Deliciously creamy and easy to prepare, this eggplant curry with chickpeas makes a perfect plant based comfort dish. It’s also naturally vegan, gluten free, and loaded with protein.
When I’m looking for a quick dinner idea that leaves me full and satisfied, I often go for a curry. Sweet and savory flavors are always my favorite combo, and I like to add a touch of spices too. Among them, curry is always a winner. Actually curry is not a spice but a blend of different spices (including coriander, turmeric, cumin, fenugreek, and chili pepper most of the time). It is also known for its many health benefits, such as the prevention of cancer or the protection against heart disease. It also reduces Alzheimer disease symptoms, eases pain and inflammation, and protects the immune system from bacterial infections. So many reasons to use it!
Curry is also perfect to feed a crowd and is very forgiving; once you have the ingredients, you can do your own way, add some ingredients, remove others, making your own version according to your taste and the ingredients you have at home. You can also make it in advance, double quantities if you wish, and then warm it up or even freeze some if you want. Good to know: the flavors are always enhanced the day after, which makes it a good reason to prepare in advance. The only thing is that you might end up with less cream, as it reduces with the eat, so you can add a little bit more of coconut milk if you want, or just water if you want to keep it as healthy as possible.
One more reason to cook a curry: it’s very easy to make it vegan, or at least plant-based, as you can basically use any vegetable you like in a curry (just remember to cook them before to make them soft and tender). There are a few curry recipes on the blog that all are some classic at my house. Try for instance the vegan chickpea curry with cauliflower rice, or why not the mango curry tofu. Both recipes are actually extremely easy to prepare, naturally plant-based, bringing you a great amount of vegetable protein. If you are not so much into vegan stuff, there is always a possibility to replace them with chicken for instance. Just choose how you like your curry the most.
And here I am again today with one more curry recipe, with eggplants this time. With summer going on, it’s the perfect season to use them and you should definitely take advantage of it. While I’m not totally crazy about zucchini (although I like them), I absolutely adore eggplants. I could use them in so many different recipes. They are tender, super soft, with a rich hearty flavor (try my goat cheese eggplant stacks or my vegan eggplant shakshuka and you’ll see by yourself). I had to use them in another recipe before summer ends, and curry it is!
Eggplants bring an interesting texture to the curry in this recipe together with the chickpeas, all of them in a creamy coconut sauce. While eggplants are a good source of fiber, chickpeas are loaded with vegetable protein, making this vegan dish very satisfying. I like to serve it with yasmin rice and garnish with some fresh chopped cilantro. Add a glass of white wine if you wish and you’re all set.
If you use canned chickpeas, I would recommend you keep the chickpea water (also called aquafaba). You can make a delicious vegan chocolate mousse out of this magic ingredient, plus chocolate is always the best way to end a spicy dish in my opinion. And now, bon appétit!
- 1 can (15 oz/425g) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 small-medium eggplants, chopped
- ½ yellow onion, diced
- 2-3 tbsp olive oil
- ½ cayenne pepper, minced (optional)
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 can (400 ml) unsweetened coconut milk
- 1-2 tbsp curry powder (or 1 tbsp curry paste instead)
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- ¼ tsp turmeric
- ¼ tsp paprika
- Salt & pepper
- Heat a large pan with olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add onions and eggplants and cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring often. Add cayenne pepper, garlic, and cook for one more minute. Add olive oil at anytime if it's too sticky.
- Drain and rinse the chickpeas*, and add them to the pan.
- Add all the spices, season with salt and pepper, and stir well. Cook for one more minute.
- Pour coconut milk and simmer for another 4-5 minutes, with a lid on.
- Serve your curry with yasmin rice and a side of fresh cilantro.