This recipe has been provided by Veena Gokhale

Come take an Indian cooking class with me, in Montreal and around. Learn to make different curries, dals, sabjis (vegetable side dishes), snacks like samosa and bhaji/pakora, Naan, regional Indian dishes, desserts and more. Check out the menus here. I give pre-organized classes at my home, in local cooking schools, etc. Private classes can be organized anywhere with a kitchen, including your home! Slurrrrp!

But first I would like to tell you about the WORLD'S OLDEST CURRY! I came upon this information on the BBC website.

In 2010, archaeologists Arunima Kashyap and Steve Webber of Washington State University in Vancouver used the method of starch analysis to trace the world's first-known or “oldest” curry. Yes, this was a Canadian find.

They did the starch analysis on shards of pottery that had held this curry thousands of years ago. The town where they found the proto-curry is Farmana, not far from Delhi, in Northern India. Delhi is the capital of India and a foodie city indeed. In fact, if you go to Delhi, you could take a trip to the archeological site at Farmana! The ancient Harappan/Indus Valley civilization flourished here some 4,000 years ago.

Research has shown that it was highly developed, with good town planning, irrigation systems and highly productive agriculture, weights and measures, trade and transportation, as well as art.

Soity Banerjee, a food writer, used the information provided by Kashyap and Webber to come up with a recipe for the WORLD'S OLDEST CURRY. Here it is; I have changed it a bit.

  • 4 cups cubed aubergine/eggplant 
  • 1 tbsp ginger roughly chopped
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp raw mango cubes or
  • 1 tsp dry mango powder (Aamchur)
  • 1.5-3 tbsp Sesame oil
  • 1 tsp cane or brown sugar 
  • 2-4 tbsp fresh Basil chopped fine


  1. Grind the ginger, turmeric and cumin seeds with a little bit of water in a grinder to a paste.
  2. Heat sesame oil on medium heat, add the paste, and cook for 2 minutes. (The spices will become aromatic.)
  3. Add the aubergines, salt and stir well. Cover and cook until the aubergines are nearly cooked through; add some water, if needed.
  4. Now, stir in the raw mango or mango powder and the sugar. Cook covered on medium heat for 15-20 mins approx. or till eggplant is done.
  5. Stir from time to time.
  6. Take off heat and taste the curry. Feel free to add more salt and cumin powder. Garnish with chopped Basil.
  7. Serve with Indian flat bread like roti or Naan, or rice. Add a side salad.

Being a spice junkie, I also sprinkled some black pepper on top. My excuse was that pepper is indigenous to India and likely the Harappans knew it! This is a subtle curry and a nice way to really taste eggplant.


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