Creamy Coconut Eggplant Curry

published Aug 12, 2022
Eggplant Curry Recipe

This 30-minute eggplant curry tastes as if it was simmered for hours. Did we mention it just happens to be vegan?

Serves4

Prep5 minutes

Cook25 minutes

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A photo of a pink bowl with eggplant curry and white rice, with a green garnish on top.
Credit: Perry Santanachote

This quick and easy version of eggplant curry happens to be vegan, but the toothsome eggplant and creamy sauce would satisfy even the most carnivorous meat-eaters. The curry powder adds a pleasant pungency and a toasty depth to the dish that offsets the vegetable’s natural bitterness.

The best part of this eggplant curry is the speed at which it’s ready to serve. Cranking the can opener might just be the hardest part of the prep work.

How Do You Make Eggplant Curry?

Unlike some eggplant recipes, this one doesn’t require you to salt, soak, or do anything to the eggplant other than cut it up. From there, a quick sauté will soften and brown the eggplant, along with other aromatics. Fry the curry powder and other spices briefly to express their aromas, then add coconut milk and canned diced tomatoes, which will turn into a gorgeous, thick, creamy curry sauce.

Credit: Perry Santanachote

How Do You Cut an Eggplant for Curry?

You don’t need to worry about peeling it or seeding it. Just lop off the leafy top and slice the eggplant into rounds, about 1/2-inch thick. Then cut each round into 1/2-inch sticks and dice the sticks into cubes. Easy-peasy!

What Ingredients Are in Eggplant Curry?

We used easy-to-find Italian eggplant, but if you’re shopping for eggplant in the summer, check out farmers markets for some different eggplant varieties, most of which will work well in this curry. You’ll also need these six main ingredients.

  • Curry powder
  • Ground cumin
  • Ground coriander
  • Shallot
  • Coconut milk
  • Diced tomatoes

Eggplant Curry Recipe

This 30-minute eggplant curry tastes as if it was simmered for hours. Did we mention it just happens to be vegan?

Prep time 5 minutes

Cook time 25 minutes

Serves 4

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1

    medium jalapeño pepper

  • 1

    large shallot

  • 3 cloves

    garlic

  • 1 pound

    globe eggplant (about 1 medium)

  • 3 tablespoons

    neutral oil, such as vegetable, divided

  • 2 teaspoons

    kosher salt, plus more as needed

  • 2 teaspoons

    curry powder

  • 1 teaspoon

    ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon

    ground coriander

  • 1 (about 14-ounce) can

    coconut milk

  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can

    diced tomatoes

  • 1/4 cup

    fresh cilantro leaves

  • Steamed rice, for serving

  • Lime wedges, for serving (optional)

Instructions

  1. Prepare the following, placing each in the same small bowl as you complete it: Mince 1 medium jalapeño pepper, 1 large shallot, and 3 garlic cloves.

  2. Trim and cut 1 pound eggplant into 1/2-inch cubes.

  3. Heat 2 tablespoons of the neutral oil in a small pot or large saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the eggplant and 2 teaspoons kosher salt, and cook until the eggplant begins to brown and soften, about 5 minutes.

  4. Make a well in the center of the pot. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon neutral oil to the well, then addd the jalapeño mixture into the well. Sauté until fragrant and soft, about 1 minute.

  5. Add 2 teaspoons curry powder, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, and 1 teaspoon ground coriander, and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add 1 (about 14-ounce) can coconut milk and 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes and their juices, and scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Bring to a gentle simmer, reducing the heat as needed.

  6. Cover and simmer until the eggplant is tender and the sauce is creamy and thickened, about 15 minutes. Taste and season with more kosher salt as needed. Garnish with 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves and serve with steamed rice and lime wedges if desired.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days.