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  • Preeti Shridhar

Wambatu Moju (Pickled Eggplant )

Wambatu moju (the Sinhalese word for eggplant is wambatu), otherwise known as pickled eggplant, is a classic Sri Lankan dish made primarily from eggplant. The eggplant slices are fried and pickled alongside small pearl onions or shallots, chilis, and spices. The resulting dish is a combination of the eggplant’s meaty texture, the fiery spice of chili, the pickled tanginess of vinegar, and the caramelized sweetness from deep frying. Wambatu moju is a common dish on many Sri Lankan dinner tables and is also often served at weddings and special events.

Eggplant slices should be neither too thin that they loose their texture on frying nor too thick that they don't get crisp on frying.

Use the long thin variety of eggplants.

You can adjust the spice level as per your taste. Mine is mildly spicy.

I am part of a blogger group on Facebook

"Shhh Cooking Secretly Challenge".

This is a fun group, where every month a theme is given by one member...then all the members are divided into groups of two. Now these two partners give each other two secret ingredients based on the theme. Then each member prepares a dish using these two secret ingredients and posts the pic on the group without naming the dish. Others are asked to guess the ingredients. It's so much fun. You are challenged to create something new. You interact with so many members and make some wonderful friends.

This month's theme Sri Lankan Cuisine was suggested by Narmada of Nams Corner.

I have book marked her Veg Kababs to try some time soon.

My partner for this month is Archana from The Mad Scientist Kitchen.

She gave me Oil and Sugar as the two secret ingredients while I gave her Ginger and Vinegar. We both ended up making the same dish Wambatu Moju

Would love to try her version too. I have also book marked her Goan Usli

Some other eggplant recipes that you can try


Long thin Purple Eggplant 500 gms

Pearl Onions 15

Green chili 2

Salt to taste

Turmeric 1/2 tsp

Oil for frying

Other ingredients

Onion 1/2 finely chopped

Garlic 2 fat cloves finely chopped

Ginger 1 tsp finely grated

Curry leaves 15

Red chili powder 1/2 tsp

Tomato ketchup 2 tbsp

Vinegar 1 tbsp

Sugar 1 tbsp

Mustard powder 1 tsp

Oil 1 tbsp


  1. Wash the brinjals and pat dry.

  2. Cut into 1/2" thick roundels.

  3. You can also cut them into semi circles.

  4. Toss them with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp turmeric.

  5. Let them rest for 15 minutes.

  6. Now lightly squeeze them to remove excess

  7. water.

  8. Heat oil in a small wok.

  9. Once it is hot enough for frying, fry eggplant in small batches until golden .

  10. Remove them on paper towel to drain off excess oil

  11. In the same hot oil fry pearl onions and green chilies for a few seconds.

  12. Remove them also on a kitchen towel

  13. In a separate pan, add a tbsp of left over oil.

  14. Add chopped onions, curry leaves, garlic and ginger.

  15. Saute until onions are golden.

  16. Switch off the gas.

  17. Now add tomato ketchup, vinegar, red chili powder , mustard powder, salt and sugar.

  18. Mix well .

  19. Now, bring it back to heat.

  20. Add the fried shallots and green chili.

  21. Mix well.

  22. Now add the fried brinjals. Mix well.

  23. Taste and add salt, sugar, vinegar as needed.

  24. Cook for a minute.

  25. Remove from gas

  26. Pairs well as a side with any rice dish.

  27. Moju tastes even better the next day.


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