This eggplant curry is made with tender eggplant and hearty chickpeas in a creamy tomato-based sauce. It's bursting with flavor and easy to make!
Eggplant is one of my favorite veggies for making hearty, super satisfying meals with! It's great for adding bulk to dishes and it really soaks up flavor. So it's perfect for a hearty curry like this one.
For this eggplant curry recipe I paired up my eggplant with some Indian spices, tomatoes and chickpeas. Everything gets cooked up in a creamy coconut-tomato sauce, then served over rice. It's absolutely delicious, easy to make, and incredibly comforting!
Ingredients You'll Need
- Olive oil. Just about any neutral high-heat oil can be substituted.
- Eggplant. Most varieties of eggplant will work. I used the ever-popular Italian globe eggplant. If your eggplants are very large, have been hanging around for a while, or show some brown when you cut them, consider salting them.
- Serrano pepper. This is totally optional — just include it if you'd like a little heat in your curry.
- Spices. We're using garam masala, cumin, and paprika.
- Fire roasted tomatoes. Regular old canned diced tomatoes can be subbed if you can't find these.
- Coconut milk. Use the canned variety in full-fat form. I don't recommend using the coconut milk beverage that's sold in cartons. If you can't find canned coconut milk or want to reduce the amount of fat in the recipe, substitute a can of crushed tomatoes for the coconut milk.
- Canned chickpeas.
- Tomato paste.
- Lemon Juice.
- Fresh cilantro. Leave this out if you're not a fan of cilantro.
How It's Made
The following is a summary of how this dish is made, with some tips! Scroll all the way down if you'd like to skip right to the recipe.
- Brown the eggplant first. To do this you'll need plenty of oil in your pan. Arrange eggplant cubes in an even layer and cook the pieces for a few minutes on each side.
Tip: You'll probably need to cook our eggplant in batches. It's worth it! The pieces need contact with the hot cooking surface in order to brown properly.
- While the eggplant cooks, sweat some diced onion in olive oil in a large pot. Once it becomes soft and translucent, add your minced garlic, grated ginger, minced serrano pepper (if using), and spices. Sauté everything briefly.
- Is your eggplant finished cooking yet? If not, take your onion mixture off of heat for a bit while you finish up the eggplant. Once the eggplant is done, add it to the pot, along with the diced tomatoes, coconut milk, chickpeas, tomato paste, and sugar.
- Simmer the curry until the eggplant is tender and the sauce is thick.
- Take your curry off of the burner and season it with lemon juice and salt. Sprinkle it with some fresh cilantro.
- Serve the eggplant curry over rice. It's also delicious with a side of vegan naan.
Leftovers & Storage
Leftover eggplant curry will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for about 3 days, or in the freezer for about 3 months.
Frequently Asked Questions
It sure is!
If you make it with the serrano pepper it will be spicy and a bit hot. If you leave the serrano pepper out it will be very flavorful, but not super hot.
Nope! I never do. But if you're not a fan of the texture of eggplant skin, feel free to peel it.
More Indian-Inspired Curries
- Easy Mixed Vegetable Curry
- Potato Spinach Curry
- Sweet Potato & Vegetable Vindaloo
- Chickpea & Corn Curry
- Vegan Korma
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Creamy Coconut Eggplant Curry
This easy eggplant curry is made with tender eggplant and hearty chickpeas in a creamy tomato-based sauce. It's bursting with flavor and easy to make!
- 5 tablespoons olive oil (or as needed), divided
- 1 ½ pounds eggplant, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
- ½ serrano pepper, seeded and minced (optional)
- 2 teaspoons garam masala, plus up to 1 additional tablespoon, to taste
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1 (14 ounce or 400 gram) can fire roasted tomatoes
- 1 (14 ounce or 400 ml) can full-fat coconut milk
- 1 (14 ounce or 400 gram) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro
- Cooked rice, for serving
Coat the bottom of a large nonstick skillet generously with olive oil and place it over medium heat.
When the oil is hot, add eggplant pieces in an even layer. Don't crowd the skillet or pile the pieces on top of each other — cook the eggplant in batches if needed.
Cook the eggplant for about 10 minutes, flipping halfway through, until the pieces are lightly browned.
While the eggplant cooks, coat the bottom of a large pot with 1 tablespoon of oil and place it over medium heat.
Add the onion and cook it, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, until soft and translucent.
Stir in the garlic, ginger, serrano pepper (if using) and spices. Cook the mixture for about 1 minute, until very fragrant.
Stir in the cooked eggplant, fire roasted tomatoes, coconut milk, chickpeas, tomato paste, and sugar.
Raise the heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat and allow it to simmer, uncovered, for about 20 minutes, until the sauce is thick and the eggplant is tender.
Remove the pot from heat. Stir in the lemon juice and salt. Taste-test and add more salt if desired.
Sprinkle with fresh cilantro and serve over rice.