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Easy Eggplant Curry

Easy Eggplant Curry pairs roasted eggplant with an array of whole and ground spices, bound together in a rich tomato and creamy coconut curry sauce. Serve with fresh chopped cilantro and a side of steamed rice, for a delicious vegan curry the whole family will enjoy.

Easy Eggplant Curry in a white bowl with a fork.

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EASY EGGPLANT CURRY

My family all love a good curry and this Easy Eggplant Curry recipe is one of our favorites.

This vegan curry recipe is similar to an Indian Eggplant Curry or Brinjal Curry.

It is so warm and rich and the perfect spice blend mixed with the rich, creamy coconut milk. 

I make curry recipes a lot in our house.

If you like them as much as I do you should try this Easy Thai Vegetable Green Curry, Cauliflower Curry, Pumpkin Curry, Red Lentil Curry, Chickpea Curry or Butternut Squash Chickpea Coconut Curry. 

There’s not too much chili heat added to the curry, which makes it perfect for all the family.

I often add some fresh red chili or crushed red pepper on the side for anyone who likes their curry a little bit spicier.

Coconut milk is used to add a creaminess to the sauce making this a great vegan, dairy free and also gluten-free curry.

I like to add meat free meals into my families weekly meal plans, and eggplant curry is a great flavored packed way to do that.

When I grow eggplant in my garden it goes crazy and I end up with an abundance of eggplant. 

Today’s Easy Eggplant Curry is one of my favorite ways to use it up along with Baba Ghanoush, Ratatouille or this Mediterranean Eggplant Salad. 

Easy Eggplant Curry ingredients.

INGREDIENTS TO MAKE INDIAN EGGPLANT CURRY

EGGPLANT:  I use 2 medium sized eggplants, quartered length-ways then chopped into long 4-5” chunks. You can use regular eggplants or try Japanese eggplants. 

VEGETABLES: A combination of onion and garlic  form the base flavors in this curry sauce.

SPICES: I use a combination of cardamom pods, fresh ginger, cloves, curry leaves {or curry powder}, cumin seeds {or cumin powder}, coriander powder, chili powder and ground black pepper to season the curry sauce.

If there is a spice you don’t like leave it out. I prefer the wholes spices because I feel that it best way to get deep flavor. You can also sub dried spices for the whole spices as I know sometimes it can be hard to find the whole spices. 

TOMATO: I use tomato passata in this curry sauce. If you don’t have tomato passata you could use a can of chopped tomatoes instead. They will just add a slightly chunkier texture to the curry sauce.

COCONUT MILK: A can of  full-fat coconut milk is added to the curry sauce. I prefer full fat as it has a richer coconut flavor and results in a better texture of curry sauce.

GARNISH:  I always serve this curry with a garnish of chopped cilantro for a burst of fresh herb flavor.

Easy Eggplant Curry with cilantro.

HOW TO MAKE THIS AUBERGINE CURRY 

PREPARE THE EGGPLANT. Start by preheating the oven to 450 degrees F.

Wash and dry the eggplants with paper towel and cut each of them in half.

Generously sprinkle salt on each half of the eggplant and let it sit for 30 minutes to draw the moisture out. Use a paper towel to dry the eggplant and remove moisture.

Easy Eggplant Curry on a baking sheet.

ROAST THE EGGPLANT. Now brush the eggplant with the 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and your favorite spices before laying the eggplant out on a large non-stick or lined baking sheet and roast in the oven for 20 minutes.

Flip the eggplant and put back in the oven for another 10 minutes until it’s started to brown and is perfectly tender.

Easy Eggplant Curry eggplant on a baking dish.

SAUTE THE VEGETABLES & SPICES. While the eggplant is in for the last 10 minutes, pour 2 tablespoons olive oil into a large pan and bring to medium-high heat.

Add the onion and cook for around 5 minutes until softened and starting to brown.

Next add the garlic, ginger, cardamom, cloves and curry leaves and fry for a minute until fragrant, then add the remaining ground spices and fry for another minute.

Easy Eggplant Curry eggplant in a pot simmering.

FINISH THE CURRY SAUCE. Next pour in the tomato passata and coconut milk, stir and bring to the boil. Now reduce the heat to a simmer on low heat and add the roasted eggplant to the curry sauce.

Continue to simmer and stir occasionally for 10 minutes. Remove the cardamom pods and cloves and spoon the curry into bowls. Top with some fresh cilantro and serve with a side of steamed rice.

Easy Eggplant Curry curry in a bowl.

WAYS TO MODIFY THIS EGGPLANT CURRY RECIPE

  • VEGETABLES: I use eggplant in this curry, however this is an adaptable recipe and you can use any combination of vegetables like bell peppers, zucchini, green beans and mushrooms. Just omit the the part of the recipe where you salt the eggplant.
  • EXTRA SPICE: This recipe just uses half a teaspoon of chili powder to add a hint of spice to the recipe, but can easily be increased to create a spicier dish. Alternatively, add some fresh chilies to the sauce, along with the garlic and onion.
  • CITRUS: Add some lime wedges on the side for those who like to add a little extra sourness to their curry sauce.

DO YOU NEED TO SALT EGGPLANT?

No, we just add salt for a bit of seasoning in this recipe. Eggplants were traditionally more bitter and people salted them to remove the bitterness, but this isn’t really a problem with modern eggplants.

HOW LONG SHOULD YOU COOK EGGPLANT FOR?

It really depends on what texture you’re aiming for and how you like to eat your eggplant. We really like super tender eggplant and roasting for half an hour in the oven gets it just right.

If you like it a little firmer, just cut back on the roasting time.

Easy Eggplant Curry with naan bread.

CAN I PREPARE EGGPLANT CURRY AHEAD OF TIME?

This curry can be made earlier in the day or even the day before, then allowed to cool completely before being stored in the refrigerator. When ready to enjoy warm the curry up in a pot on the stove top.

If fact, like many dishes, curries often taste better when left to sit. Setting the curry aside allows the flavors to meld together, resulting in a really great tasting curry.

RECIPE HINTS & TIPS

  • TIPS FOR USING CARDAMOM: The cardamon pods should be lightly crushed so that the flavor can infuse into the sauce, but not enough for the seeds to escape.
  • DRIED SPICES: If you can’t find the whole spices like the cloves you can sub in the dried version. You will use 1 tablespoon fresh herbs = 1 teaspoon dried herbs
  • WHOLE SPICES: I love the flavor that whole spices adds to recipes but always remember to remove the cardamon pods and cloves before serving the curry. While they add great depth of flavor to a curry you don’t want anyone to accidentally bite into one of them. 
  • HOW TO STORE IN THE FRIDGE: Once cooked and cooled, store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
  • HOW TO STORE THIS IN THE FREEZER: One cooked and cooled, store in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
  • HOW TO PICK AN EGGPLANT: I suggest finding a smaller eggplant, not too large and ones that don’t have dents or large marks on them. You want an eggplant that is shiny and not dull in color.
  • THE SKIN OF THE EGGPLANT: Many people ask if they should peel the eggplant but you don’t need to. I feel that if you peel the skin the eggplant loses its flavor and texture. 

Easy Eggplant Curry with naan bread and cilantro.

WHAT TO SERVE WITH EGGPLANT CURRY?

There is so much flavor in this curry, from all the aromatic spices, that I tend to keep any side dishes simple.

I love some steamed rice, or for an extra hit of flavor try my Cilantro Lime Rice or Coconut Rice Salad. You can also add some breads, like a soft naan or some roti bread.

I also like to serve other vegetables sides alongside a curry. My Curry Roasted Cauliflower would be the perfect pairing here.

Of course salads are another nice match. Try my Lemon Arugula Salad, Massage Kale Salad or Arugula Caper Tomato Salad. 

Easy Eggplant Curry with logo.

Easy Eggplant Curry in a white bowl with a fork.

Easy Eggplant Curry

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Easy Eggplant Curry pairs roasted eggplant with an array of whole and ground spices, bound together in a rich tomato and creamy coconut curry sauce. Serve with fresh chopped cilantro and a side of steamed rice, for a delicious vegan curry the whole family will enjoy.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium eggplants, quartered lengthways then chopped into long 4-5” chunks
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated {or 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger}
  • 2 cardamom pods, lightly crushed to crack the shell
  • 2 cloves {or 1/4 teaspoon cloves}
  • 10 curry leaves {or 1 teaspoon curry powder}
  • 1 tablespoon cumin powder
  • 2 teaspoons coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup passata {tomato puree or tomato sauce}
  • 1 - 14 ounce full fat coconut milk
  • Cilantro, chopped for garnish
  • Rice for serving

Instructions

    1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
    2. Wash and dry the eggplant. Cut them each in half.
    3. Generously sprinkle salt on each half of the eggplant and let sit for 30 minutes to draw the moisture out. Use a paper towel to dry the eggplant and remove moisture.
    4. Brush the eggplant with the 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and your favorite spices.
    5. Lay the eggplant out on a large non-stick or lined baking sheet and roast in the oven for 20 minutes.
    6. Flip the eggplant and put back in the oven for another 10 minutes until it’s started to brown and is perfectly tender.
    7. While the eggplant is in for the last 10 minutes, pour 2 tablespoons olive oil into a large pan and bring to medium-high heat.
    8. Add the onion and cook for around 5 minutes until softened and starting to brown.
    9. Add the garlic, ginger, cardamom, cloves and curry leaves and fry for a minute until fragrant, then add the remaining spices and fry for another minute.
    10. Pour in the passata and coconut milk, stir and bring to the boil.
    11. Reduce to a simmer and add the roasted eggplant, continuing to simmer and stir occasionally for 10 minutes.
    12. Remove the cardamom pods and cloves before serving.
    13. Serve with fresh cilantro and rice.

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