Smoky Eggplant Raita

At the farmers' market, look for peak-season eggplant, especially slender Italian or Japanese varieties. Use a charcoal grill for the smokiest flavor.

Yield: Serves 4
Recipe from Sunset

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Recipe Time

Total: 45 Minutes

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 97
  • Calories from fat: 52%
  • Protein: 3.3g
  • Fat: 5.8g
  • Saturated fat: 1.8g
  • Carbohydrate: 9.7g
  • Fiber: 3.3g
  • Sodium: 271mg
  • Cholesterol: 8mg


  • 1 pound slender Italian or Japanese eggplant
  • About 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 large red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • About 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • About 1/8 tsp. cayenne


  1. 1. Heat grill to high (450° to 550°) with an area left clear or turned off for indirect heat. Pierce eggplant in several places with a knife. Grill eggplant over indirect heat, covered, until very tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Let stand until cool enough to touch; meanwhile, continue with recipe.
  2. 2. Toast about 1/2 tsp. cumin in a small, dry frying pan over medium heat until fragrant and beginning to darken, 2 to 3 minutes. Pound fine with a mortar and pestle.
  3. 3. Warm oil in pan over medium heat. Sauté onion 3 minutes. Add garlic, then sauté until both are softened, about 2 minutes more. Let cool slightly.
  4. 4. Slit eggplant lengthwise and scrape flesh from skin. Chop flesh coarsely and set aside.
  5. 5. Combine yogurt, onion mixture, cilantro, and sugar in a bowl. Add eggplant and stir gently. Season to taste with salt, cumin, and cayenne. Garnish with a little more cilantro.
  6. Make ahead: Through step 4 up to 1 hour; hold at room temperature.
  7. Note: Nutritional analysis is per 1/2-cup serving.
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