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This eggplant curry is a creamy Indian-inspired curry with a delicious mix of eggplant, tofu, and chickpeas. It's simple to make, yet rich and deeply flavorful. Serve it over basmati rice for a healthy vegan meal that's perfect for busy weeknights!
This delicious eggplant curry (aubergine curry) is one of our favorite vegetarian recipes because it manages to be deeply flavorful, healthy, and easy to make. The unique combination of eggplant, tofu, chickpeas and a creamy curry sauce give it a dynamic taste and texture. Serve it with some warm naan bread or basmati rice for a high-protein vegan meal that everyone will enjoy!
Is this an authentic Indian eggplant curry?
This recipe uses eggplant cooked in a sauce with many of our favorite Indian spices. We use coconut milk in our eggplant curry as we love the flavor and creaminess it brings to the dish, even though it is not an authentic ingredient.
So while this may not be an exact replica of an eggplant curry you would find in India (or order from your local Indian restaurant) it has all the flavors you associate with curry. We are sure that you will love it as much as we do!
This delicious eggplant curry recipe is full of flavorful ingredients. Here's everything you need to make it:
- Coconut oil: a bit of coconut oil is what we use to fry the tofu. Another high-heat oil like avocado oil works, too.
- Medium-firm tofu: medium-firm tofu has a nice texture and holds together in this curry, but firm tofu also works.
- Asian eggplant: also known as Japanese eggplant, this variety of eggplant is sweeter and more tender than than standard eggplants.
- Onion, ginger, and garlic: this aromatic trio is the flavor base of this curry.
- Spices: we use a mix of garam masala, cumin seeds, turmeric, sea salt, and dried chili flakes.
- Tomato paste: tomato paste gives a rich tomato flavor and nuance to the sauce.
- Coconut milk: although this isn't a traditional ingredient in Indian curries, full-fat coconut milk adds a wonderful creaminess to this curry.
- Brown sugar: a bit of brown sugar gives the curry a subtle sweetness. You can also use coconut sugar or cane sugar if that's what you have on hand.
- Chickpeas: chickpeas add protein and great texture to this vegetarian curry.
- Cilantro: fresh cilantro adds a boost of flavor and a pop of green for garnishing.
How to make eggplant curry
This Indian eggplant recipe is a quick and delicious one-pot dinner for weeknights. Browning the tofu and eggplant first gives it an extra boost of flavor. Here's how we make it in a couple of easy steps:
- Fry the tofu in coconut oil until golden and then set it aside.
- Use the same pan to brown the eggplant, and set it aside as well.
- Cook the onion, ginger, and garlic with the spices and tomato paste.
- Make the sauce by adding the coconut milk, water, and sugar to the tomato mixture. Add the eggplant, and simmer until it's soft (but not mushy.)
- Stir in the chickpeas and tofu, and garnish with fresh minced cilantro. That's it!
Is eggplant curry healthy?
Yes it is! This eggplant curry has no dairy in it making it completely vegan. It's also gluten-free (making it suitable for all eaters), and it's high in plant-based protein.
How do I store leftover curry?
Leftover curry tastes great warmed up for lunch or dinner the next day. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in your fridge for 3-4 days.
Can you freeze eggplant curry?
Yes, this eggplant with curry freezes well. Once it's cool, transfer the curry to a freezer-safe container and store it in your freezer for up to 3 months.
Is this eggplant curry spicy?
This eggplant curry is creamy like butter chicken but has a mild hint of heat from the dried chili flakes. If you prefer it not spicy, you can omit them. If you like spicy food, add more to taste!
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil (divided)
- 16 ounce package of medium-firm tofu (cubed and dried with paper towel)
- 2 long Asian eggplants (diced)
- 1 medium onion (very thinly sliced (use a mandolin, if you have one))
- ¼ cup minced ginger
- 4 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 tablespoon garam masala
- ½ tablespoon EACH: cumin seeds, turmeric, sea salt
- Optional: ½ teaspoon chili flakes
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 14 ounce can coconut milk (400ml)
- ½ can water (measured from the empty coconut milk can)
- 2 teaspons brown sugar
- 15 ounce can chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
- Cilantro (to serve)
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the coconut oil in a large, non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the dried tofu and pan fry until golden brown on 2 sides, about 5 minutes. Remove from the pan.16 ounce package of medium-firm tofu
- Heat 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in the pan used for the tofu. Brown the eggplant on all sides, working in batches if needed. Remove the eggplant from the pan.2 long Asian eggplants
- Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in the same pan used for the eggplant. Add the onion and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until it softens. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the garam masala, cumin seeds, and turmeric to the pan and let them toast for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add the sea salt, optional chili flakes (if using), and the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.1 medium onion, ¼ cup minced ginger, 4 cloves garlic, 1 tablespoon garam masala, ½ tablespoon EACH: cumin seeds, turmeric, sea salt, Optional: ½ teaspoon chili flakes, ¼ cup tomato paste
- Add the coconut milk, water, and sugar to the pan, bring it to a boil, and stir, scraping the bottom for any stuck-on bits. Add the eggplant back into the pan and turn the heat to low. Let the eggplant cook, covered, for 12-15 minutes, or until it is soft but not mushy.14 ounce can coconut milk, ½ can water, 2 teaspons brown sugar
- Stir the chickpeas and tofu into the curry and let them heat through. Serve with rice and some cilantro on top.15 ounce can chickpeas, Cilantro
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.