Buttery-tender eggplant cubes in a creamy and tasty curry sauce are a winning combination in this easy eggplant curry recipe.
Serve it with white rice or naan bread for a balanced Indian-inspired dinner; it takes about 30 minutes to make.
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Eggplants are excellent for curry because they soak up all the flavor from the spices and become soft and buttery as they simmer in the sauce.
To make eggplant curry, we first roast the eggplants in the oven to develop a wonderful smokey and charred flavor.
While they roast, you can take care of the curry, which we make with a classic Indian flavor base of onion, garlic, and ginger and with a combination of spices to add a beautiful color and bold flavors.
If you don't have all the spices, don't worry. Use what you have; we write which are optional and which are essential.
Also, adjust the level of heat based on your preferences. Our recipe is mild and suitable for most palates. If you like spicy food, add more red pepper flakes.
You'll see that this eggplant curry recipe is easy to make, and you can have it as a delicious home-cooked dinner during the week.
We serve this with boiled basmati rice, but it is also delicious with flatbread or any other Indian bread.
Although not traditional in Indian cuisine, we recommend using extra virgin olive oil, or olive oil, because it's the healthiest for this type of cooking.
You can substitute peanut oil, canola oil, and sunflower oil for olive oil.
Note: You can also make this eggplant curry oil-free. To do so, fry the onion in the pan without any oil, gently, for 3 minutes. Then add garlic and ginger and fry for 1 more minute, stirring often. The natural oils in the onion will prevent it from burning.
Onion, garlic, ginger
Onion, garlic, and ginger, gently fried in oil, form the flavor base of most curries. Finely chop a yellow onion, and grate the garlic and ginger.
Use fresh onion, garlic, and ginger, not the powder.
We use cumin seeds (whole or ground), curry powder, ground coriander, turmeric powder, red pepper flakes (or chili powder), and garam masala.
Curry powder, red pepper flakes, and cumin are essential.
Garam masala should be added at the end once the eggplant curry is ready. It adds a wonderful bouquet of aromas that makes this meal special.
Note: other spices commonly used in Indian curries but a little harder to find are mustard seeds and curry leaves.
If you have those, you can add them before adding the other spices. Wait for the mustard seeds to pop before adding the other spices, and cut the curry powder in half.
You can use standard American or globe eggplant, Italian eggplant, or Japanese eggplant. Also known as aubergine in the UK.
We cut the eggplant into large 1-inch or 2.5 cm chunks, then toss it in olive oil, salt, and black pepper, and roast it in the oven (or in the air fryer) at high temp until slightly charred, browned, and tender.
You can substitute cauliflower, potatoes, or sweet potatoes for the eggplant.
Chickpeas add a pleasant nutty flavor to this dish and plenty of wholesome nutrition, including plant protein and healthy carbs.
We use canned chickpeas. You can also use homecooked chickpeas.
You can substitute chickpeas with firm or extra firm tofu, cut into dice.
We use vegetable broth as the base for the sauce.
You can use canned tomatoes such as crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, whole canned peeled tomatoes (crush them with a fork first), or tomato puree. We use crushed tomatoes.
Use full-fat coconut milk to prioritize taste and creaminess, or reduced-fat coconut milk if you want a curry with fewer calories.
Either way, we think coconut milk is terrific with eggplant, and it helps soften the intensity of the spices.
You can substitute unsweetened soy milk for coconut milk, although the curry won't be as rich, or you can omit the coconut milk. In this case, the curry will be spicier.
Salt and pepper
Sea salt or kosher salt, and black pepper.
Serve it with
Eggplant curry is delicious on basmati rice with fresh lemon juice and fresh coriander (or cilantro) on top. It's also delicious with a dollop of yogurt, naan, and flatbread.
Note: Roasting the eggplant is optional. However, we recommend it because roasting adds a ton of flavor to the eggplant and the curry.
If you don't want to roast the eggplant, you can cut it into cubes and add it to the curry with the chickpeas.
Roast the eggplant
Preheat the oven to 430°F or 220°C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Cut the eggplant into 1-inch or 2.5-cm cubes.
Transfer them onto the baking sheet and toss them in olive oil, salt, and black pepper.
Arrange on a single layer and roast in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until fork tender and browned.
Make the curry
In a large skillet, pot, or dutch oven, warm up the olive oil, add the chopped onion and fry on medium heat for 3 minutes.
Add grated garlic and grated ginger and fry for 1 minute.
Lower the heat to low and add curry powder, cumin, ground coriander, red pepper flakes, turmeric powder, and black pepper.
Toast the spices for one minute or until you smell their fragrant aroma.
Add vegetable broth, canned tomatoes, rinsed chickpeas, coconut milk, and salt.
Set the heat to medium, and simmer for about 20 minutes.
Add roasted eggplants
Now the eggplant should be ready. Take them out of the oven and add them to the curry.
Stir them and simmer for 5 to 10 more minutes until the eggplants are fully covered in sauce, and you reach your desired consistency.
Turn the heat off, add the garam masala, stir and serve.
Serve with basmati rice, freshly squeezed lemon juice, and fresh cilantro (or parsley if you don't like cilantro).
It's also excellent with a dollop of yogurt on top, with naan bread or flatbread.
You can make curries with most vegetables, legumes, and tofu. Check out our curry variations below; they are all easy to make and delicious.
Cauliflower curry is creamy, healthy, and delicious. It's a great way to serve cauliflower to the whole family because it will taste incredible with all the spices and flavors.
Check out our cauliflower curry recipe.
Creamy and nutritious, chickpea curry is one of the simplest curries. We love it for a quick, tasty, and super fulfilling dinner with rice or flatbread.
Check out our chickpea curry recipe.
Tofu curry is one of the best ways to add tofu to your diet because the spices and the sauce make the tofu taste amazing. It's healthy, tasty, and packed with protein. It's the perfect substitute for meat-based curries.
Check out our tofu curry recipe.
Lentil curry is another Indian-inspired recipe made with red lentils. This one is probably the creamiest curry because the lentils melt in the sauce, creating an irresistibly creamy dahl.
Check out our lentil curry recipe.
Sweet potato curry
Hands down, this is my favorite way of eating sweet potatoes. They get soft, creamy, and practically melt in your mouth. In addition, they absorb all the aromas from the spices, turning them into flavor-packed nuggets. A must-try!
Check out our sweet potato curry recipe.
Serve as an easy dinner with white rice or bread and garnish with a dollop of yogurt.
For example, try it with our homemade flatbread brushed with garlic and herbs.
Add a fresh side dish, and serve with a bowl of extra greens, such as e
Refrigerator: let the eggplant curry cool down at room temperature, then transfer it into an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to 3 - 4 days. Then, reheat in the microwave or a pot with some water.
Freezer: let the curry cool down completely, then transfer it into a freezer-friendly bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
Thaw in the refrigerator overnight or the microwave.
Make ahead: eggplant curry is a great recipe for meal prep as its flavor improves on the second day.
More eggplant recipes
If you love eggplant, try these easy-to-follow recipes:
- Eggplant Parmigiana with buttery tender baked slices of eggplant and a rich tomato sauce
- Pasta alla Norma: Italian tomato-rich pasta with tender cubes of roasted eggplant
- 20-minute sauteed eggplant: the quickest way to cook eggplant in a pan
- Easy roasted eggplant with tips and tricks for cooking and eating eggplant
- No-frying breaded eggplant: crispy and light, these Italian breaded eggplant slices are real crowd-pleasers
- Eggplant dip: the perfect appetizer and dip idea!
- Easy stuffed eggplant with vegan and vegetarian topping ideas
For many more dinner ideas, check out our mains category page.
- 1¼ pound (20 ounces) eggplant about 1 very large or two small (+ 1½ tablespoon olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon black pepper for roasting)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic grated
- 1 teaspoon ginger grated
- 2 teaspoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds or ground
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 - 3 cups vegetable broth based on desired consistency
- 1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas or 1½ cups of cooked chickpeas
- 1 can (15 ounces) crushed tomatoes
- 1 can (14 ounces) coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 4 wedges lemon
- 1 handful fresh cilantro or flat-leaf parsley
- 1 to 2 cups basmati rice
- 4 tablespoons yogurt
ROAST THE EGGPLANT
- Preheat oven to 430°F or 220°C. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.Cut eggplant into 1-inch or 2.5-cm cubes.
- Transfer onto baking sheet and toss in olive oil, salt, and black pepper. Arrange on a single layer roast 20 - 25 minutes or until browned.
MAKE THE CURRY
- In a large skillet, warm up olive oil, add chopped onion and fry on medium heat for 3 minutes.Add grated garlic and grated ginger and fry for 1 minute.
- Lower the heat and add curry powder, cumin, coriander, red pepper flakes, turmeric, and black pepper.Toss the spices for 1 minute or until you smell their fragrant aroma.
- Add 2 cups of vegetable broth, canned tomatoes, rinsed chickpeas, coconut milk, and salt.Set the heat to medium, and simmer for about 20 minutes.
ADD ROASTED EGGPLANT
- Add roasted eggplants to the curry, stir, and simmer for 5 to 10 more minutes, until you reach your desired consistency. Add more broth if necessary.Turn the heat off, add the garam masala, stir and serve.
- Serve with basmati rice, freshly squeezed lemon juice, and fresh cilantro (or parsley if you don't like cilantro).It's also excellent with a dollop of yogurt on top, with naan bread or flatbread.
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