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This aubergine curry is tasty, easy and healthy to boot. It combines soft aubergine and tender chickpeas simmered in creamy coconut milk and tomatoes and gently flavoured with warming spices. It’s also completely vegan friendly.
What is aubergine?
If you’re scratching your head wondering what exactly aubergine is then the chances are you know it by another name. It is commonly referred to as eggplant in many parts of the world, while in India it’s often called brinjal. Funnily enough, it is rumored that the British labelled this vegetable as an ‘eggplant’ during their rule in India. While this name gained popularity in various places around the world, back home in the UK the vegetable is still usually referred to as an aubergine (which is originally a French name).
Aubergines are a member of the nightshade family, along with tomatoes, potatoes and peppers. Like tomatoes, they are also technically a fruit of the plant. Aubergines are typically prepared as a vegetable and are hugely versatile. Try roasting them as a side dish, preparing them with other vegetables in a medley like in this Mediterranean roasted veg recipe or stuffing them to make a full meal like these lamb stuffed aubergines. Another great recipe is moutabal which is a slightly spicy Arabic dip. Yum!
Is it healthy?
Let’s start with aubergines. Many people believe that they can be bad for you as they contain alkaloids. However, their alkaloid levels are minimal. To put this into context, an average-weight person would need to eat over 15 large eggplants in one go before they even started to feel any mild negative effects.
On the other hand, aubergines are a great source of fibre, antioxidants and vitamins. They are also low in calories and fat.
This aubergine curry also contains chickpeas (also high in dietary fibre), onions and vitamin-c packed tomatoes. Not only is it nutritious but it comes in at under 450 calories.
Do you need to peel aubergine?
You do not need to peel aubergines before eating them. Although larger or older aubergines may have tougher skin than younger ones, and therefore peeling may be a good idea in that case.
Furthermore, based on how the aubergine is prepared, the skin can actually help hold the tender flesh together. However, for this curry that isn’t so much of an issue, so if you want to peel it you can but it is not necessary.
Is it spicy?
This curry is not particularly hot so it should suit most palates. The spices it uses are cumin and garam masala which is more warming than hot (although may vary a little from brand to brand). It also uses a little curry powder, however, if you want to make it very mild then you can opt for a curry powder that is mild or non-spicy.
Alternatively, if you want to add more spice then grab a hot curry powder. Still not enough? Add some cayenne pepper or chilli flakes too.
Can I make it in advance?
Cooked curry can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days and reheated on the hob/stove or in the microwave. However, do note that the aubergine will become even softer over time and the texture may be a little mushier after reheating.
You can also freeze this curry for up to 3 months. Transfer to a sealed freezer-proof container and defrost thoroughly before reheating.
What can I serve it with?
This curry is great served with rice or naan. Try this saffron basmati rice for an extra pop of colour. I also love to add some cucumber and mint raita spooned over the top. Mango chutney also adds an extra sweet flavour to the dish.
For a full list of ingredients with measurements and weights jump to the printable recipe card.
- Aubergine, sliced – ideally, try and find baby or thinly shaped aubergine so you can cut them into disks along the length. Alternatively since into cubes.
- Onion, sliced
- Ginger paste
- Garlic, crushed or finely chopped
- Tinned chopped tomatoes
- Coconut milk – full fat makes this curry irresistibly creamy and rich. However, if you are trying to limit calories and fat then you can swap this for light/low fat coconut milk which will reduce the calories by around 80 and fat by about 9g
- Tinned chickpeas
- Coriander/cilantro to serve
- Garam masala
- Curry powder
How to make it
For more detailed steps with recipe tips jump to the printable recipe card.
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Drizzle oil over the aubergines, season well and roast for 20 minutes.
- Saute the onion until softened and then add the garlic, ginger and spices and cook for a further minute.
- Add the tomatoes, chickpeas and coconut milk and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Add the aubergines at the end of the cooking time and then serve with chopped coriander/cilantro scattered over the top.
Looking for more great Indian recipes? Try:
Products that work well for this recipe:
Magnetic Spice Rack – Set of 12
2 in 1 Garlic Press
Indian Karahi Curry Bowls
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 1 1x
- Diet: Vegan
This aubergine curry is delicious, easy to make and healthy. Combining aubergine and chickpeas in a spiced coconut milk and tomato sauce. Vegan friendly.
The default recipe serves 1.
- 150g / 5oz aubergine, diced – if you can find thin aubergines or baby aubergines you can simply slice them along the length. Otherwise cut into square pieces around 2cm / .75in wide
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1/2 onion, sliced
- 1 garlic clove, minced or finely chopped
- 1 tsp ginger paste
- 100g / 3.5oz tinned chopped tomatoes
- 60ml / 1/4 cup full-fat coconut milk (see note 1)
- 50g / 3.5oz tinned chickpeas
- few sprigs fresh coriander/cilantro, chopped (optional)
- 1/2 tsp. cumin
- 1/2 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp curry powder (see note 2)
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Spread the sliced aubergine on a baking tray and drizzle over half the olive oil and season well. Place in the oven for 20 minutes.
- Heat the remaining oil in a large frying pan/skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for around 6-8 minutes until softened.
- Stir in the garlic, ginger and spices and cook for a further minute.
- Add the tomatoes, coconut milk and chickpeas and mix everything together. Simmer for 20 minutes, adding the aubergine in for the last few minutes. Season to taste.
- Serve with the chopped coriander/cilantro scattered over the top.
- You can use light coconut milk instead, although the curry will be thinner and less rich.
- For a mild curry opt for a mild curry powder. Alternatively, if you prefer things spicier then go for a hotter curry powder.
- Leftovers can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months. Defrost thoroughly in the fridge before reheating on the hob/stove or in the microwave. Note that the texture of the curry may be softer after reheating.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Oven / Hob / Stove
- Cuisine: Indian
- Serving Size: 1
- Calories: 430
- Fat: 24g
- Carbohydrates: 38g
- Protein: 11g
Keywords: curry, Indian, aubergine, chickpeas, vegetarian, vegan, tomatoes, dinner, easy