Budget-friendly, plant-based and incredibly delicious Chickpea and Aubergine Curry is a great choice for meat-free Mondays! With protein-rich chickpeas and aubergine chunks cooked in rich tomato sauce, this vegan curry is surprisingly filling, but is rather low in calories! Made with no coconut oil, but flavoured with garlic, curry powder and ginger, it is a tasty and aromatic curry to try with some flatbreads, turmeric rice or quinoa on the side!
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Why You’ll Love Aubergine Chickpea Curry
- It’s a low-calorie meal – on its own this Aubergine Curry provides about 330kcal per portion, so if you serve it with a portion of rice or quinoa, you are still looking for a meal that’s under 500kcal.
- It’s vegan – and we can assure you, you will not miss the meat in this delicious curry!
- It only requires about 20 minutes of hands-on time for chopping and stirring. This vegan aubergine curry is mostly left to simmer on its own 🙂
- There are plenty of flavour variations: use shop-bought curry powder or garam masala, or use all the spices in your cupboard to make your own blend!
- This Aubergine Chickpea curry keeps well for up to 4 days, and it freezes beautifully too!
Ingredients and Substitutes
- aubergine: also known as eggplant in many parts of the world.
- oil: coconut, olive, sunflower or vegetable oil will all work well.
- garlic cloves: can be replaced with shop-bought garlic paste.
- ginger: can be replaced with shop-bought ginger paste, but reduce the amount of salt used in the curry slightly, if your paste is heavily salted.
- brown onion: can be substituted with white onion, red onion or shallots.
- curry powder: we typically use medium curry powder or make our own blend with: ⅛ tsp ground coriander, ⅛ tsp ground cumin, ⅛ tsp turmeric, ⅛ tsp chilli powder, ¼ tsp cinnamon, ⅛ tsp black pepper and ⅛ tsp ground cardamom. Garam Masala will also work well in this recipe!
- salt: we love Maldon Sea Salt Flakes!
- tomato paste: rich concentrated tomato paste that typically comes in tubes.
- chickpeas: we used a 400g tin (240g drained weight) of chickpeas to make 2 portions.
- vegetable stock: make sure the stock doesn’t contain milk powder (so many do) if you’re cooking for vegans.
- coriander: also known as cilantro.
How To Choose Aubergine?
There are a couple of things to look for when choosing aubergine in the shop. The good thing is, that aubergine normally comes without any packaging, so you should be able to see, touch and feel it before buying it.
- Colour: look for aubergine with deep purple skin colour; dull faded skin may indicate that the aubergine is past its “best before” date.
- The texture of the skin: fresh aubergine has a smooth and shiny surface.
- Firmness: if you can, give your aubergine a gentle squeeze – it should not feel too soft. When you press a ripe aubergine, the skin should quickly spring back to its original shape.
- Check for bruises.
How To Prepare Aubergine For Curry?
Once you’ve chosen a perfect aubergine to use in your chickpea and aubergine curry, there are a couple of ways to ensure that it tastes as good as it can.
Wash your aubergine gently rubbing the skin. Top and tail the aubergine. If you have an aubergine that has very tough skin, you may want to peel it first. Whilst this aubergine curry will be cooked for a while, softening the skin, some aubergines (usually grown in colder climates) can have extra tough skin that is very unpleasant to eat! Cut your aubergine into small bite-size chunks.
In this recipe, we opted to pan-fry the aubergine chunks first, before cooking them in a tomato-based curry sauce. However, if you wish, you can roast it instead! Toss the aubergine with some oil and spread it in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast it at 180°C for 20-25 minutes until softened and slightly browned.
Heat oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add the aubergine and cook for 8-10 minutes, until the aubergine has softened and slightly browned.
Transfer the cooked aubergine to a bowl and set aside for later.
Add another tablespoon oil to the same frying pan. Add the onion and saute for 5 minutes to soften. Add the garlic and ginger and stir for another minute. Mix in the curry powder (or your own slice blend (see notes)) and salt, and cook for a minute until combined and aromatic.
Add the tomato paste, and drained chickpeas and stir for a couple of minutes until everything is well coated.
Add back the aubergine and pour in the stock. Bring everything to a boil, then cover with a lid and simmer for 30 minutes.
Stir in half of the coriander. Divide between bowls, garnish with extra coriander and serve with rice or couscous!
Cool the curry down to room temperature. Then spoon it into airtight containers and store it in the fridge. It will keep well for up to 4 days.
Yes, it freezes very well! Once cooled down, freeze the curry in airtight containers or reusable zip-lock bags. The curry should be used within 3 months after freezing.
If frozen, thaw the curry first. You can reheat it in a microwave or by scooping it into the pan and warming it on low-medium heat, stirring occasionally for 6-10 minutes.
What To Serve With Chickpea And Aubergine Curry?
This Vegan Aubergine curry goes well with white or brown rice but is also great with couscous. If you’re looking to up your protein intake, why not try serving it with quinoa instead?
For an ultimate feast, we love serving curries with flatbreads. Make some naan bread (easy version or sourdough naans, or simply whip up some rotis to mop up any leftover sauce at the bottom of your bowl.
Other Vegan Aubergine Recipes
We love cooking with aubergine, and there are endless ways to use this beautiful vegetable. Some of our favourite recipes include:
Chickpea and Aubergine Curry
- 1 aubergine (400g prepared weight) cut into small cubes
- 2 tablespoon oil
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 20 g ginger grated
- 1 brown onion finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon curry powder or see notes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 tin chickpeas 400g tin (240g drained weight)
- 250 ml vegetable stock
- 5 g coriander roughly chopped
- Heat oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add the aubergine and cook for 8-10 minutes, until the aubergine has softened and slightly browned.
- Transfer the cooked aubergine to a bowl and set aside for later.
- Add another tablespoon oil to the same frying pan. Add the onion and saute for 5 minutes to soften. Add the garlic and ginger and stir for another minute. Mix in the curry powder (or your own slice blend (see notes)) and salt, and cook for a minute until combined and aromatic.
- Add the tomato paste and drained chickpeas and stir for a couple of minutes until everything is well coated.
- Add back the Auergine and pour in the stock. Bring everything to a boil, then cover with a lid and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Stir in half of the coriander. Divide between bowls, garnish with extra coriander and serve with rice or couscous!
- ⅛ tsp ground coriander
- ⅛ tsp ground cumin
- ⅛ tsp turmeric
- ⅛ tsp chilli powder
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- ⅛ tsp black pepper
- ⅛ tsp ground cardamom