Brinjal Coconut Pulao (Eggplant Coconut Rice w/spices)

When it comes to reviewing restaurants, my husband doesn’t seem to agree with my reviews.brinjal coconut rice 013

For instance, when we recently traveled to Montreal, I loved the food and desserts at the famed Olive et Gourmando, however in my husband’s opinion everything we tried at the adorable bakery was just average.  brinjal coconut rice 001

And when we traveled to Miami, I thought his Filete de Pollo Saltedo at Puerto Sagua was delicious, whereas he seem to think it was just good.brinjal coconut rice 005

Each time we end a meal at any restaurant, I proceed to ask him, “how would you rate the food?”  And most of the time he’s extremely critical which often leads to a public debate.    brinjal coconut rice 028

Suffice it to say my husband doesn't agree with most of my restaurant reviews, and generally speaking I don’t listen to his advice.  Why?
Because my taste palette is more worldly than his.  Hey, it really is.
Because anything that doesn't taste like Indian food to him is not perfection.
Because anything that isn't loaded with a ton of ethnic spices is not delicious.  brinjal coconut rice 020

Our most recent altercation went like this...
My response: “This is my blog, I can do whatever I want.” 
His: “Yeah, but I pay for our meals out, so my opinion counts too.”
Me: “No, it doesn't.  This is my blog.  People care what I think.  You should start your own blog if you feel so strongly.”
His: “I should!  And I’ll call it, and tell people this sucked and this sucked and don’t go here.”
Me: “Fine!” 

Well, the domain – honeywhatsNOTcooking - is still available, I should probably look into purchasing it just in case someone wants to turn against me.  :-(brinjal coconut rice 032

Neways, this past weekend I made Brinjal Coconut Pulao where I used a combination of Indian spices from both North India and South India, more specifically, my inspiration comes from the southern state of Kerela.  The end result is aromatic, earthy, and delicious.  Just a tip ~ slice the brinjals thin so they wilt easily.brinjal coconut rice 035

NUTRITION: Brinjals are a very good source of Fiber and Vitamin B1.  Coconut is low in cholesterol and sodium, and it is a good source of fiber.  Although coconut contains high amounts of saturated fats, not all saturated fats pose as a health problem, especially those linked with coconut.  Coconut Oil contains Lauric Acid which helps in increasing good HDL cholesterol.  Coconut Oil is also beneficial in weight loss by controlling the blood sugar levels.  The saturated fats in coconut oil are not as harmful as the saturated fats seen in vegetable oil.  With that said, coconut is a saturated fat and should be eaten in moderation.  Cilantro is a good source of Vitamin C and contains small amounts of Vitamin E.

  • Organic Virgin Coconut Oil – 2 tbsp
  • Cumin Seeds – 2 tsp
  • Cinnamon Stick – 1/2 a stick
  • Bay Leaf - 1
  • Cloves – 4
  • Peppercorns – 10
  • Black Cardamom - 1
  • Curry Leaves – 10 leaves
  • Dry Red Chilies – 2 (halved)
  • Red Onion – 1 large (thinly sliced)
  • Brinjals – 10 (thinly sliced)
  • Ginger – 1 inch piece
  • Garlic – 4 cloves
  • Green Chilies – 3
  • Fresh Cilantro – 1 handful
  • Basmati Rice – 2 cups uncooked (washed)
  • Cold Water – 4 cups
  • Coriander Powder – 1 TBSP
  • Red Chili Powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Garam Masala – 1 tsp
  • salt to taste
  • Shredded Coconut – 2 to 3 tbsp (toasted)

1. Start by setting aside all the initial ingredients… cumin seeds, cinnamon stick, black cardamom, bay leaf, cloves, peppercorns, and curry leaves.  Additionally, you’ll need 2 dry red chilies (not shown).
2. Slice an onion.
3. Heat a pot on medium heat, then add coconut oil. 
4. Add all the ingredients from step 1, except the curry leaves and dry red chilies.  Once you smell the aroma of the cumin seeds…
5. Add the curry leaves and dry red chilies.  Cook for about 15 seconds.
6. Add the sliced red onion.  Season with salt. 
7. Now mix well until the onion breaks up.  Saute for 5 minutes or until golden brown.
8. In the meantime, slice the brinjals.  Slice them thin. 
9. I have a few thicker pieces, the thinner the better.
10. Back to the onions, this is what you should have. 
11. Now add the sliced brinjals along with salt. 
12. Mix well.  Allow the brinjals to cook for 10 minutes.  Keep stirring in between. 
13. Now make a paste with green chilies, garilc, and ginger. 
14. Add cilantro along with the green chilies, garlic, and ginger to a Magic Bullet / Food Processor.  You may need a little water to loosen it up.  Blend.

15. Check on the brinjals.  This is what you should have. 
16. Add the cilantro paste and cook for about 5 minutes.  Keep stirring in between.
17. While the brinjals cook, wash 2 cups of rice.  Set aside.
18. This is what the brinjals-cilantro paste should look like after 5 minutes.
19. Add the rice to the onion brinjal mixture. 
20. Stir.  Let the rice toast up for about 2 minutes – this will enhance the flavor of the pulao.
21. Add 4 cups of water. 
22. Add 3/4 teaspoon of salt at this point.  Red Chili Powder, Coriander Powder, and Garam Masala.  Stir well.
23. Cover with a lid and let the mixture cook on low-medium heat – dial #4 for about 20 to 25 minutes. 
24. In the meantime, heat a pan on medium heat and add a few tablespoons of shredded coconut to toast.  Stay close, else the coconut will burn.  Once toasted, turn off the stove and set aside.
25. Check on the rice, once all the water dissolves, the rice and brinjals should be cooked to perfection.
26. Top with a little toasted coconut and serve with raita (raita is Indian yogurt with spices, make this recipe). brinjal coconut rice 033

TELL ME: Have you tried Brinjal/Eggplant Pulao?  What’s your favorite kind of Pulao or Rice Pilaf?


  1. Nice conv with ur hubby.. Even my hubby will nvr accept my views immediately.. You brinjal coconut rice looks great.. Adding the coconut is new

    1. Thanks Akila.. we don't agree on a lot of things. Glad you like the Brinjal Coconut Rice. :)

  2. That's hilarious! It's very well a conversation between my husband and I. He is stingy with his appreciation! I agree with being more worldly with our palates. My husband likes a few different cuisines but nothing is ever good enough! Could it be a guy thing?
    I happen to have eggplants in the fridge but I've never made this pulao. The pics are so lovely ! I usually either do a peas pulao or a paneer biryani when it comes to rice.

    1. I hear you Archana, my husband doesn't seem to like anything that is not Indian or Mexican or spicy! I'm open to all cuisines and understand some aren't as flavorful as others. Maybe it's a guy thing, but hey, I thought women were ultra picky?
      I love peas pulao, hope you try this. :)

  3. Your hubby sounds hilarious- I am not big on ethnic spices so chances are I will totally agree with your reviews :)! Also it makes me smile to see you refer to aubergine as "brinjal" - I only first ever heard of that term when I moved to India! I've made cauliflower pulao loads before (so yum) but I will have to try this instead - the addition of coconut sounds fab!

    1. Haha.. thanks. I love ethnic spices, but yeah, I'm open to comfort food with flavor too. Lol.. yeah, at the Indian grocery store I see brinjal, and that is the English term for those smaller eggplants. Love Cauliflower Pulao with potatoes... so yummy! Hope you try this.

  4. A healthy and delicious is so unique! Well done dear!

  5. my boyfriend and I rarely debate when it comes to food because we like similar food, however i can tell when he doesn't like something or gives me weird look when I mention veggie pancakes or spinach smoothie. I always shy away from eggplant but with rice and spices- sounds delicious.

    1. He's a keeper Dixya! I make faces when I don't like something, it's hard for me to hide. I still need to try your veggie pancakes. I love eggplant, hope you try this. :)

  6. Such a unique dish, I don't think I have ever tried it before. I like the flavours in it though so it's worth me testing out!

    1. Thanks Natalie... lots and lots of flavors going on, give it a try!

  7. MMM that look to delish to be legual haha:)

    Check out my new post..modern Swedish living:)

    and have a great week dear

    LOVE Maria at inredningsvis - inredning it's, Swedish for decor :)

  8. Ha! Your husband is hilarious. I'm also amazed at the dish you created, there are so many ingredients I'm sure it has so much flavor! Who taught you how to make that? I'm so impressed!

    1. Lol.. he can be at times. Tara - I'm of Indian origin so a lot of the spices I used are in my pantry. I pretty much used a North Indian recipe my mom typically uses and then I added a bunch of South Indian spices. Hope you try it.

  9. Honey, that story is so funny. I go through the same thing at home and deal with it similarly! Mmmm, eggplant and coconut with rice sounds and looks fantastic.

    1. Thanks Nik, glad you enjoyed the story. That's really the life of a food blogger. The combo is fantastic, give it a try. :)

  10. That's so funny! My husband and I are pretty much on the same page about every restaurant we go to. I guess we have similar palates. :) I love Indian dishes with eggplant, so I have no doubt we'd agree about this recipe too!

    1. Lucky you Kiersten, my husband and I have completely opposite tastes when it comes to food, the only cuisine we agree on is Mexican. I thought you would appreciate this dish, it's vegan too. :)

  11. The.Boy and i have very different tastes in food so we rarely agree on a review of a restaurant...but usually in the opposite direction! I'm definitely the more critical of the two of us.
    This eggplant pulao sounds amazing! Love the flavors.

    1. Sounds like my husband and I, we rarely agree on my restaurant reviews. I'm pretty critical, but I'm learning he's worse than I. Hope you try this... since you are a lover of Indian food. :)

  12. This is so funny. And kind of scary too! I'm not sure I can ever have your husband over for dinner. My cooking is average at best and the only spices I have around here are cinnamon and sea salt. On a good day.

    Luckily Ali isn't too picky. He's resigned himself to pasta and jarred sauce. But when we eat out he is rarely ever happy...maybe it's desi guy problem?

    1. Lol.. you're so funny Ameena... no, anything homemade is yummy to him. Hey, if you aren't paying for a meal, of course you'll love it, he's way more critical than I am when we dine out.
      It may be a guy thing, but I thought women were the ones looking for perfection, but I guess men love good food.

  13. This is such an interesting combo of ingredients! And the convo with your husband sounds very familiar... my husband and I rarely like the same thing. Well, except Nandos :-)

    1. Hope you try it Habiba - love your name, so exotic. :)
      I'm slowly learning that most couples don't agree on food, opposites attract. It happens. What's Nandos? :)

  14. Wow this looks super awesome. I love the spices and the fact that this is made with eggplants, one of my favorite veggies ever!

    1. Thanks Miryam. Eggplants are so tasty, especially when deep fried. :(

  15. For the most part, my husband and I agree on food but I have more a sensitive and picky palate than he does. He can eat anything and I'm more of the pickier one. Ha! This dish sounds delicious Honey. Love the eggplant and all the spice combination. Delicious!

    1. There is always one in the relationship who is more pickier than the other. Thanks, hope you try this dish.

  16. So much flavour in this delicious dish, I love the coconut rice :D

    Glad to be back!
    Choc Chip Uru

    1. Thanks.. coconut rice is amazing. :)

  17. In general, Indian husbands are very opinionated. Though they are many who doesn't know how to cook or has little knowledge in the kitchen, they're still very opinionated. Haha.

    Sometimes, spices aren't everything.

    1. Indian husbands are opinionated and can be annoying too with food. Most of them can't cook, and yet they still have an opinions. So irritating!

  18. What a wonderful combination of flavors! I totally get the husband thing, but my husband has started agreeing with me on everything even if he doesn't mean it which is even worse because I can't tell when he is being honest!

    1. Haha.. yeah, that's no good, he went the other extreme, perhaps husbands can just sugar coat it when they don't agree.

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  20. I just made this rice for dinner tonight. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!!! We all loved it and will make this again and again! :D I just made a few small changes... I used coconut water with pieces instead of the coconut and water. I roasted the eggplant and sauteed the onions separately, then added them both the last few mins of cooking. Very yummy! Thank you again! I can't wait to check out the rest of your blog. :D

  21. I like Indian Spices , Good post and best cooking Spices. India is best place for Spices for Import. If you Need Indian Spices free Sample Then….


  22. Hmm these look delicious, thanks for posting up this recipe, looks quite simple to make.



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