Indulge in a bowl of this comforting Roasted Eggplant Curry with Chickpeas. Made with simple and budget-friendly ingredients, it’s a warmly spiced and rich-flavored meal that’s perfect for easy weeknight dinners or healthy lunches!

Want more curry recipes? Check out my One Pan Tofu Curry, Easy Vegan Curry, and Easy Chickpea Curry.

mixed eggplant curry in a cast iron pan

Why I love this eggplant curry recipe

Have you ever considered putting eggplant in curry? If not, you should! In this eggplant curry, diced and roasted eggplant practically melts into the luxurious and nicely spiced curry sauce and lends a chewy, yet tender texture to every bite.

  • Layers of rich and complex flavors: The secret to the delectable flavors in this eggplant curry (AKA brinjal curry or aubergine curry) is to roast the eggplant. When cooked slowly in the oven, the heat draws out the hidden flavors in the eggplant and gives this warm and comforting dish a nice complexity and a rich flavor that you wouldn’t get from pan-fried eggplant.
  • A great late-summer dish: Eggplant, the star of this recipe, is in season from July through October here in North America. Pick up a few different varieties from your local farmer’s market and put them to use in this comforting brinjal curry! Any extras would be perfect for my Vegan Eggplant Parmesan.
  • It’s budget-friendly! A handful of vegetables, dry spices, and canned ingredients make this vegan curry recipe friendly to your wallet.
  • Perfect for meal prep: The leftover curry stays fresh for days and even tastes better over time. Prep it on Sunday and pack it in individual containers for healthy lunches to enjoy throughout the week!

How to make eggplant curry

Lay the cubed eggplant on a large baking sheet and add a drizzle of olive oil on top. Stir to coat, add a sprinkle of salt, then roast in the oven until the eggplant is tender.

Meanwhile, saute the onion and red bell pepper in a hot skillet until they’re soft.

chopped eggplant on a cutting board
red peppers and onions in a pan uncooked

Stir in the curry spices. You can add a small splash of water at this point if the spices are sticking to the pan.

Add the ginger and garlic next and cook until they’re very fragrant.

spices being added to a pan with peppers and onions
peppers and onions in a cast iron pan

Next, stir the diced tomatoes, coconut milk, and chickpeas into the curry.

pan full of coconut milk, chickpeas and canned tomatoes, not mixed

Once the eggplant is done roasting, dump the chunks into the skillet. Stir to coat, then bring the mixture up to a simmer. Turn down the heat and continue to simmer until everything is tender and the flavors have come together.

Serve the vegan eggplant curry in bowls with cooked basmati rice and Indian flatbread on the side. Vegan naan is my favorite, but roti or chapati is good, too. Enjoy!

curry mixture with roasted eggplant being added to the top

Frequently asked questions

What type of eggplant should I use for the curry?

You can make it with any variety of eggplant you have on hand or that you can find in your local grocery store or farmer’s market. American, Italian, Japanese, and Chinese eggplant all work well! What’s most important is to use medium-sized eggplants (about 550 grams each) that ​​don’t have many marks or dents and are shiny, not dull, in color.

Do I need to peel the eggplant?

It’s up to you! The peel tenderizes as it cooks and is very easy to eat. Still, if you prefer to peel the eggplant first, you can.

Do I have to roast the eggplant?

I highly recommend roasting the eggplant because it deepens the flavors and yields the best texture. But if you’re making this during summer and it’s too hot to turn on your oven, cook the cubed eggplant in a hot skillet on the stovetop instead. Add the cubes to the curry when you add the chickpeas and simmer it a bit longer until the eggplant is tender.

Is eggplant curry spicy?

The Indian spices in this recipe give the curry sauce a subtle warmth rather than an intense heat. If you’d like to jazz it up with some heat, saute 1 to 3 diced green chili peppers along with the onion and bell pepper.

Can I replace the coconut milk?

Yes. Use 1 cup of water in its place (or as much as needed to reach the consistency you like) or cashew cream instead. Even unsweetened soy or almond milk will add some creaminess.

What can I use instead of chickpeas?

You can replace the chickpeas with another protein if you like. Use cannellini beans, black beans, baked tofu, pan-fried tempeh, or seitan chicken instead.

How do you store leftover eggplant curry? Can you freeze it?

Once the curry is cooled to room temperature, transfer it to airtight containers and store them in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. It also freezes well for about 3 months.

bowl with rice and curry
square image of pan with eggplant and chickpea curry dish, cilantro on top
4.83 stars (47 ratings)

Roasted Eggplant Curry with Chickpeas

Indulge in a bowl of this comforting Roasted Eggplant Curry with Chickpeas. Made with simple and budget-friendly ingredients, it’s a warmly spiced and rich-flavored meal that’s perfect for easy weeknight dinners or healthy lunches!
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 50 minutes
Total: 1 hour
Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients 
 

Roasted Eggplant

  • 2 medium eggplants
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

The Rest

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, for sautéing
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala OR use curry powder *I prefer garam masala but curry powder works
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated *or use 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 13.5 ounce can full fat coconut milk
  • 15 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or more to taste

For Serving

  • 1/2 cup fresh chopped cilantro or parsley
  • 4 cups cooked white or brown rice

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly oil a large rimmed baking sheet.
  • Cut the tops off of the eggplant, then chop into 1 inch cubes. There is no need to peel the eggplant, unless you prefer to.
  • Add the eggplant chunks to the baking sheet, and drizzle with 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Stir to coat the eggplant in the oil, then spread out and sprinkle with a salt. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the eggplant is tender.
  • Meanwhile, in a large skillet, add the 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Sauté the onion and red bell pepper for 4-5 minutes, until translucent and soft.
  • Now stir in the spices: coriander, smoked paprika, turmeric and garam masala (or curry powder). If the mixture gets too dry, add a few tablespoon of water to de-glaze the pan a bit. Cook for about 1 minute, then add the garlic and ginger and cook for 1 more minute.
  • To the skillet, add the canned diced tomatoes, coconut milk and chickpeas. Stir. Once the eggplant is done roasting, add to the skillet as well and stir in. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low and cook for 15-20 minutes. Add salt to taste.
  • Serve over cooked rice, fresh chopped cilantro/parsley and perhaps a side of vegan naan if desired.

Notes

  1. Roasting the eggplant brings out the best flavor and texture in my opinion, but if it’s the middle of summer and you don’t want to turn on your oven, you could simply cook in on the stovetop. Add it when you add the chickpeas and simmer a bit longer until the eggplant is tender.
  2. Light coconut milk works, it simply won’t be as creamy. Or use cashew cream or even almond milk.
  3. Refrigerate leftovers for 3-4 days. It freezes quite well, too.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 445kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Sodium: 610mg | Potassium: 798mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 1062IU | Vitamin C: 38mg | Calcium: 81mg | Iron: 4mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Author: Nora Taylor
Did you make this recipe?Mention @nora_cooks_vegan_ or tag #noracooks!

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Comments

  1. Wow! This recipe was delicious! I made it for a family event. Also made Nora’s vegan lemon bars. Both were fantastic. Made both recipes according to the directions.
    I received so many compliments from vegans and non vegans alike. I doubled the curry recipe for next day leftovers. Tasted even better the next day.
    Nora, I’m a big fan.

  2. Fantastic flavor. I’ve made this several times, staying loyal to the recipe, and it’s a big hit. This has become one of my favorite curries, and I’m a curry fanatic.

    The last time I made it I doubled the ginger and added fresh turmeric and a dash of white pepper to up the anti-inflammatory properties, since I’m trying to stick with an anti-inflammatory diet. A++

  3. This vegan dish is DELICIOUS and a wonderful way for me to use the yellow and red tomatoes I harvested from my garden. I used a few chopped carrots I had hanging out in the refrigerator, fresh ginger, fresh turmeric, fresh garlic too. I added a little cumin and thyme to my coriander when I ground it up and OMG! Thank you for providing such clear directions and making it vegan.

    1. Hi Joy! I love feedback that helps me know my directions are clear! Your curry seasonings sound so good! Thanks for your fabulous review and feedback! Wishing you lots of happy cooking!

    1. Try adding more salt or stirring in a tablespoon of white sugar at a time until it isn’t as bitter. I hope this helps!

  4. I don’t have canned garbanzo beans & only have one small eggplant. Going to make today with canned black beans! Since only one eggplant I’ll be using airfryer. Love this recipe…will try again with garbanzo beans next time! Thanks for all your delicious shares!

    1. Could you give an approximate measurement in grams or cups for the eggplant? Two medium eggplants means very different amounts between Chinese eggplant, Italian eggplant or American eggplant. Thanks!

  5. Dear Nora

    I’ve just completed your recipe for Roasted Eggplant Curry with Chickpeas and it came out Delicious! I followed All of your instructions to the letter and wow I love Curry dishes even more
    now that I know how to make them. Clear,Neat Instructions

    Thank You ! I’m going back for seconds !!!

    1. You bet, Vincent! I’m thrilled that you loved the curry! I put a lot of work into my recipes and it’s always great to get positive feedback about the instructions be clear and easy to follow! Thanks for your wonderful review and feedback! Happy cooking!

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