This one-pot eggplant curry is aromatic, rich, and deeply flavorful. It combines tender cooked eggplant with a variety of fresh Indian spices to make a healthy dish that you’re guaranteed to love!
This easy and nutritious aubergine curry recipe is loaded with flavor and beautiful aromas from the lightly-roasted spices. If you enjoyed our dahl or vegetable korma recipe, you’re going to love this eggplant curry.
Table of Contents
Why you’ll love this recipe
- Great for meal prep. Making a big batch of eggplant curry is easy, and it reheats really well.
- Easy to customize. You’re the chef, so you decide how spicy it is, which veggies and protein to add, and what to serve it with.
- Gluten- and dairy-free. Like Chinese eggplant, this dish is naturally vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free, so it’s perfect for serving large crowds or guests with dietary restrictions.
- Delicious use of eggplant. Sure, air fried or sauteed eggplant is delicious, but this is on another level!
What I love about this recipe is how hearty and satisfying it tastes. For being a vegan recipe, I don’t even notice there’s no meat in it! The eggplant’s naturally meaty texture pairs well with the tender-cooked vegetables.
As I said before, it’s pretty easy to customize this recipe, so don’t fret over every single ingredient.
- Eggplant. Cut into equal-sized cubes.
- Oil. Olive oil is best, though any oil will do.
- Cumin and mustard seeds. If you don’t have seeds, then the powdered spices will do. Just skip the step for roasting the seeds.
- Ginger. Peeled and grated.
- Garlic. Minced.
- Onion. Finely chopped.
- Salt and pepper. Added to taste.
- Garam masala. You can usually buy this spice mix premade at any grocery store, though it tastes best fresh from either an Indian grocery store or spice retailer.
- Tomato paste. A flavorful paste that will add complexity to the curry.
- Coconut Milk. Preferably canned and full-fat, though low-fat coconut milk or coconut cream will also work.
- Coriander or fresh cilantro. Freshly chopped.
- Yogurt. For topping the finished curry. This can be swapped for vegan yogurt or omitted.
How to make a curry with eggplant
Step 1- Cook the eggplant
First, heat two tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the eggplant cubes and sauté them for 7-8 minutes while frequently stirring until they are nicely browned. Once done, remove them from the pan and set them aside.
Step 2- Cook the spices and veggies
Add the remaining oil to the pan and reduce the heat to medium. Add the cumin and mustard seeds, then cover and let them toast for 30 seconds.
Follow this by adding ginger, garlic, onion, and salt. Let this cook until fragrant, and the onions become translucent.
Step 3- Build the curry sauce
Once the onions are done cooking, add the garam masala, tomato paste, and coconut milk.
Bring this mixture to a boil, then add the eggplant back to the pan and simmer everything together until the sauce has thickened.
Step 4- Garnish and serve
Serve the finished curry with freshly chopped coriander and a dollop of yogurt.
Recipe tips and tricks
- Add coconut milk if the curry is too thick. This can happen if the curry reduces for too long, so incrementally add coconut milk until it reaches your desired consistency.
- Choose the right eggplant. Look for firm and shiny eggplants with smooth skin. Avoid those with bruises, blemishes, or wrinkles.
- Cut the eggplant properly. Cut the eggplant into uniform pieces to ensure even cooking. You can either chop them into cubes or slice them lengthwise.
- Add a cornstarch slurry if the curry is too thin. Combine one tablespoon of cornstarch with three tablespoons of cold water, then add this to your curry to help thicken it up.
- Salt the eggplant before sautéing. Salt draws moisture from the eggplant and makes it meatier in texture. Sprinkle them with salt and let them rest for 15 minutes, then strain and pat dry the eggplant before cooking.
As mentioned earlier, one of the best things about this recipe is how easy it is to customize. Here are some suggestions:
- Add protein. You can add chickpeas, chicken breast, shrimp, or even some veal if you need extra protein.
- Sprinkle with roasted cashews. This will add a nice nutty flavor and crunchy texture to the finished dish.
- Add greens. Spinach, kale, mustard greens, or snap peas are all good options for adding more fiber and antioxidants to the finished dish.
- Make it spicy. Add red chili flakes or cayenne to make the curry spicier. Just remember to go easy on the spice since it will continue to get hotter as the dish simmers. You can also swirl through some hot honey sauce for a fun kick.
- Use curry powder. For a time saving trick, use your favorite curry powder mix.
To store: Allow the curry to cool completely, then transfer it to an airtight container. Stored in the fridge, this dish will last 3 to 4 days.
To freeze: Allow the dish to cool completely, then transfer it to an airtight container and freeze for up to 6 months.
To reheat: Transfer leftovers to a skillet over medium heat and cook, while frequently stirring, until it reaches your desired temperature. You can also microwave the leftovers in 30-second intervals, stopping to stir between each.
Recommended tools to make this recipe
- Non-stick skillet. A good quality skillet to cook everything together easily and quickly.
- Chef’s knife. For those perfectly chopped vegetables.
- Spatula. To mix everything as needed.
More vegetarian recipes to try
Frequently asked questions
Eggplant curry can be a healthy part of your diet since it’s entirely vegetarian and made with healthy fats from coconut milk.
Yes, you can substitute other vegetables for eggplant in the recipe. Cauliflower, sweet potatoes, and white potatoes are all delicious options that will work well with the sauce.
Brinjal curry is an Indian dish consisting of eggplant, tomato, onion, herbs, and spices. It’s a one-pot curry dish that’s rich with fresh Indian flavors and perfectly cooked eggplant.
I like using English or Italian eggplant, but Japanese eggplant can also be used.
The level of spiciness in eggplant curry can vary depending on how much chili you add to it. This recipe is quite mild, but you can add more if you love spicy and hot curries.
Eggplant Curry (Aubergine Curry)
- Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the eggplant cubes and saute for 7-8 minutes, regularly stirring, until browned. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Add the remaining oil and place back over medium heat. Add the cumin and mustard seeds, cover the pan, and toast for 30 seconds.
- Add the ginger, garlic, onion, and salt and cook until fragrant and the onion is translucent. Stir through the garam masala, tomato paste, and coconut milk and bring to a boil.
- Add the eggplant to the pan and cook everything together until the sauce thickens.
- Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and serve with yogurt or extra coconut milk.
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