I had a craving for eggplant recently. I know, weird craving, but I’m that kind of girl 🤪 My only problem was deciding what eggplant recipe to make. My list of eggplant recipes has a lot of good ones both on and off my blog, so I had a big selection. But then I found this Vegan Roasted Aubergine and Chickpea Curry, and I knew I had to add it to the blog. I love aubergine (a.k.a. eggplant), chickpeas, and curry. How could I pass up this recipe? Obviously, I couldn’t so let’s give it a try!
Make this delicious vegan curry with roasted aubergine and chickpeas. Serve as a main alongside rice and poppadoms or as a side with a dhal. Topped with fresh coriander and a drizzle of vegan cream.
I wasn’t surprised to find this Vegan Roasted Aubergine and Chickpea Curry had a long-ish list of ingredients. It’s usually all the spices that make it seem long, but they’re really easy to prep so I wasn’t worried. My pre-grocery shopping check found all but 1 of the dried spices in my pantry plus the brown sugar.
That left a decent-sized shopping list, but most of the ingredients were easy to find at my usual grocery store. I found all the fresh produce locally and even found the vegan cream. They had a 1-pint container of Country Crock plant-based heavy whipping cream for about $5.
And while I searched for the smallest eggplant I could find, I bought 2 without weighing them. I did pop them onto my kitchen scale right before I began cooking and found they were 500 grams each. I had to use both even though it was double what the recipe calls for because my refrigerator has died for the 3rd time in about a month. The new one won’t be here for a couple of weeks, so I’m struggling with a freezer that barely cools to refrigerator temperatures. Ugh!
The only item I couldn’t find was the dried curry leaves. Amazon came to my rescue again. They had a good-sized bag of dried whole curry leaves for about $7, and it was here 2 days later.
A quick read-through of the recipe said I also needed cooking oil, so I used vegetable oil I had on hand. The photo shows the curry served over rice. I usually have basmati rice, but I was out. I used regular long-grain rice instead.
While this Vegan Roasted Aubergine and Chickpea Curry recipe wasn’t difficult to make, it was a little challenging. That was because I didn’t notice something very important when I initially read through the recipe. The important thing I missed was the ingredients list doesn’t note how the produce is prepped.
Prepping the Eggplant
I didn’t have any trouble with prepping the eggplant and getting it onto the oven to roast. Peeling wasn’t mentioned so I skipped it. I did cut it into 1-inch cubes, though, since I was using twice the amount called for. They all fit onto the sheet pan, but they still seemed a little big so I would go smaller next time.
By the way, I used my largest mixing bowl to toss them in vegetable oil, salt, and pepper. I find trying to toss things on a sheet pan to be messy and ineffective. A large mixing bowl lets me really get things mixed thoroughly.
The Rest of the Prep Work
Once the eggplant was roasting I finished the prep work. That included cooking a pot of rice to serve with the curry. The rice only took a few moments to get started, but the rest of the ingredients weren’t as quick.
Most recipes note how to prepare each item in the list of ingredients, but this recipe mostly did that in the instructions. I found I had to read through the instructions repeatedly so I could figure out how to handle each item. It slowed me down, and I got a little frustrated.
I wasn’t quite sure how to handle the garlic and ginger. Both said “crushed”, and my mind immediately thought to mince them. My garlic press was perfect for the garlic (obvi) and I peeled the ginger with a spoon and minced it with my chef’s knife.
Looking back that might have literally meant crushing them with the flat side of my knife, but mincing seemed to work. Mincing also meant there were no large chunks of either ingredient to bite into later, so I might stick to that.
The last items to prep were the tomatoes and chickpeas. The recipe doesn’t note what to do to prep them. I drained both and rinsed the chickpeas, but I’m not sure that was the right move. Once I got further into cooking I found the curry was a little dry. The instructions said it should have a thick tomato sauce, so I added a 1/2 cup of water in Step 6.
Other than that, the cooking went smoothly. I mixed everything in as instructed and had a lovely curry a short time later. The chunks of eggplant were a bit bigger than in the recipe’s photo, but my 5-quart saute pan was just big enough to be able to mix everything together.
This recipe lists 10 minutes of prep time and 35 minutes of cooking time for 45 minutes total. I came in right at that:
- 22 minutes to prep (including roasting the eggplant and cooking the rice)
- 22 minutes to cook the curry
- 44 minutes total