Aubergine Curry (Eggplant Curry)This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Please read my disclosure.
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!
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!
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.
- 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.
Sauté Onion: In the same large pan, heat the remaining oil over medium heat and sauté the chopped onion until soft and translucent.
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.
Add the diced tomatoes, vegetable stock, and chickpeas.
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.
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.
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.
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.
💭 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.
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!
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
🍲 More Vegan Curry Recipes!
The best curries are packed with flavor and easy to make! Try one of these delicious curry recipes.
- Vegan Thai Green Curry
- Vegan Panang Curry with Tofu
- Chana Aloo Masala
- Tofu Yellow Curry
- Lentil Cauliflower Curry
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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🎥 Watch How to Make It
Aubergine Curry (Eggplant Curry)
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 large aubergine diced into bite sized pieces
- 1 onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic crushed
- 1 tsp minced ginger
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- 28 oz canned diced tomatoes
- ½ cup vegetable stock
- 4 oz cooked chickpeas
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 2 tsp salt
- fresh coriander (cilantro) for garnish
- 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.
- 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.