How to Make Eggplant Curry

An easy vegetarian eggplant curry is perfect for your busy Meatless Monday or any time you've got the itch for takeout.

Everyone needs a healthy one-pot meal in the dinner rotation for busy evenings. This eggplant curry stew is a delicious way to sneak oodles of vegetables into your family’s meal. They’ll love soaking up the spicy sauce with a simple bowl of rice and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.

If you’ve never cooked with eggplant before, not to worry! We’ve included every tip you need to prepare this nutritious vegetable.

How to Choose the Best Fresh Eggplant

If you are new to cooking with eggplant, you’ll want to know how to pick the best one at the grocery store. There are just a few things to keep in mind to ensure your eggplant curry isn’t bitter:

  • Look for eggplant with smooth, fresh-looking skin.
  • When you hold the eggplant, does it feel heavy for its size? Is it firm to the touch? (Yes is the right answer here.)
  • Look for small to medium-sized eggplants with fresh green stems. The larger eggplants have more seeds, which are more likely to leave that bitter taste you want to avoid. It is better to buy two smaller eggplants than one larger one.

Here’s how to tell if all your produce is ripe.

How to Cut Eggplant

Eggplants have a firm but easy-to-cut texture which will make your prep work go quickly. To cut your eggplant into the cubes needed for the eggplant curry, simply follow these easy steps:

Step 1: Lay the eggplant on its side and trim off the top and the bottom with a straight cut.

Step 2: Stand it up and carefully cut it into 1-inch thick slices.

Step 3: Lay the slices flat and cut each slice into 1-inch-thick strips.

Step 4: Line up the strips evenly and cut them into 1-inch cubes.

Now that you’re an eggplant-chopping pro, don’t miss our fabulous homemade eggplant fries for another night. They’ll make a tasty side dish for any extra eggplant you picked up at the store.

The Best Shortcut for This Dish

The wonderful thing about this easy eggplant curry stew recipe is that once your prep work is finished, the dish is hands-off while it finishes cooking. You’ll have plenty of time to finish up other things around the house and sit down to a wonderful homemade dinner once the veggies are tender.

If your night is going to be especially busy, the produce section of many major grocery store chains offer packages of pre-chopped onions, bell peppers and butternut squash. The butternut squash can be particularly difficult to chop without a very sharp knife, so even just buying that one pre-cut ingredient would save you several precious minutes.

How to Make Spicy Eggplant Curry Stew

This recipe comes to us from Marly Chaland in Ontario. It serves four.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons red curry paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 small eggplant, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 4 cups)
  • 3 cups cubed peeled butternut squash (1 inch)
  • 1 medium sweet red pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 medium green pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas or garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 carton (32 ounces) vegetable broth, divided
  • 1 can (15 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can (13.66 ounces) coconut milk
  • Chopped fresh cilantro
  • Lime wedges and hot cooked rice, optional

Editor’s Tip: You can find curry paste in the ethnic food aisle at your grocery store or on Amazon.

Instructions

Step 1: Create the base of the stew

In a 6-qt. stockpot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Then, saute your onion until it’s lightly browned, about 3-4 minutes. Add garlic; cook and stir 1 minute. Stir in the curry paste and sugar.

Step 2: Add the veggies and build the sauce

Stir in vegetables, chickpeas, 3 cups of broth, tomatoes and coconut milk; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until vegetables are tender. It should take about 35-40 minutes.

Step 3: Finish with fresh flavor boosters

Stir in the remaining broth; heat through. Serve with cilantro and, if desired, lime wedges and rice. You can use this guide to make the perfect rice.

How to Store the Leftovers

It is always a good idea to store rice and saucy stews separately in the fridge. They reheat for different periods of time and you won’t want to overcook the vegetables while you attempt to get the rice at the proper temperature.

Place the eggplant curry in an airtight container. It will last for 3-5 days in the fridge. Sprinkling some freshly chopped cilantro and squeezing a lime wedge will help make the leftovers taste as fresh as the night you made them!

Editor’s Tip: You probably don’t want to freeze this dish. The vegetables tend to get mushy and soft upon thawing.

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Tiffany Dahle
Tiffany Dahle is the founder of Peanut Blossom, an online community for busy moms who want real-world, family-tested, kid-friendly food. She provides ongoing creative inspiration, helping parents celebrate the everyday moments that become cherished childhood memories. Her popular series of cookbooks for kids, The Ultimate Kids' Cookbook and The Ultimate Kids' Baking Book, encourages families to connect in the kitchen.