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4.5 from 2 votes

Pulao with Eggplant

A simple recipe for rice with eggplant and peanuts, adapted from an Ismail Merchant cookbook. This is a delicious weeknight recipe.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Entree
Cuisine: Indian
Diet: Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword: Eggplant Pulao
Servings: 6
Calories: 256kcal


  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tbsp poppy seeds
  • 2 jalapenos (or serranons, cut into rings or finely minced. I keep the seeds, but remove them if you want the dish to be less spicy)
  • 1 tbsp jaggery (or sugar)
  • ¼ cup roasted peanuts (coarsely powdered)
  • 1 medium eggplant (or 2-3 Japanese or Chinese eggplants, cut into small piece. (Merchant recommends peeling it, but I never do. Why put in more work for less nutrition?)
  • 1 ½ cups basmati rice (soaked in water for about 30 minutes, then drained)
  • Salt to taste


  • Heat the oil in a skillet.
  • Add the cumin seeds and when they sputter, add the poppy seeds, peanuts, green chilies and jaggery.
  • Saute until the mixture is toasted and begins to brown, about 2 minutes.
  • Add the eggplants and mix them well. Now add 3 cups of hot water.
  • When the water comes to a boil, add the rice. Add salt to taste.
  • Bring the mixture back to a boil. Then cover with a tight-fitting lid, turn the heat to low, and let the rice cook for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes turn off the heat and let the pulao stand at least another 10 minutes before serving.


Calories: 256kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 32mg | Potassium: 314mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 72IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 73mg | Iron: 1mg