Vegan Indian Eggplant Curry Recipe

Vegan

I absolutely love Indian food and now that the weather is growing colder, I’m craving thick, hearty sauces even more than I usually do (which is usually a lot even when it’s the summer).  While Indian food has the reputation of being challenging to cook, it’s all about having the necessary spices on hand!  I have always found cooking with spices a very intuitive process, which lends itself really well to Indian cooking.  While North Indian cooking is known to use yogurt to thicken their sauces, I am not a fan of yogurt, so I wanted to do a vegan version of a thick curry sauce and used Coconut milk instead, which gave it a really nice smooth consistency while also making it dairy-free!  My recipe is based off of this recipe here: https://tasty.co/recipe/roasted-eggplant-curry.  

Ingredients:

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 1/2 a golden onion 
  • 1/4 c of olive oil
  • 2 tsp of sea salt
  • 2 tsp of pepper
  • 1/4 c of grapeseed oil
  • 1 tsp of chili powder
  • 1 tsp of turmeric
  • 1 tsp of red pepper
  • 1 tsp of smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp of curry powder
  • 1 tsp of cumin
  • 1 tsp of coriander
  • 3 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp of minced ginger
  • 1/2 large can of pureed tomatoes
  • 1/2-2/3 can of coconut milk (use a tad bit more than 1/2)
  • 1/3-1/2 cup of water ( like my sauces thicker so I use closer to 1/3)
  • 1 can of kidney beans (optional- I love the texture it brings)
  • 2 handfuls of fresh cilantro
  • 2 cups of basmati rice

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Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • Chop the eggplant horizontally into cubes
  • Put the eggplant on the baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and add half of the amount of salt/pepper.
  • Bake for 25 minutes, turn halfway through, and bake until golden brown.
  • In a large saucepan, heat the grapeseed oil over medium high heat.  Add onions, stir for one minute, and then lower the heat to medium-low/low for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally until the onions are golden brown.
  • Stir in all of the spices: chili powder, turmeric, red pepper, smoked paprika, curry powder, cumin, coriander and cook until fragrant, which is about 1 minute.  You might add more spices throughout the process given your taste buds.  
  • Then stir in the garlic and ginger for about 2 more minutes.
  • Add the tomato puree, coconut milk, water, roasted eggplant, and optional kidney beans.
  • Stir in everything together and bring to a rolling simmer, lower the heat, simmer, and cover for about 25 minutes for the sauce/flavors to blend and for the sauce to thicken.
  • Drizzle the cilantro on top and serve with basmati rice!

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Eggplant curry with a side of Achar (South Asian pickles)

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