Aubergine Curry (Vegan 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 eggplant curry or brinjal curry, you’re in for a pleasant surprise! This simple, one-pot dish is BIG on flavor, with no meat or dairy. The warmth of the cumin, coriander, and garam masala complement the sweet acidity of the tomatoes.
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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 eggplant curry recipe with white or brown rice, a perfect vehicle to soak up the chickpea curry sauce.
This creamy aubergine curry recipe is naturally vegan and gluten-free too! My kids love it (I typically make them a version that doesn’t have the cayenne), so if your family is sensitive to heat, just leave out the cayenne and they will gobble it up!
👩🍳 Why This Recipe Works
- Nice contrast of flavors
- Tastes even better the next day
- Easy one-pot meal
- Rich taste from lots of spices
- Easy recipe for a weeknight meal
- Best vegan aubergine curry ever!
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. Feel free to use two regular aubergines or four tender baby aubergines. 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. I prefer red onion, but sweet or white onions work great too.
- 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.
- Diced Tomatoes: Chopped tomatoes are naturally sweet and acidic! If you don’t have diced tomatoes, swap with tomato puree.
- Vegetable Stock: Vegetable stock is an easy 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.
- Chickpeas: Chickpeas taste great in aubergine and tomato curry, plus they add plant-based protein.
This brinjal curry recipe is easy to customize! Here are a few delicious variations I love to make.
- 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.
- Aubergine Coconut Curry: Add 1/2 cup of canned coconut milk with the cooked aubergine. Start with 1/2 cup, then add more to taste. You can always add more, but you can’t take it out!
🔪 How To Make Aubergine Curry
This Indian eggplant dish is simple to make. Here’s what you need to do.
Sauté Eggplant: Heat three tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan on medium-high heat and cook the eggplant 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. Cover and cook 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.
Simmer Again: Cook, uncovered, for another 20 minutes. If the sauce gets too thick, add a splash of water. Give it 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 with steamed rice.
❓ 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.
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.
Store Indian aubergine curry 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.
Eggplant chickpea curry tastes delicious with rice because it absorbs the flavorful curry sauce! I like serving it with brown rice or quinoa instead of white rice for more fiber and protein. You can also serve it with Naan bread, roti, salad, cucumber salad, or roasted potatoes too.
💭 Expert Tips
- Don’t crowd the pan when sautéing the aubergine. This creates steam which prevents caramelization and all that sweet flavor.
- 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.
- Feel free to use baby eggplant in place of large eggplants. You may need 3 to 4 to get the same amount.
- You can peel the aubergine if you like, but you don’t have to!
- If the sauce gets too thick, add a splash of water or vegetable stock to thin it out.
- If you want to salt the eggplant to remove any bitterness, 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.
🍲 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 with Vegetables
- Lentil Cauliflower Curry
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📋 Recipe Card
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.