Tender and melty eggplants simmered in a sweet and sour tamarind sauce! This delicious tamarind eggplant stew requires just 6 ingredients and 25 minutes to prepare! Serve on top of steamed white rice or quinoa!
Calling out all eggplant haters! This stew will change your mind about eggplant. With no bitterness, a super tender texture, and a rich and tangy tamarind sauce, you are going to love this eggplant dish!
🍆 How to Make Tamarind Eggplant Stew
This easy plant-based side dish requires 25 minutes and just 6 ingredients:
- Eggplants – You will need Chinese eggplants for this recipe. This variety of eggplant has a skin that is thinner than regular eggplants and almost no bitterness. It also doesn’t require any peeling.
- Tamarind pulp – Also called tamarind paste, to bring some sweetness and sourness to the sauce.
- Green onions
- Shallots – If you don’t have shallots on hand, simply use onions.
- Soy sauce – For umami and saltiness. Feel free to use coconut aminos if you want to make this recipe gluten-free.
- Sugar – To balance the saltiness and the tanginess. You can use regular white sugar, coconut sugar, or maple syrup.
- Tapioca starch – Or cornstarch, to slightly thicken the sauce.
It starts with the eggplants that are first sliced into long strips. Since we are using Chinese eggplants, there is no peeling needed!
Next, fry the eggplants for a few minutes or until tender.
If you want the eggplants to keep their purple color, deep-fry them for 1-2 minutes. This extra step is totally optional and won’t really affect the flavor of the dish, but it will help fix the color.
While the eggplants are cooking, prepare the tamarind juice:
- Bring 1/4 cup of water to a boil and remove from heat.
- Add about 1 tablespoon of tamarind pulp and stir to dissolve it.
- Let sit for about 10 minutes.
- Strain and save the tamarind juice.
Next, sauté shallots and green onions until fragrant. Add the cooked eggplants back to the skillet and pour in the soy sauce, tamarind juice, sugar, and water.
Finally, let simmer for a few minutes to let the eggplants soak up the flavors of the sauce!
🍚 What to Serve with This Stew
This eggplant stew is delicious served on top of white rice (or this Clay Pot Rice, for example!), quinoa, noodles, or your favorite grain!
Garnish with extra green onions and chopped peanuts for some crunch!
If you want to prepare it ahead of time, I recommend adding the tapioca starch slurry once you are reheating the dish, just before serving.
I do not recommend using regular eggplants as their skin would be bitter and too thick.
If you are looking for a saucy, tender, and flavorful plant-based side, you are going to love this eggplant recipe! It has the perfect balance of sweet, salty, and sour!
- 1 tbsp tamarind paste
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 large Chinese eggplant
- 2 tbsp oil
- 2 shallots minced
- 1/4 cup chopped green onions
- 1 and 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp tapioca diluted in 2 tbsp water
- chopped peanuts for topping
- Bring the 1/4 cup of water to a boil in a small saucepan. Once boiling, remove from heat and add the tamarind pulp. Stir to dissolve and let it sit for about 5 minutes.
- Using a fine-sieve mesh, strain the pulp and keep the juice. Discard the pulp.
- Slice the unpeeled eggplant into quarters lengthwise. Then, cut it into 2-inch long strips.
- Heat the oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the sliced eggplant and sauté for about 10 minutes. Transfer the cooked eggplant to a plate and set aside.
- To the same skillet, add another tablespoon of oil and sauté the minced shallots and green onions over medium heat for 2-5 minutes.
- Add the eggplants back to the skillet. Pour in the soy sauce, tamarind juice, water, and sugar. Stir to coat and let simmer uncovered for 5-7 minutes.
- Add the diluted tapioca starch to the skillet and cook for one more minute, or until the sauce has slightly thickened. Serve immediately on top of steamed white rice or your favorite grain!