I love this grilled aubergine curry as it’s a great vegetarian answer to a meat curry. By searing the aubergine on a griddle pan, we get these char lines which add a smokiness to the aubergine that’s tasty.
When paired with the creamy coconut milk and the aromatic tomato curry, the ingredients come together to form something beautiful.
With my curry recipes, I always aim to make them super accessible with minimal spices and niche ingredients, so that everyone can enjoy them and you can spend less money in the shops.
This aubergine curry is a great weeknight dinner recipe, but it can also be jazzed up if you want to enjoy it with friends at the weekend.
Aubergines have such a powerful flavour and texture which serve as the perfect substitute for meat in a lot of dishes. By grilling the aubergine, we get an added smokiness to the aubergine which compliments the spices in the curry really well.
I love the pairing of a tomato and aubergine curry. The sweetness of the tomato pairs nicely with the smoky aubergine.
For flavouring the base of the curry
The zingy, sweet & spicy flavours in this curry are partly coming from the ginger. Definitely don’t skip this ingredient!
Adds a sweet creaminess to the tomato and aubergine curry. I use reduced fat coconut milk for this recipe, as I find that the difference in flavour (with this recipe) is undetectable.
For spice. Deseed or leave seeded, depending on your spice preference.
I chose a simple blend of spices that hopefully most households will have in their cupboard. The mix includes: mild curry powder and cumin.
Feel free to choose your favourite rice here. I love basmati rice as it’s cheap and works perfectly with so many rice recipes. Brown rice or jasmine rice would also work nicely here.
Add the aubergine batons to a hot griddle pan with some rapeseed oil. Fry on both sides of the aubergine until char lines appear. This should take around 6 mins. Set the charred aubergine aside and season with some salt.
While the aubergine batons are charring, add the diced onions to a non-stick/deep frying pan, adding the coconut oil and frying the onions on a medium heat until softened (around 5 minutes). Season with salt.
Then add the ginger, chilli, garlic, curry powder and tomato puree into the pan to fry and bloom for a couple of minutes.
Then remove the sauce from the heat and pour into a bowl. Using a hand blender, blend the curry until smooth.
Then add the charred aubergine into the pan. Season with salt and continue to cook for another 20 minutes. During this time, cook your rice.
Yes! If you want to minimise the time spent grilling the aubergine, you could add the sliced aubergine onto a foil lined baking sheet and roast in the oven for 25-30 mins at 180°C.
The aubergine will be slightly less smoky so you could add some cumin to coat with the oil before roasting. Definitely will still be super delicious as a roasted aubergine curry!
The options are endless with what to serve with this aubergine curry. You could serve with:
You can also enjoy this curry as more of a soup recipe, if you don’t want to serve it with rice/ the other pairings above. This will lower the calories if that’s something you’re into or if you’re on a keto diet.
The toppings for this curry are also where you can get pretty creative. I’ve served this recipe with fresh mint & sliced chilli, but you could use coriander, chives, parsley, chilli flakes, sliced spring onion (scallion), pickled ginger, you name it.
Can I freeze this recipe?
Yes you can! Freeze and consume within 3 months.
Is this recipe vegan?
Thanks to the coconut milk, this creamy aubergine curry is vegan.
Can I make this recipe ahead of time?
Yes! This recipe is great to make ahead of time as meal prep or if you want to make it before friends/guests arrive for dinner. I would make the curry & rice ahead of time, refrigerate as soon as it’s cooled and then when it’s time to eat, reheat the rice in the microwave for 2+ minutes (depending on how many servings of rice you’re reheating) and reheat the curry on the hob/stove-top until piping hot.