This recipe wasn't very hot/spicy; most Indian recipes usually are. The one chili pepper is supposed to supply the "hot," but did not. If you want hot, I would suggest adding a bit of cayenne. In fact, the recipe is kind of sweet, and yes, fragrant from all the wonderful spices.
First let's talk about the kalonji, also known as onion seed, black seed, and nigella seed. Mohammed once declared that the oil from this seed could cure death. So, I thought I'd get some and test this. However, it soon became apparent that dead things can't swallow, so ... there's that.
So...in my fridge, there's a bottle of black seed oil and I couldn't for the life of me find any recipes that called for it. Until now. I would have had to order the kalonji and wait for it, but seeing how this recipe called for oil, I figured I could use the black seed oil and that would give it the flavor of the black seed. So, as you can see, you can use the seed or the oil to get the flavor. It's a very pungent smell, at first, but like most fragrant herbs, they do enhance the meal.
Heat the 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet, and fry eggplant pieces until golden, about 5 minutes. Remove the eggplant from the skillet and set aside. Wipe out the pan to get rid of the leftover chunks.
Heat the 3 - 6 tablespoons coconut oil (or black seed oil) in the same skillet over medium heat. Stir in the cumin seeds and sesame seeds, and cook until the cumin turns golden, about 2 minutes. Reduce the heat; stir in the ginger and garlic, and cook for a few seconds. Stir in the onions and green chili pepper, the rest of the spices, and continue to cook and stir until the onion is golden, about 10 minutes.
Add the eggplant to the pan, mix well, cover and simmer for about five minutes.
Pour in the coconut milk; stir until blended and heated throughout.