This eggplant coconut curry recipe is a nice vegetarian option for your next meatless Monday. It tastes complicated (in a good way!), but only takes a little over a half hour to make.
What’s in a Curry?
There’s quite a bit of variety in terms of what constitutes a curry, and it often depends on who you ask.
Most feature a complex orchestra of spices such as ginger, turmeric, cumin, and chili powder. (Turmeric alone has so many health benefits we made it into a supplement.)
Sometimes the curry may be “dry,” without a sauce, or other times “curry” refers to the sauce itself.
The sauce is typically a base of yogurt, coconut cream, tomato puree, or broth. This recipe won’t produce a ton of sauce as some curries do, but it’s not dry either.
Curries can contain meat or seafood, or be completely vegetarian like this recipe.
Pick the Right Eggplant
Since there’s no meat in this dish, its success hinges on your ability to pick the perfect eggplant. No pressure.
OK, so maybe it doesn’t have to be the perfect plant, but certainly, if you select a specimen that’s past its prime you’re not going to love the results.
Look for an eggplant that’s slightly firm. It shouldn’t have as much given as a tomato, so if it’s very soft it’s past its prime. Move on.
Stay away from wrinkles – they are another sign that the vegetable has passed its peak. The skin should be smooth and shiny.
Don’t forget to check out the stem of the plant. It should be green, not brown. Check for signs of mold or spoiling; they may be visible here even though the bulk of the eggplant looks healthy.
Keep in mind that size will impact the taste. The largest eggplants tend to be bitter. Pick plants that are small or medium-sized for optimal taste.
After going through the trouble of sourcing the best eggplant of the bunch, you’ll want to preserve it until it’s ready for primetime. Keep it in the refrigerator for up to five days.
Benefits of a Plant-Based Eggplant Coconut Curry
- Rich in Nutrients: Eggplant is a nutrient-dense vegetable that is high in fiber, antioxidants, and essential vitamins and minerals. The coconut milk used in this curry also provides healthy fats and important micronutrients.
- Supports Digestive Health: The high fiber content of eggplant and other vegetables in this curry can help promote healthy digestion and reduce the risk of digestive issues.
- Supports Sustainable Eating: By choosing plant-based foods over animal products, you can help reduce your carbon footprint and promote sustainable eating habits.
Components of a Plant-Based Eggplant Coconut Curry
- Eggplant: Eggplant is the star of this dish, providing a meaty and satisfying texture to the curry. Choose firm and shiny eggplants that are free from blemishes and bruises for the best results.
- Vegetables: Other vegetables such as bell peppers, onions, and carrots can be added to the curry to provide additional flavor and nutrition.
- Spices: A variety of spices such as cumin, coriander, turmeric, and ginger are typically used in eggplant coconut curry to provide depth and complexity of flavor.
- Coconut Milk: Coconut milk is used as the base for the curry, providing a rich and creamy texture that complements the spices and vegetables.
- Optional Additions: You can add additional plant-based protein sources to the curry, such as chickpeas, lentils, or tofu.
Eggplant Coconut Curry
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Yield: 6 servings
Category: Dinner, Entrée
Description: Delicious low-carb vegetarian curry sure to fill you up.
- 6 Tablespoons (90 ml) avocado oil, to cook with, divided
- 2 medium eggplants, cut into chunks
- 20 white button mushrooms (200 g), chopped
- ½ onion, peeled and chopped
- 2 cloves (6 g) of garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 Tablespoon (4 g) fresh ginger, minced
- 1 teaspoon (2 g) ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- Pinch of chili powder
- 1 ½ cups (360 ml) coconut cream (from the tops of approx. 3 refrigerated cans of unsweetened coconut milk)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 Tablespoon (2 g) cilantro, chopped, for garnish
- Heat 4 Tablespoons of avocado oil in a large pan and stir-fry the eggplants and mushrooms until golden and caramelized. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Heat 2 Tablespoons of avocado oil and cook the onions over moderate heat until softened. Add the garlic and ginger and cook until the onions partially caramelize. Stir in the cumin, coriander, turmeric and chilli powder. Mix well then return the eggplants and mushrooms to the pan.
- Pour in the coconut milk and increase the heat. Cook until the coconut milk reduces and thickens, stirring continuously. Season the dish with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve with cooked cauliflower “rice”.
Nutrition: (Estimated and based on per-serving amounts.)
- Calories: 289
- Fat: 26 g
- Total Carbs: 13 g
- Fiber: 6 g
- Sugar: 6 g
- Net Carbs: 7 g
- Protein: 3 g