Craving Indian-inspired cuisine? Try out this easy vegetarian eggplant and coconut milk curry (aubergine curry) —ready in less than 1-hour! Serve this mouthwatering vegetable curry over a bed of warm rice and top with fresh cilantro! Follow this step-by-step recipe to create the perfect curry dish for two!
The best eggplant curry can be made right in your own kitchen. Seriously! Take this Indian-inspired curry bowl of goodness and use it as your test run. You’ll quickly learn that not only is this dish easy, it’s incredibly flavorful and feels like what you’d get at your favorite restaurant.
Between the shallots, garlic, garam masala, coconut milk, and loads of spices, I created this eggplant curry recipe with pretty much every flavor component possible to ensure that this dish does not miss a beat.
Often referred to as brinjal curry, aubergine curry, or nightshade curry, this meal is easy to make, uses simple, straight to the point ingredients, and is ready in only 45 minutes. (Bonus points if you make your own garam masala spice blend right at home!)
Indian Curry vs Thai Curry
This eggplant curry is inspired by Indian ingredients and flavors. For a Thai curry, be sure to try this quick vegetarian curry!
Ingredients in aubergine curry
To make this savory eggplant curry, you’ll need six main ingredients followed by six spices. I used the standard Italian eggplant, but if you’re feeling adventurous, try something new! Here’s a breakdown of some different eggplant variations – most would work well in this curry!
- Eggplant: First up, you’ll need 1 Italian eggplant (or as the Brits say, aubergine!). If using a smaller type of eggplant (like Indian or Thai white eggplants), use 3 or 4!
- Olive Oil: Next, 2 tablespoons of olive oil will be used to brown the eggplant.
- Shallot: As for the shallot, you’ll need 1, finely chopped. It should amount to about ½ of a cup.
- Garlic: Go heavy on the garlic with 3 minced cloves.
- Garam Masala: Next, add 2 teaspoon of garam masala to get that signature curry taste (don’t have it? here’s how to make garam masala!)
- Spices: Use 1 teaspoon of each of the following: cumin, coriander, smoked paprika, and salt.
- Coconut Milk: 1 14-oz can of coconut milk adds texture and great flavor.
- Diced Tomatoes: Follow the coconut milk with 1 14-oz can of diced tomatoes. Keep the liquid — don’t drain.
Eggplant: To Peel or Not To Peel?
I prefer to leave the skin of the eggplant on in this recipe, as that’s where a lot of the eggplant nutrition is! If you’re not a fan of the texture the skin gives the curry, feel free to peel it off!
How to make curry with eggplants
Creating this vegetarian curry recipe couldn’t be simpler. Start with your rice, then prep your eggplant by dicing and heating it with the oil. Add the shallots and garlic, the spices, and then the cans!
Step 1: Cook the rice
If you’re serving your eggplant curry with rice, you can cook that now.
Step 2: Prep the eggplant
Next, start on the eggplant by cutting it into bite-sized cubes. Heat the oil in a large pot or pan and add the eggplant. Cook until it begins to brown and become soft, which should take about 5 minutes.
Step 3: Cook the shallot & garlic
Add the shallot and garlic to the pan, continuing to cook until the shallot is soft and frangrant. It should take another 2 minutes.
Step 4: Stir in the seasonings
Stir in the garam masala, cumin, coriander, paprika, and salt to evenly coat the eggplant.
Step 5: Add the milk & tomatoes
Add the can of coconut milk and the undrained diced tomatoes. Bring it all to a gentle simmer, cover, and let cook for 15 minutes.
Step 6: Serve with rice & cilantro
Serve warm over rice, topped with fresh cilantro.
Eggplant Curry Tips
To find the “best” eggplant, I recommend looking for an eggplant with smooth, shiny, and unwrinkled skin. Keep it in the refrigerator to help it stay fresh!
Want to thicken up your vegetable coconut curry while adding a punch of protein? Add a can of chickpeas! They can be included during Step 5 when you add the coconut milk and diced tomatoes. Be sure to drain and rinse the chickpeas before adding them to the skillet.
This curry would also be great as meal prep! Portion the curry and rice into serving-sized portions and store in the fridge until ready to eat.
Not feeling eggplant? Make a similar curry with tofu – tofu curry recipe here!
More Eggplant Dishes to Enjoy
You can never have too many eggplants! Their low sodium, high nutrient makeup makes them great for adding to many different dishes. Here are some more of my favorites!
- 1 eggplant
- 2 Tbsp olive oil 30 mL
- 1 shallot finely chopped, about ½ cup
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp each cumin, coriander, smoked paprika, salt
- 1 14-oz coconut milk 400 g
- 1 14-oz can diced tomatoes 400 g
- To serve: rice, cilantro
- Rice: If serving with rice, get that started now.
- Eggplant: Cut the eggplant into bite-sized cubes. Heat oil in a large pot or pan, then add cubed eggplant. Cook until eggplant begins to brown and become soft, about 5 minutes.
- Flavor: Add the shallot and garlic to the pan, continuing to cook until shallot is soft and fragrant, another 2 minutes.
- Spices: Stir in garam masala, cumin, coriander, paprika, and salt to evenly coat the eggplant.
- Cans: Add the can of coconut milk and (undrained) diced tomatoes. Bring to a gentle simmer, cover, and let cook for 15 minutes.
- Serve: Serve warm over rice, topped with fresh cilantro.