This is a simplified variation of an eggplant dish appears that frequently on Indian restaurant menus as Baingan Bharata. Once the eggplant has been roasted and is cool enough to handle, this dish comes together quickly and easily. Adding some chickpeas makes it a main dish. This is a good make-ahead dish. Make up to the point before adding the greens and cilantro. Let cool and keep covered or refrigerate until needed, then add the greens and cilantro and heat through. Photos by Evan Atlas.
Roasted Eggplant Curry
- 2 medium eggplants about 1 ½ pounds total
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 3 to 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 to 2 small fresh hot chile peppers seeded and minced
- 14- to 16- ounce can diced tomatoes with liquid (try fire-roasted
- 15- to 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 and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 2 to 3 big handfuls baby spinach or arugula
- Chopped fresh cilantro to taste
- Hot cooked grain of your choice quinoa, basmati rice, couscous, etc.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- Stem the eggplants and cut into ¾-inch or so chunks Arrange in a parchment-lined roasting pan. Drizzle with half of the olive oil.
- Roast the eggplant until tender inside (but not overdone) and touched with brown here and there, about 25 minutes. Stir every few minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a large skillet or steep-sided stir-fry pan. Add the onion and sauté over medium heat until translucent, then add the garlic and continue to sauté until the onion is golden.
- Add the chile pepper, tomatoes, chickpeas, curry, cumin, and cinnamon.
- Stir well and bring to a rapid simmer, then lower the heat, cover, and simmer gently for 10 minutes.
- When the eggplant is done, remove from the oven and add to the pan. Season with salt and pepper.
- Stir in the spinach or arugula and cilantro, and cook just until the greens are wilted.
- Serve at once, with or over hot cooked grains.
- Explore more eggplant recipes on VegKitchen.