An Aubergine and Chickpea Curry is a delicious healthy vegan curry and ready in under 30 minutes. It's also dairy and gluten-free, very economical and super easy to cook. This aubergine curry is nice and light and doesn't contain coconut milk. Aubergines are already nice and creamy and I've used a tomato based sauce instead.
Roasted aubergines work so well in a curry as they are lovely and crisp on the outside and beautifully soft on the inside. For another recipe that uses roasted aubergines or eggplant, you'll love my Aubergine Stew (Caponata). For more delicious vegan curries, check out my Lentil and Chickpea Curry with Spinach, or Vegetarian Thai Green Curry
- Aubergines / Eggplant - choose ones with a shiny firm skin for freshness.
- Chickpeas - pre-soaked chickpeas in water are the easiest to use
- Tinned Tomatoes - use the best quality tomatoes you can afford.
- Root ginger - this will give the best flavour. To avoid waste, peel the remainder of the ginger and freeze it. Next time, you can grate it from frozen.
See recipe card for quantities.
How to cook with Aubergines
Aubergines are great and easy to cook with. You may have heard you should soak aubergine in salt. The reason this used to be done was that years ago aubergine varieties were more bitter. Salting helped draw out the bitterness. Today's varieties don't need salting. However, when roasting them, the salt helps them absorb less oil and crisp up so I recommend tossing them in a little salt before roasting. More easy aubergine recipes you'll love include this simple Passata pasta sauce with Mediterranean veg or this Vegetarian lasagne with Mediterranean vegetables.
Gather all your ingredients together. This recipe is very simple. Whilst the aubergines roast in the oven, the rest of the curry is prepared.
Pre-heat the oven to 200C/395F/gas mark 6. Toss the aubergine in half the olive oil and season with a teaspoon of salt. Roast in the oven for 20 - 25 minutes. until crisp on the outside and soft on the inside.
Pour the rest of the olive oil into a large frying pan and gently fry for red onions for 2 - 3 minutes until soft. Add the garlic,and ginger and fry for a further minute
Add the spices, ground coriander, ground cumin, turmeric, garam masala and medium curry powder. Fry for one minute. This helps release all the flavours. Alternatively, you could add a curry paste here.
Add the chopped tomatoes, drained chickpeas and fresh coriander leaves and simmer gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the roasted aubergine.
Stir everything together.
Hint: This chickpea and aubergine curry freezes well so why not double or triple the quantity.
Substitutions & Variations
- Spices -I've used a variety of spices in this recipe to give a lovely curried flavour. As an alternative, you could use a few tablespoons of curry paste if you prefer. The amount will depend on the strength of the curry paste and your personal preference. I would start with 2 tablespoons for a serving for 4.
- Coconut Milk - Aubergines and chickpeas both have a creamy texture and so I've kept this sauce tomato-based. However, if you prefer, you could substitute half the tinned or canned tomatoes with the same quantity of coconut milk.
- Chickpeas - I use cooked chickpeas from a tin in this recipe as it's easy. Make sure you drain and rinse them before adding them to the curry or you will have too much liquid. You can substitute tinned chickpeas with dried chickpeas. Soak them in cold water first for 8 - 12 hours.
- Coriander / Cilantro - if you don't like coriander (for some people the taste is very strong) you can use parsley leaves instead.
- Spicy - If you want to make your curry spicier, you can add a little red chilli, seeds removed and diced. I recommend starting with half a chilli and then adding more if you want more spice.
How to Serve
I like to serve this curry with white or brown basmati rice or fragrant jasmine rice. You could also serve it with a simple 3 ingredient Flatbread or naan bread. A spoonful of natural (vegan) yoghurt adds an extra creaminess and can be used to tone down the spice if you need to. Fresh coriander or cilantro leaves are lovely sprinkled over the top.
This vegan aubergine curry recipe is a great meat-free recipe. Many of the ingredients can be bought as Fairtrade, including all the spices as well as the chickpeas. Fairtrade promotes sustainable farming practices in the fight against climate change as well as providing a fair deal for some of the world's poorest farmers.
This is a great recipe for making in bulk as it stores well. It can be stored in the fridge for 2 - 3 days. You can also freeze it and it's best eaten within 3 months. Making a batch saves on energy use.
To keep the nice crisp texture of the roasted aubergines, stir them into the curry at the end. The longer they are in the sauce, the more they will lose some of their crispness, but the taste will be just as good.
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Roasted Aubergine and Chickpea Curry
- 500 g Aubergine /Eggplant about 2, organic diced into 2cm cubes
- 2 tablespoon olive oil fairtrade
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 red onions peeled and diced
- 2 cloves of garlic peeled and crushed
- 3 cm fresh ginger peeled and grated
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander organic, fairtrade
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin organic, fairtrade
- 1 teaspoon tumeric organic, fairtrade
- 1 tablespoon garam masala organic, fairtrade
- 1 tablespoon medium curry powder organic, fairtrade
- 800 g chopped tomatoes tinned/canned organic
- 240 g cooked chickpeas tinned/canned drained weight
- 2 tablespoon fresh coriander leaves organic, fairtrade
- Pre-heat the oven to 200C/395F/gas mark 6. Toss the aubergine in half the olive oil and season with salt. Roast in the oven for 20 - 25 minutes. until the aubergine is crisp on the outside and soft on the inside.500 g Aubergine /Eggplant, 2 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt
- Add the rest of the olive oil to a large frying pan and fry for onion for 2 - 3 minutes until soft. Add the garlic, ginger and fry for a further minute2 red onions, 2 cloves of garlic, 3 cm fresh ginger
- Add the spices, ground coriander, ground cumin, tumeric, garam masala and curry powder and fry for one minute. This helps release all the flavours1 teaspoon ground coriander, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon tumeric, 1 tablespoon garam masala, 1 tablespoon medium curry powder
- Add the chopped tomatoes, drained chickpeas and fresh coriander leaves and simmer for 10 minutes. stirring occasionally800 g chopped tomatoes, 240 g cooked chickpeas, 2 tablespoon fresh coriander leaves
- Add the roasted aubergine and stir together and serve.
- Aubergines don't need to be peeled, just wash and dice them into cubes roughly 2cm.
- Adding some salt to the aubergines when roasting helps them absorb less oil and crisp up.
- Instead of the spices, you could substitute a few tablespoons of curry paste if you prefer. The amount will depend on the strength of the curry paste and your personal preference. Start with 2 tablespoons for a serving for 4 people.
- For a creamier sauce, substitute half the tinned or canned tomatoes with the same quantity of coconut milk.
- I use cooked chickpeas from a tin in this recipe as it's easy. Make sure you drain and rinse them before adding them to the curry or you will have too much liquid. Dried chickpeas need to be pre-soaked and this is best done overnight as it takes 8 - 12 hours.
Serving SuggestionServe with white or brown rice such as basmati or fragrant jasmine rice. You could also serve it with a simple Flatbread or naan bread. A spoonful of natural (vegan) yoghurt adds an extra creaminess and can be used to tone down the spice if you need to. Fresh coriander or cilantro leaves are lovely sprinkled over the top
StorageCan be stored in the fridge for 2 - 3 days. It freezes well and it's best eaten within 3 months. Making a batch of a recipe can save on energy use.
Nutrition per serving
The Nutritional Values are computer generated estimates based on industry standards and are provided as a helpful guide only.