan
    August 14, 2015

    I’ve never heard of “Kalonji baingan” before either- what a fanatsic way to cook aubergines! I love all the spices – your house must have smelled wonderfula s this cooked! Gorgeous dish!

  • marcie
    August 14, 2015

    I love eggplant, and these little baby eggplants look like they have so much flavor! I could eat the whole platter. 🙂

  • Manali @ CookWithManali
    August 14, 2015

    Oh Arpita, this is making my mouth water! I love kalonji baingan, kalonji bhindi is awesome too, basically same filling in bhindi! Yum yum! You did a great job, they look perfect! Pinned!

  • Sam @ SugarSpun
    August 14, 2015

    I’d never heard of this dish either, but I love eggplant and think I would love this! Such a good thing your husband had his memory jogged so you could share this recipe! Beautiful photos, as always!

  • Kelly - Life Made Sweeter
    August 14, 2015

    This is such a beautiful dish! I love eggplant dishes and the flavors in here sound absolutely amazing!

  • Nagi@RecipeTinEats
    August 14, 2015

    Woah! I love the way you’ve stuffed these! And for sure I thought they were deep fried – but I also love the way you’ve cooked these with so little oil! Wow, I have to try this. Legendary stuff! I get so excited when I find inspiring sites like yours!

  • Sabrina
    August 14, 2015

    This is such an interesting way to stuff eggplant. I love it!

  • So gorgeous! I need to go look for these baby eggplant!!

  • Mira
    August 15, 2015

    This is a lovely dish Arpita! Love the spices! Pinned!

  • Savita @ ChefDeHome
    August 15, 2015

    Arpita, these baingan are making me hungry, after finishing dinner 🙂 Love love the addition of kalunji! One of my favorite spice on earth for acchari style stir-fries. pinning!

    • Yes, Kalonji is an amazing spice.very fragrant and perfect as a pickling spice.. Thank you so much for the pin Savita!! 😀

  • Eva @ Eva Bakes
    August 15, 2015

    Those flavored look outrageously amazing! A serious flavor explosion – love it!

  • Ashley | Spoonful of Flavor
    August 16, 2015

    Wow, these look incredible! You always create the most beautiful and creative meals. I love eggplant and love the flavors you used.

  • I can totally imagine how AMAZING this dish must make your house smell as it is cooking! All those delicious roasted spices STUFFED INTO seriously scrumptious baby eggplants? OMG- YUMMM! This dish looks cozy and super tasty! Pinned! Cheers, girl!

    • Oh it was, Cheyanne!! The house was smelling devine.. this dish was very fragrant… I hope you give it a try.. Thanks for the pin! 😀

  • Arpita, I read every single ingredient in this dish, and my mouth was watering by the end of the post. I wish I had these right now – because you know how I love those explosive spices! I’m so glad your husband suggested it! It’s such a great recipe. Pinned!

    • It was so delicious.. I really thanked husband for introducing me to this dish. I hope you give this a try! and thank you Kristi for the pin! 🙂

  • Nazrana Dixon
    May 14, 2018

    This looks amazing. Do you think it could be baked/broiled rather than being fried?