Keto/Low Carb Indian Stuffed Eggplants (Bharwan Baigan)

Keto/Low Carb Indian Stuffed Eggplants (Bharwan Baigan)

Keto/Low Carb Indian Stuffed Eggplants (Bharwan Baigan)

Eggplants and I have a long story together. As a kid, I used to hate them. My grandmother used to cook eggplants quite often when they are in season. Seasonal cooking is the only thing that my mom and grandmother made, eggplants were only cooked in summer when they are ripe and in very few preparations: roasted or chopped in some sort of stew or as a spread similar in style to baba ganoush. As an adult, I began to love this latter spread (roasted eggplants cooked together with roasted red peppers, tomatoes, onion and garlic) but still did not like eggplants as such.

Introduce stuffed eggplants, in particular Indian stuffed ones. This is one of the other ways I will eat eggplants and I absolutely love this low carb - keto friendly stuffed eggplant recipe. These are baby eggplants, very different from the fat, seed-filled ones I dreaded as a kid. They are, in my opinion, more flavorful than their big counterparts and easier to work with. They cook faster and they are less fussy when preparing them (there is no need to remove the seedy part). These eggplants are filled with a garlicky filling made with peanuts, sesame seeds, coconut and lots of ginger, flash fried and then baked in a tomato and onion sauce. All of these ingredients work well with the low carb lifestyle. The end result is a mixture of my childhood’s baba ganoush style eggplants and the adult’s love for spices. They are spicy, sweet, tangy and earthy all at the same time.

These eggplants are very easy to make if you follow the instructions accordingly. We typically make more of the filling and freeze it until the next time we will make them. You can find these eggplants in most, if not all Asian markets and they are slowly starting to be sold in specialty grocery stores (I have seen them in our local Whole Foods).


For the filling

  • 2 tbsp avocado oil
  • 50 g peanuts
  • 30 g sesame seeds
  • 50 g coconut flakes, unsweetened
  • 3 tsp garlic
  • 2 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • salt to taste

For the eggplants

  • 10 baby eggplants (about 500 g)
  • salt

For the sauce

  • 2 tbsp avocado oil
  • 40 g tomatoes (I use a low carb marinara sauce)
  • 40 g onions
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • water

For frying

  • Start with 3 tbsp coconut oil, adjust if they absorb too much oil


  • The huge mistake that people make when they cook eggplants is not salting them before cooking. Eggplants can be bitter and the best way to counter the bitterness is with salt. Cut the eggplants across the bottom in the shape of a cross (see pictures). Make sure not to cut through the stem. Sprinkle salt inside the eggplants and let them stand for about 30 minutes.
  • In the meantime, roast the peanuts and sesame seeds until fragrant on a dry pan. Add the coconut and roast until the coconut turns yellowish-brown. Transfer to a food processor and pulse until combined. Add the garlic, ginger, cumin and coriander powders and salt to taste and oil to bind it all together.
  • Squeeze the eggplants to remove the extra water and bitterness. If you have added too much salt and are watching your salt intake, you can rinse them under running water, but I find this unnecessary.
  • Fill the eggplants with the peanut paste and shallow fry them in hot oil until they change colors (this should not take too long). Traditional recipe involves frying them until cooked through, but I find the tomato sauce a tastier alternative.
  • Chop the onions finely and fry them in oil until they are translucent and slightly yellow. Add the spices and fry until the oil separates. Add the tomatoes and water and cook until it begins to thicken slightly. I will usually add the leftover filling to the sauce too.
  • Place the stuffed eggplants in an oven proof dish. Cover with the sauce and bake at 350 degrees until soft and cooked through.
  • Serve with keto tortillas. A liquid curry such as the paneer works very well with this. This keto friendly stuffed eggplant recipe is one of our favorite Indian curries. 


  • You can skip the tomato sauce and just eat them fried, just make sure they are fully cooked through.
  • You can add different types of nuts to the filling, I find that almonds work well in this too, I have not tried any other kind though.
  • If you can find curry leaves (a flavorful leaf typically used in Indian cooking, similar to bay leaves), you can use them in the sauce. Just add them when they oil is hot, before the onions go in. Make sure to stand back, because they will splatter.
  • If you cannot find sesame seeds, you can try and use tahini instead. Just adjust the quantities and taste because tahini can be bitter if used in excess.
  • Try the same process of removing the bitterness every time you cook eggplants; it surely makes a difference.

Nutrition Information

  • Number of Servings 10
  • Calories Per Serving 210
  • Fat 20g 
  • Carbs 9g
  • Fiber 4g
  • Net Carbs 5g
  • Protein 4g
  • Fat 84%, Protein 7%, Net Carbs 9%

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