In the Southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, the word roti means "in a mortar and pestle"—not the popular Indian flatbread. These fresh vegetable chutneys are usually hand-pounded to retain the full flavor, texture, and goodness of the ingredients, and are excellent with steamed rice or flatbread. This eggplant version includes coriander seeds ($10, and cumin seeds ($12,

Martha Stewart Living, June 2021


Credit: Gentl + Hyers

Recipe Summary

20 mins
25 mins
Makes about 2 1/4 cups


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Combine coriander, cumin, and fenugreek seeds in a small, heavy skillet (such as cast iron) over medium heat. Cook, swirling, until fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let cool completely, then crush in a large mortar and pestle (or grind in a spice grinder).

  • Combine 2 cups cold water with 1 teaspoon salt in a bowl. Wash eggplant, cut off stem, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces; you should have about 2 1/2 cups. Add to bowl (this prevents discoloration and mellows the inherent bitterness).

  • Heat 1/4 cup oil in a large straight-sided skillet over high until very hot. Drain eggplant and pat dry; add to skillet, reduce heat, and cook, stirring occasionally, until turning translucent at edges, 3 to 4 minutes. Add onion and garlic; stir for a few seconds, then stir in tomatoes, green chiles, turmeric, 1 teaspoon salt, and a splash of water.

  • Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until eggplant is soft, 8 to 10 minutes, adding more water if eggplant is sticking. Remove from heat; let cool completely. Transfer mixture to mortar and pestle with tamarind paste, cilantro, sugar, and ground toasted spices; pound coarsely to combine. (Or pulse in a food processor a few times.)

  • Heat remaining 1 teaspoon oil in a small, heavy skillet (such as cast iron) over high until very hot. Add mustard seeds. When they sputter, add dried red chiles and curry leaves; cook, swirling, a few seconds. Pour over chutney.

Cook's Notes

For this recipe, in addition to Diaspora Nandini cumin and Diaspora Nagauri coriander, we used: Diaspora Pragati turmeric ($12,, Diaspora Guntur sannam chiles (whole) ($24,, and Tamicon tamarind paste ($3.94,