South Indian Baked Eggplant Curry Recipe


This South Indian Baked Eggplant Curry recipe is made in the oven instead of the skillet.  Eggplant / aubergines and red lentils are baked in a fragrant spiced tomato coconut milk sauce. So good served over rice!  It’s Glutenfree, nutfree and also soyfree.

South Indian Eggplant curry served over rice

Fans of hands-off dinner recipes that require minimal effort and clean-up, you will love this baked Eggplant curry recipe! Yes, eggplants are the hero of this dish. In my opinion, they are an underappreciated veggie. When prepared right they can make for an amazing part of your meal. The best way to prepare eggplant is to roast it – the baking process reduces the bitterness and brings out its natural sweetness resulting in the complex flavor we LOVE about this South Indian-inspired eggplant curry.

It all comes together in one pan! That’s right, no standing around and stirring a simmering pot. If you like eggplants, also make sure to try my baingan bharta.

baked eggplant curry served over rice sprinkled with cilantro

This eggplant curry recipe gets a lot of flavor from curry leaves. Every time I sizzle a handful of those leaves in oil, they release a delightful crackle!  If you’re not familiar with curry leaves, they are small delicate dark green leaves and have a uniquely citrusy, nutty aroma.  For South Indian cooks, they’re as indispensable as chile peppers and a quintessential component of stir-fries and dals or stews. You’ll find them in Indian or Asian grocery stores and some big supermarkets might carry them. Curry leaves can be bought fresh and frozen for upto one year. Use directly from the freezer. Don’t have curry leaves? Substitute 1 bay leaf, 1 tsp coriander and 1 tsp lime juice for every 6 curry  leaves.

vegan aubergine curry casserole with coconut milk gravy

This saucy eggplant usually is a side. To make this hearty, I add in red lentils into the sauce. They thicken the spicy sauce as well as make the dish into a meal. For additional protein add in a can of cooked chickpeas.

You can use smaller eggplants/brinjals or larger. Eggplants reduce a lot in size, so use enough.

MORE INDIAN COMFORT FOOD

Print Recipe

South Indian Eggplant Curry Baked Recipe

This South Indian Baked Eggplant Curry is made in the oven instead of the skillet.  Eggplant / aubergines and red lentils are baked in a fragrant spiced tomato coconut milk sauce. So good served over rice or as soup! It’s Glutenfree, nutfree and also soyfree.

Prep Time10 mins

Cook Time1 hr

Total Time1 hr 10 mins

Course: Main Course

Cuisine: Indian

Keyword: baked curry, eggplant curry, Indian curry recipe

Servings: 4

Calories: 217kcal

Author: Vegan Richa

Ingredients

For the eggplant:

  • 2 teaspoons oil
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon (0.25 teaspoon) black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon (0.25 teaspoon) cayenne or Indian red chili powder or use 1/2 teaspoon paprika instead for keeping it mild
  • 1 teaspoon or more garam masala or you can use sambar masala or Berbere
  • 1/2 teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) salt
  • 1 (458 g) large eggplant chopped into 1-1 1/2 inches by 1/2 inch size cubes, or use small eggplants chopped into quarters
  • 1/2 (55 g) red onion thinly sliced about 3/4 cup
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 inch ginger finely chopped or minced

For the sauce:

  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) mustard seeds
  • 1/8 teaspoon (0.13 teaspoon) fenugreek seeds
  • 12 curry leaves fresh or frozen or dried
  • 8 ounces (226.8 g) tomato puree use unseasoned tomato sauce or purée canned diced tomatoes
  • 2 to 2 1/2 cups (591.47 ml) coconut milk or other creamy non-dairy milk of choice, or use 1 15 ounce can of coconut milk and 1 cup of other non-dairy milk or water
  • 1/4 cup (45 g) split red lentils (Masoor dal)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • cilantro and lemon juice for garnish

Instructions

  • Bake the eggplant: To a 9×11 inch or similar sized baking dish, add the oil and add all of the spices and salt and mix well.

  • If the spices are getting too clumped up, add splashes of some water or few teaspoons of water so that the mixture is like a thin spice paste.

  • Then add eggplants, onion, garlic, and ginger and toss really well to coat. Eggplants will shrink a lot so you need a dish where they are about doubled up in layer.

  • Then bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit (205 degrees Celsius ) for 25-30 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, temper the mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds: Heat the oil in a small skillet over medium high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds and cook until the seeds start to pop or change color. Then add the curry leaves and immediately take off heat. Be careful while adding the curry leaves because they will pop and splash a little bit. Keep this tempering aside.

  • Remove the baking dish from the oven then add the tomato sauce, coconut milk, lentils, salt, and mix in. Add the tempering and mix lightly.

  • Then return the dish to the oven. Cover with a parchment and continue to bake for 25 minutes or until the lentils are cooked to preference and the sauce has thickened.

  • If the sauce has thickened too much, you can gradually add in about 1/2 cup of warm non-dairy milk and mix in. Taste and adjust salt and flavor. Add more salt, spices if needed then mix in.

  • Remove the dish from the oven and let it sit for a few minutes. Then garnish with cilantro the lemon juice and serve with rice or flatbread or dosa, or serve with garlic bread as bowl of soup.

  • To make this into a soup, you can add in a little bit more non-dairy milk while the curry is still hot so that it gets a bit soupier and then serve with garlic bread.

Notes

  • There is no good substitute for curry leaves so if you can’t find them, leave them out. You can Substitute 1 bay leaf, 1 tsp coriander and 1 tsp lime juice for every 6 curry leaves. It’s slightly different flavor but complements the sauce with the tang and earthy tones. 
  • For keeping it mild, use 1/2 teaspoon paprika instead for keeping it mild
  • Instead of garam masala,  you can use sambar masala or Berbere
  • if you cannot find tomato puree you can use unseasoned tomato sauce or purée canned diced tomatoes and use 
  • It’s difficult to make this oil free. You can dry toast the mustard seeds and use but the flavor payback isn’t as strong as oil toasted seeds. For the roasting process you can use broth or aquafaba

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts

South Indian Eggplant Curry Baked Recipe

Amount Per Serving

Calories 217
Calories from Fat 99

% Daily Value*

Fat 11g17%

Saturated Fat 7g44%

Sodium 540mg23%

Potassium 667mg19%

Carbohydrates 25g8%

Fiber 9g38%

Sugar 8g9%

Protein 6g12%

Vitamin A 496IU10%

Vitamin C 71mg86%

Calcium 53mg5%

Iron 3mg17%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

a serving of baked vegan eggplants served over rice sprinkled with cilantro
Ingredients:

  • eggplants are baked in the oven with ginger, garlic, and onions
  • before baking, the eggplants are rubbed with homemade spice paste made with a blend of coriander, cumin, black pepper, cayenne or Indian  red chili powder, and garam masala
  • tempering adds oomph to the gravy: mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, and curry leaves are fried in oil to season it, then we add all this to the gravy
  •  tomato puree adds sweetness and acidity to the gravy
  • coconut milk or other non-dairy milk is added for creaminess
  • split red lentils add body and fiber and make this more satisfying and also thicken the sauce
  • cilantro and lemon juice are my garnishes of choice

Tips:

  • People will often try to find substitutes for curry leaves, but I personally feel there is no good substitute for them so if you can’t find them, it is totally fine to leave them out in a recipe. Or Substitute 1 bay leaf, 1 tsp coriander and 1 tsp lime juice for every 6 curry leaves.
  • For keeping it mild, use 1/2 teaspoon paprika instead for keeping it mild
  • Instead of garam masala,  you can use sambar masala or Berbere
  • if you cannot find tomato puree you can use unseasoned tomato sauce or purée canned diced tomatoes

ingredients for baked eggplant curry recipe on a marble countertop

How to make Vegan Baked Eggplant Curry:

spices in a white casserole dish

To a 9×11 inch or similar sized baking dish, add the oil and add all of the spices and salt and mix well.

If the spices are getting too clumped up, add splashes of some water or a few teaspoons of water so that the mixture is like a thin spice paste.

spice paste in a white casserole dish

Then add eggplants, onion, garlic, and ginger and toss really well to coat. Eggplants will shrink a lot so you need a dish where they are about doubled up in layer.

eggplants and onion slices in a white casserole dish

then bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit (205 degrees Celsius ) for 25-30 minutes.

spiced eggplant spices and onions in a white casserole dish

roasted eggplants in a white casserole dish

Meanwhile, temper the mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds: Heat the oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds and cook until the seeds start to pop or change color. Then add the curry leaves and immediately take off the heat. Be careful while adding the curry leaves because they will pop and splash a little bit. Keep this tempering aside.

spices being tempered in a small pan

Remove the baking dish from the oven then add the tomato sauce, coconut milk, lentils, salt, and mix in. Add the tempering and mix lightly.

coconut milk being added to white casserole dish with baked aubergines

Then return the dish to the oven. Cover with parchment paper and continue to bake for 25 minutes or until the lentils are cooked to preference and the sauce has thickened.

red lentils being sprinkled over eggplants in coconut milk in a white casserole dish

eggplant slices baking in coconut milk

If the sauce has thickened too much, you can gradually add in about 1/2 cup of warm non-dairy milk and mix in.

Taste and adjust salt and flavor. Add more salt if needed, more spices if needed then mix in.

Remove the dish from the oven and let it sit for a few minutes. Then garnish with cilantro the lemon juice and serve with rice or flatbread or dosa. Alternatively, serve with garlic bread as a bowl of soup.

To make it soupier, you can fold in a little bit more non-dairy milk while the dish is still hot so that it gets a bit soupier. Then serve immediately with garlic bread.

overhead shot of a casserole dish with vegan baked eggplant curry

I love this served with rice but if you want to cut down on carbs, cauliflower rice will work really well here.

Storage:

Store refrigerated for upto 3 days. Freeze for upto a month.

a serving of vegan eggplant casserole served over rice

 

 



Source link

Scroll to Top