Coconut Red Curry Stew Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time
Prep: 20 min. Cook: 50 min.
An easy vegetarian eggplant curry is perfect for your busy Meatless Monday or any time you have the itch for takeout.

Updated: Nov. 30, 2023

Everyone needs a healthy one-pot meal in their dinner rotation, and this eggplant curry is a delicious way to incorporate oodles of vegetables into your family’s meal. You’ll all love soaking up the spicy red curry sauce with a simple bowl of rice.

Eggplant is the star of this coconut-based curry, but the dish is packed with other nutritious ingredients, too, like butternut squash, red pepper and chickpeas. If you’ve never cooked with eggplant before, not to worry! We’ve included every tip you need to prepare this nutritious veggie-heavy meal.

Eggplant Curry Ingredients

  • Canola oil
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Red curry paste
  • Sugar
  • Eggplant
  • Butternut squash
  • Sweet red pepper
  • Green pepper
  • Chickpeas or garbanzo beans
  • Vegetable broth
  • Crushed tomatoes
  • Coconut milk
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Lime wedges and hot cooked rice, optional

Directions

Step 1: Create the base of the stew

In a 6-quart stockpot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Then, saute the onion until it’s lightly browned, about three to four 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 to 40 minutes.

Step 3: Finish with fresh flavor boosters

Stir in the remaining broth and heat through. Serve with cilantro and, if desired, lime wedges and rice.

How do you store eggplant curry in the fridge?

It’s always a good idea to store rice and saucy stews separately in the fridge. They reheat for different periods of time and you don’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 three to five 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!

Can you freeze eggplant curry?

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

Eggplant Curry Tips

How do you choose the best eggplant?

If you’re new to cooking with eggplant, you’ll want to know how to pick the best one at the grocery store or farmers market. 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’s better to buy two smaller eggplants than one large one.

How do you cut eggplant?

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

  • Lay the eggplant on its side and trim off the top and the bottom with a straight cut.
  • Stand it up and carefully cut it into 1-inch thick slices.
  • Lay the slices flat and cut each slice into 1-inch-thick strips.
  • Line up the strips evenly and cut them into 1-inch cubes.

What are the best shortcuts for eggplant curry?

The wonderful thing about this easy eggplant curry 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.

Eggplant Curry

Prep Time 20 min
Cook Time 50 min
Yield 4 servings.

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, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 medium sweet red pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 medium green pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 can (15 ounces) garbanzo beans or chickpeas, 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
  • Optional: Lime wedges and hot cooked rice

Directions

  1. In a 6-qt. stockpot, heat oil over medium-high heat; saute onion until lightly browned, 3-4 minutes. Add garlic; cook and stir 1 minute. Stir in curry paste and sugar.
  2. Stir in vegetables, garbanzo beans, 3 cups broth, tomatoes and coconut milk; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, until vegetables are tender, 35-40 minutes.
  3. Stir in remaining broth; heat through. Serve with cilantro and, if desired, lime wedges and rice.

Nutrition Facts

1-1/2 cups: 457 calories, 22g fat (16g saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 1364mg sodium, 59g carbohydrate (20g sugars, 14g fiber), 11g protein.

This is a fragrant and flavorful dish that's packed with nutritious goodness. I like to enjoy it with sticky rice. —Marly Chaland, Maple, Ontario