4.94 from 15 votes

Grilled Aubergine Curry

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This grilled aubergine curry is the perfect answer to a meat-free weeknight dinner. It's simple and so flavourful.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
£1.01
Makes: 5
mains
Indian
Freezable

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. 

Close up of aubergine curry with charred aubergine batons in the sauce.

Why this recipe is great

This aubergine curry, 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.  Here are some other vegetarian curry recipes to try; Vegan Cashew CurryHalloumi Curry and Easy Red Lentil Dahl with Coconut Milk

Ingredients

Ingredients to make aubergine curry laid out on a blue background and labelled.

Aubergine
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. If you love aubergines try these other vegan recipes: Crispy Soy Tofu, Aubergine & Rice and Miso Aubergine with Edamame Beans and Brown Rice

Plum Tomatoes
I love the pairing of a tomato and aubergine curry. The sweetness of the tomato pairs nicely with the smoky aubergine. Alternatively you can use chopped tomatoes or passata to make the delicious sauce.

Onions, Garlic and Ginger
The zingy, sweet & spicy flavours in this curry are partly coming from the ginger and for flavouring the base of the curry onions and garlic are a must!

Coconut milk 
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. 

See the recipe card for full information on all ingredients and quantities.

How to make this aubergine curry

  1. 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 (Image 1).
  2. 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 (Image 2).
2 step by step photos, the first with aubergine batons searing in griddle pan and the second with onions frying in a pan.

3. Then add the ginger, chilli, garlic, curry powder and tomato puree into the pan to fry and continue to bloom for a couple of minutes (Image 3).

4. Add the plum tomatoes and stock, stirring to combine and reduce to a simmer. (Image 4).

2 step by step photos, the first with onions, chillies and spices pan and the second with plum tomatoes added to the pan.

5. Continue to simmer the the tomatoes, onions and spices for 5 minutes (Image 5).

6. Then remove the sauce from the heat and pour into a bowl.  Using a hand blender, blend the curry until smooth (Image 6).

2 step by step photos, the first with tomatoes and onions simmering in pan and the second a blender in the curry mixture in a metal bowl.

7. During this time, cook your rice. Then pour the coconut milk into the sauce and stir (Image 7).

8. Then add the charred aubergine into the pan. Season with salt and continue to cook for another 20 minutes. Serve the charred aubergine curry with a portion of rice, a sprinkle of fresh mint and any reserved chilli. Add a squeeze of lime juice and enjoy! (Image 8).

2 step by step photos, the first coconut milk added to the curry sauce pan and the second with seared aubergines added to the sauce in the pan.

Try these other curry recipes after you’ve tried this one; Lentil & Chickpea Curry, Peanut Butter Chicken Satay Curry and Easy Chicken Thigh Curry

Can I make this a roasted aubergine curry instead?

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!

Aubergine curry served up in a bowl with white rice, mint, red chilli slices and lime wedges on a blue background.

What to serve with this recipe

The options are endless with what to serve with this aubergine curry. You could serve with: Rice (as shown in this recipe), naan bread or poppadoms 

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. 

Aubergine curry topped with sliced red chillies and fresh mint leaves in a large pan on a blue background.

Tips and Tricks

  • Choose fresh, firm aubergines with shiny and smooth skin and avoid, soft aubergines that are wrinkled or have blemishes.
  • Cut the aubergines into thick slices or wedges and sear on the griddle pan  to make char lines, this will add to the smokiness and flavour.
  • Allow the spices to bloom with chopped onions, ginger, and garlic. 
  • Blend the curry sauce to make it extra smooth and creamy.  I used a hand blender but you can  transfer the cooked onion, tomato, and spice mixture to a blender or food processor.

FAQs

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. 

Here are some sweet recipes to try after this curry recipe; Chocolate Tiffin RecipesLemon Drizzle Cake Recipe and Brownies

If you tried this Grilled Aubergine Curry recipe, it would be mean so much to me if you could leave a review & a star rating to let me know how you found it! I love hearing about your experiences – it motivates me to keep creating more and more recipes for you guys 💛 Let’s get cooking! – Mimi x

Grilled Aubergine Curry

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4.94 from 15 votes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
£1.01
mains
Indian
Freezable
Servings: 5
This grilled aubergine curry is the perfect answer to a meat-free weeknight dinner. It's simple and so flavourful.

Ingredients

  • 2 aubergines, cut into batons (£0.69x2)=(£1.38)
  • 1 onion, diced added (£0.09)
  • 400 ml low fat coconut milk (£0.82)
  • 30 g fresh ginger, peeled and grated (£0.50/2) (£0.25)
  • 3 fresh chillies, de-seeded & chopped (£0.50)
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced (£0.65/3) (£0.22)
  • 800 g (2 tins) plum tomatoes (£0.28x2=(£0.56)
  • 250 g white basmati rice, cooked according to packet instructions (£1.07/2)=(£0.54)
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges to serve (£0.20)
  • 1 bunch fresh mint, torn to serve (£0.50)

Cupboard Essentials

  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 400 ml vegetable stock
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Method

  • Start by lightly coating a griddle pan with rapeseed oil and preheat the pan until super hot. Add the aubergine into the pan and 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 salt.
  • Meanwhile in a non-stick/deep frying pan, add the coconut oil and onion to fry on a medium heat until softened, for around 5 minutes. Season with salt.
  • Next, add the ginger, chilli, garlic, curry powder and tomato puree into the pan to fry and bloom for a couple of minutes.
  • Add the plum tomatoes and stock. Stir to combine and reduce to a simmer for 5 minutes.
  • After this time, blend the curry until smooth and pour the coconut milk and aubergine into the pan. Season with salt and continue to cook for another 20 minutes. During this time, cook your rice.
  • Serve the charred aubergine curry with a portion of rice, a sprinkle of fresh mint and any reserved chilli. Add a squeeze of lime juice and enjoy!

Notes

  • Select fresh, firm aubergines with shiny and smooth skin, avoiding soft or blemished ones.
  • Sear thick slices or wedges of aubergines on a griddle pan for char lines and enhanced smokiness and flavor.
  • Blend the curry sauce to achieve a smooth and creamy texture, either using a hand blender or by transferring the cooked onion, tomato, and spice mixture to a blender or food processor.

Nutrition

Servings: 5 servings
Fat: 14g
Calories: 413kcal
Carbohydrates: 62g
Protein: 9g

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Thank you so much for trying my recipe! I hope you loved it. I’d be so grateful if you could leave a comment/rating - it makes my day hearing your feedback!

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Comments

  1. Great!

  2. navy.rocketman@gmail.com | 2 years ago

    Just tried this aubergine curry and it was so delicious. Thank you BTB!5 stars

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