Roasted Eggplant Curry

Eggplants in a basket

This is a simplified adaptation of a vegetable dish appears that frequently on Indian restaurant menus as Baingan Bharata. It features roasted eggplant, which is so easy to prepare, and so versatile. Once the eggplant has been roasted and is cool enough to handle, this dish is made quickly and easily. Adding some chickpeas makes it a main dish.

Serves: 4 to 6

  • 2 medium eggplants (about 1 1/2 pounds total)
  • 1 tablespoon olive or other vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small fresh hot chili, seeded and minced
  • 14- to 16-ounce can diced tomatoes, with liquid
  • 16-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 teaspoons good-quality curry powder or garam masala, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • Salt to taste
  • Chopped fresh cilantro to taste
  • Hot cooked brown rice or other grain of your choice

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Prick the skin of the eggplants in several places. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet and place in the oven. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, of until the eggplants have collapsed. Remove and let them cool. when ready to handle, scoop the flesh away from the skin. Discard the skin and stems; chop the eggplant flesh coarsely.

Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and sauté over medium heat until golden, then add the minced chili and sauté for another minute or two.

Add the chopped eggplant, diced tomatoes, and spices. Stir well and cook over medium-low heat, covered, for 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and remove from heat. Stir in the chopped cilantro and serve over hot cooked grains.

This is a good make-ahead dish. Keep covered or refrigerate until needed, then heat through. Save the cilantro to stir in just before serving.

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