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Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Anjali Shah

Aubergine Curry (Eggplant Curry)

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This delicious aubergine curry is made with pan-roasted eggplant, warm spices, and creamy chickpeas. It’s a flavor-packed, one-pot meal in a tomato-based curry sauce. Vegan & gluten free!

aubergine curry (or brinjal curry / eggplant curry) served with rice in a bowl

If you haven’t tried creamy aubergine curry (also known an easy eggplant curry recipe, or brinjal curry in Indian cuisine), you’re in for a pleasant surprise! This simple, one-pot dish has bold flavors, with no meat or dairy. The warmth of the cumin, coriander, and garam masala complement the sweet acidity of the tomatoes.

🍆 Can You Put Eggplant In A Curry?

Yes absolutely, you can! Eggplant is great in a vegetable curry because it’s pretty mild in flavor, and it’s very porous, so it soaks up all of the flavors of the spices and curry sauce really well. You can add it in sauteed, or make a roasted eggplant curry – either way – it tastes great!

In this dish, diced eggplant (or aubergine) adds a subtle sweetness, and chickpeas provide a boost of plant-based protein! It’s comfort food with all the goodness but none of the guilt. I like to serve this vegan eggplant curry with white or brown rice, a perfect vehicle to soak up the chickpea curry sauce.

This healthy aubergine curry with chickpeas is naturally vegan and gluten-free too! It also happens to be very family friendly and you can modify it for kids too (just leave out the cayenne). You can also serve it alongside some cooling raita or yogurt to balance the heat, or with delicious fluffy naan bread – it’s so versatile it’s a delicious option with just about any side dish!

👩‍🍳 Why This Recipe Works

  • Amazing flavor, will make your taste buds happy!
  • Perfect for meal prep, tastes even better the next day
  • Easy one-pot meal, great for the whole family
  • Gluten-free and vegan
  • Satisfying rich taste
  • Easy recipe for a weeknight meal
  • Best aubergine curry recipe ever!

Latest Recipe Video!

🥘 Ingredients

This aubergine and chickpea curry is made with simple ingredients and pantry staples! Find the full list of ingredients and nutritional information at the bottom of this post.

ingredients for brinjal curry - aubergine curry recipe
  • Olive Oil: Any neutral oil with a high smoke point works great. I like to use heart-healthy olive oil, but canola oil, vegetable oil, rapeseed oil, coconut oil, or sunflower oil are great options.
  • Aubergine: Aubergine is another term for eggplant and it’s one of the main ingredients in this curried eggplant recipe. Feel free to use two regular aubergines or four tender baby aubergines. You’ll want to cut them into 1 inch cubes. Roasted aubergine has a mild, sweet flavor perfect for eggplant masala, curries, and dips!
  • Aromatics: Onion, garlic, and fresh ginger root create a depth of flavor in this Indian eggplant curry. If you don’t like ginger root, leave it out. You can use white onion, red onion, or really any type of onion!
  • Spices: Cumin, coriander, turmeric powder, cayenne, and garam masala create a homemade curry powder that steals the show in the best way. If you don’t have cayenne, swap with chili powder or black pepper. I also like garnishing this aubergine chickpea curry with fresh cilantro for additional brightness.
  • Diced Tomatoes: Tomato and aubergine curry has such a nice balance of sweetness and acicity! You can use canned chopped tomatoes, diced tomatoes, or tomato puree.
  • Vegetable Stock Or Broth: Vegetable broth is a great way to pack in flavor. I try to keep it in my pantry at all times. It makes a delicious base for soups, stews, and curries – like in this vegan curry recipe.
  • Chickpeas: Chickpeas taste great in aubergine and tomato curry, plus they add plant-based protein. But if you want to make this recipe without the chickpeas you can leave them out and it will still taste great!

🔪 How To Make Aubergine Curry

This Indian eggplant dish is simple to make. Here’s what you need to do to make this eggplant and chickpea Indian curry.

Sauté Eggplant: Heat three tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan on medium-high heat and cook the pieces of eggplant in a single layer until golden brown on all sides. Don’t overcrowd the pan or the eggplant will steam and not brown. Transfer the eggplant to a plate.

eggplant sauteeing in a pan

Sauté Onion: In the same large pan, heat the remaining oil over medium heat and sauté the chopped onion until soft and translucent.

onions and aromatics sauteeing in a pot

Add Spices: Add the ground cumin, ginger, coriander, turmeric, and cayenne pepper. Sauté for a few more minutes. If you don’t like spicy flavors, leave out the cayenne.

onions and spices sauteeing in a pot

Add the diced tomatoes, vegetable stock, and chickpeas.

chickpeas added to pot with eggplant curry

Simmer & Cook: Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce the heat to low heat. Cover and cook this brinjal bhaji for 20 minutes on a gentle simmer, stirring occasionally so the bottom doesn’t burn.

tomatoes and chickpeas added to pot

Add Aubergine: Stir in the cooked aubergine pieces, garam masala, and salt. Cooking aubergine in curry sauce is so tasty, because the spongy eggplant soaks up all of the great flavors in the sauce.

eggplant and tomatoes added to pot

Simmer Again: Cook, uncovered, for another 20 minutes. If the sauce gets too thick, add a splash of water. Give this aubergine masala a good stir and season to taste.

vegan eggplant curry in a pot

Enjoy: Top with chopped fresh coriander leaves, a pinch of salt, and a good squeeze of lime, then serve this vegan aubergine curry with steamed rice.

cilantro added to chickpea and eggplant curry

💭 Expert Tips

  • Don’t crowd the pan when sautéing the aubergine. Crowding the pan creates too much steam, which will make your eggplant soggy, and prevents caramelization (and the sweet flavor resulting from it!)
  • Any type of eggplant works for this homestyle eggplant and chickpea curry. Feel free to use baby eggplant or Japanese eggplant in place of large eggplants. You may need 3 to 4 to get the same amount.
  • Don’t peel the aubergine. The peel has tons of nutrients and caramelizes quite nicely in this creamy eggplant curry. While you can peel the aubergine if you like, I like it better with the skin on!
  • If the sauce gets too thick, add a splash of water or vegetable stock to thin it out.
  • You can salt the eggplant to reduce its bitter taste. To do this, just sprinkle salt over the diced aubergine and allow it to sit for 30 minutes, rinsing off excess salt and liquid after the 30 minutes has past. Then follow the rest of the instructions for this Indian eggplant chickpea curry.

📖 Variations

This brinjal curry recipe is easy to customize! Here are a few delicious variations I love to make.

  • Roasted Aubergine And Chickpea Curry Recipe: If you prefer, you can roast the eggplant pieces in the oven instead of a sauté pan. Toss them with olive oil and roast on a large baking tray at 400 degrees Fahrenheit until the eggplant is tender. Use instead of the sauteed eggplant in this recipe.
  • Aubergine And Potato Curry: Stir in roasted potatoes at the same time as the eggplant. Feel free to use whatever potatoes you have on hand. I prefer white or gold potatoes in eggplant potato curry. They have a creamy texture but hold their shape.
  • Aubergine And Lentil Curry: For more plant-based protein, stir in cooked lentils before serving. If you want the lentils to “melt” in the curry, use red lentils, otherwise use brown lentils.
  • Aubergine Coconut Curry: Add 1/2 cup of canned creamy coconut milk with the cooked aubergine. You can use full-fat coconut milk for a richer taste, or light coconut milk to reduce calories and fat. Start with 1/2 cup, then add more to taste. You can always add more, but you can’t take it out!

🍽 Serving Suggestions

Eggplant chickpea curry tastes delicious with rice because it absorbs the flavorful curry sauce! Here are some of our other favorite ways to serve this recipe:

  • With Rice Or Grains: Basmati rice or white rice, brown rice, quinoa, millet or just about any grain will taste great with this curry dish. You can also serve it with this Indian fried rice (khichdi) or this vegan biryani!
  • With Naan Or Bread: Try it with naan bread or this vegan flatbread, Guyanese roti, whole wheat tortillas, or just about any bread or wrap will taste great to sop up all of the leftover sauce!
  • Side Salads: A refreshing tomato avocado cucumber salad pairs well with this Indian-inspired recipe, as does roasted cauliflower salad!
  • Garnishes: Try it with a dollop of yogurt or vegan yogurt on top, some fresh cilantro, a squeeze of lime juice or lemon juice, or some crushed peanuts!
  • Other Veggie Sides: Vegan roasted potatoes make a hearty side dish for this Indian aubergine and chickpea curry, but you can also serve it with this roasted broccoli and potatoes recipe!
  • Other Indian-Style Curries: Make this traditional Indian dish into a bigger spread and serve it alongside this rajma masala, vegan tikka masala, or this chole masala!

🫙 Storage Directions

Store this Indian aubergine curry recipe in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Reheat in a pan on the stovetop over medium heat or in the microwave until warmed through.

❓ Recipe FAQs

What is an aubergine?

An aubergine is another term for an eggplant. The term eggplant is used predominantly in the United States, while aubergine is used in European countries. An eggplant is a purple, oblong fruit with a mild, sweet flavor and a tender texture. It is part of the nightshade family, which includes tomatoes, peppers, and potatoes.

How do I pick a good aubergine?

An eggplant should be firm but not rock hard. If it gives when you gently push on it, or you can puncture it with your finger, it’s overripe. It should be a shiny, deep purple color that’s not shriveled or too soft.

What is the best way to eat aubergines?

The best way to eat aubergines is to either pan sear and stir fry them (so they get crispy on the outside, but remain creamy on the inside), or oven roast them. Eggplant boiled or raw doesn’t taste as good because it ends up with a spongy, soft texture.

How do you cut an aubergine for a curry?

First, cut the eggplant into slices lengthwise. Then cut the slides into strips, also lengthwise. Line up the strips, and cut horizontally across to turn the strips into cubes. This is the easiest way to dice an aubergine for a curry recipe.

aubergine curry (or brinjal curry / eggplant curry) served with rice in a bowl

🍲 More Vegan Curry Recipes!

The best curries are packed with flavor and easy to make! Try one of these delicious curry recipes.

Love this vegetarian indian recipe? Please leave a 5-star rating 🌟 in the recipe below and/or a review in the comments section further down the page!

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📋 Recipe Card

🎥 Watch How to Make It

https://youtu.be/nfDchGPoBDs
aubergine curry (or brinjal curry / eggplant curry) served with rice in a bowl
Print Recipe
5 from 9 votes

Aubergine Curry (Eggplant Curry)

This aubergine curry is made with pan-roasted eggplant, warm spices, and creamy chickpeas. It's a flavor-packed, one-pot meal in a tomato-based curry sauce. Vegan & gluten free!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time1 hour
Total Time1 hour 10 minutes
Course: Main Course, mains
Cuisine: Indian, Vegan
Diet: Gluten Free, Low Calorie, Low Lactose, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 192kcal
Author: Anjali Shah

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Heat 3 tbsp oil in a large pan and lightly cook the aubergine until golden on all sides. Do not overcrowd the pan, you may need to cook the aubergine in batches.
  • In the same pan heat the remaining oil and sauté the onion until translucent.
  • Add the ginger, cumin, coriander, turmeric and cayenne pepper. Continue to sauté for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add in the diced tomatoes, vegetable stock and chickpeas. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and cook for 20 minutes, stirring at regular intervals.
  • Remove the lid and stir through the cooked aubergine, garam masala and salt.
  • Cook, uncovered, for a further 20 minutes. If the sauce is becoming too thick add a little water.
  • Adjust seasoning to suit your taste.
  • Top with chopped coriander and serve with steamed rice.

Notes

  • Cook the aubergine in batches to ensure even cooking.
  • Dice the aubergine into bite sized pieces, making it quicker to cook and easier when eating.
  • There’s no need to remove the skin from the aubergine.
  • You may want to, however it’s not imperative, to salt the aubergine before cooking to remove bitterness. Simply sprinkle salt over the diced aubergine and allow it to sit for 30 minutes, rinsing off excess salt and liquid after the 30 minutes has past.
  • If the sauce starts to become too dry while cooking add a little water or vegetable stock.

Nutrition

Calories: 192kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Sodium: 1050mg | Potassium: 726mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 10g

16 responses to “Aubergine Curry (Eggplant Curry)”

  1. Enjoyed this for dinner tonight and it was a savory success! Easy, delicious and perfect for busy weeknights; my whole family loved it!5 stars

  2. A huge fan of eggplants here! And this recipe was simply delicious!! So easy to prepare too. Thank you!5 stars

  3. I love eggplant and curry, so this is right up my alley! 🙂 Definitely adding this to my weekly dinner plan soon.5 stars

  4. I never would have thought to put eggplant in curry, but it’s a perfect use for it! It soaks up so much flavor5 stars

  5. I know eggplant/aubergine os one of those vegetables that not everyone likes but I for one am a big fan – this is a tasty mix with the chickpeas and spice mix in there.5 stars

  6. This recipe was really easy to make and had the most delicious flavor ever! My family didn’t even know it was vegan!!5 stars

  7. Enjoyed this for dinner last night and it did not disappoint! Hearty and delicious; easily, a new favorite recipe!5 stars

  8. The curry has some wonderful flavors! We had this for one of our meatless night dinners. My family loved the eggplant curry sauce over the rice!5 stars

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