Your new go-to weeknight supper will be this Aubergine and Lentil curry which comes together in only 30 minutes. It is flavorful, warming, and loaded with plant-based protein.

Aubergine and lentil curry is a delicious and nutritious dish that combines two staple ingredients in Indian cuisine. Aubergine, also known as eggplant, adds a unique texture and flavor to the curry, while lentils provide protein and fiber. People typically simmer the dish in a flavorful tomato-based sauce along with a blend of spices, which can include cumin, coriander, turmeric, and garlic.

Whether you’re a vegetarian or simply looking for a healthy and satisfying meal, this curry is a perfect option. You can serve it over rice or with flatbread, and it will surely become a new favorite in your home.

See Eggplant Fatteh and Vegan Stuffed Eggplant

Vegan aubergine lentil curry in a grey bowl on orange background

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Why You’ll Love It?

  • It’s a delicious recipe that’s quite simple to make.
  • The meaty texture of aubergines makes them ideal for vegans, vegetarians, and even meat eaters.
  • Perfect for feeding a large group or as a midweek meal.
  • Not a huge shopping list or weird ingredients. You can easily find the majority of the ingredients.
  • It is both families- and money-friendly.
  • Because it is so adaptable, there are numerous ways to serve it.
  • In addition to being ideal for batch cooking, it freezes nicely.
  • You can add more vegetables (like zucchini) or double the eggplant to make the dish healthier and bigger.

Required Ingredients For This Curry

Find the listed ingredients for this recipe below, and if you’re missing anything, scroll down to see what substitutions you can make.

  • Aubergines: Eggplant is another name for aubergine. Any regular aubergine can be used for this dish, but if you prefer, you can substitute smaller Thai eggplants. The aubergine’s mild, sweet flavor is perfect for dips, masala, and curries made with aubergine!
  • Black lentils: It provides nourishment and gives this dish a wonderful texture. Lentils from the can should be drained and added later in the cooking process.
  • Onion: White onion is what I prefer in this dish. Red onion can give the curry a little overpowering flavor and alter its color.
  • Tomatoes: Use tomatoes that are about the same size. Don’t use canned tomatoes as a substitute because they won’t cook down adequately. If the tomatoes are overripe, that’s fine, but if they’re not quite ripe enough, you can still utilize them.
  • Garlic: Garlic paste or garlic powder could be used instead of fresh garlic.
  • Salt: Don’t skimp on the salt in this recipe because aubergine and lentils both require a lot of salt. Replace it with a low-sodium option if, for health reasons, you need to lower your salt intake.
  • Coriander powder: Don’t leave out the ground coriander, and don’t use coriander seeds, which are unpleasantly crunchy and don’t soften properly.
  • Red chili flakes/cayenne pepper: Here, I use 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper for a medium to a high level. Use a half teaspoon for a curry with a medium-hot level of heat. If you don’t have cayenne pepper, you may substitute it with chili flakes, or for a milder curry, use one long milder chili pepper (chopped and added with the garlic). Use two for a spicier curry.
  • Cumin powder: Cumin seeds can be used in its place if you don’t have cumin powder. Use half of it and combine it with the coriander and cayenne.
  • Avocado oil: I have used avocado oil but you can use olive oil and coconut oil also.
aubergine lentil curry ingredients

How To Make Aubergine and Lentils Curry?

  1. Wash and cut the aubergines into round slices, this is how I like them you may dice them.
  2. Roast the slices in a large greased pan, until a little golden for about 8-10 minutes or in an oven for about 25 minutes.
  3. Keep the roasted aubergines aside.
  4. Now, in a separate pan, heat oil, and sauté garlic, and onions until translucent.
  5. Add lentils and sauté for 6-8 minutes.
  6. Now add all the spices along with diced tomatoes.
  7. Cook it for 4-5 minutes and 2 cups of water or vegetable stock.
  8. Cover and cook for about 25-30 minutes or until the lentils are done.
  9. Now layer the roasted aubergines and let them simmer in the lentil sauce for 10 minutes on low flame.
  10. Now add freshly chopped cilantro and serve with gluten-free flat bread or rice.
Aubergine lentil curry process shots

Serving Suggestions

  • Cooked Rice: I frequently use jasmine rice, but you may use any type of rice or grain.
  • Vegan Yogurt: When I make a vegan curry, I always add a dollop of vegan yogurt to the dish. It pairs quite nicely with any spice.
  • Naan: This is optional, but I enjoy using warm, fragrant homemade naan bread to soak up all the sauce.
  • I like to garnish dishes with either some fresh cilantro or thinly shredded raw spinach.

How To Store And Reheat?

Store: Any leftovers can be stored for up to five days in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Though I haven’t tested it, the eggplant lentil curry should freeze nicely as well. I suggest letting it cool down fully first. Then place in parts and freeze for two to three months. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.

Reheat: To reheat the curry, use either a microwave or a stovetop set to medium-low heat. Add a little amount of water to the sauce to thin it out if it has become too thick. Reheating requires careful stirring to prevent mashing the eggplant.

Additions & Variations

You can easily alter this eggplant curry recipe. Here are a couple of my favorite variants and optional additions.

  • Eggplant: You are welcome to substitute baby eggplant for mature ones. To obtain the same quantity, you might need three or four.
  • Other Vegetables: This curry is fantastic since any greens can be easily snuck in and it will still taste excellent. You are welcome to add more ingredients to the vegan curry to make it more filling (or to replace those that are missing); you can add potatoes, cauliflower, zucchini, or any other vegetable as long as it will still cook in the allotted time.
  • Garam masala is a powerful spice blend, so if you use it, use little more than half a teaspoon. It will intensify the taste and give the curry a more “traditional” flavor.
  • Adding coconut milk to the curry sauce is completely optional, but it is strongly recommended because it helps achieve the ideal consistency and complements the other South Indian-inspired flavors in the dish. If you don’t like coconut milk, substitute cream or sour cream.
  • Fresh cilantro that has been chopped adds a splash of color and a beautiful taste to the sauce.

Expert Tips

  • First, cook the spices. To use them, they must first be activated in oil before water or other liquids are added. By doing so, their taste is released, elevating this meal to a new level.
  • Add more liquid to the curry if you prefer it saucy. If you want a thinner curry, simply add an additional 1–2 cups of water or vegetable broth to this recipe.
  • When sautéing the aubergine, avoid crowding the pan. By doing this, steam is produced, preventing caramelization and all of the sweet flavor.
  • Instead of sautéing the eggplant slices in a pan, you can roast them in the oven if you’d like. To make the eggplant soft, toss it with olive oil and bake it on a big baking pan at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • You don’t have to peel the aubergine, but you can if you’d like.
  • To get rid of the bitterness in diced eggplant, you can let it out in a bowl of salt water for 30 minutes before rinsing it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Lentils Need To Be Soaked?

No! The lentils for this recipe don’t need to be soaked. However, soaking reduces the amount of time required to cook. You can shorten the prep time by soaking the ingredients for two hours before you use them.

Can You Freeze It?

Yes! Let leftovers cool down to room temperature, then put them in a container that can go in the freezer. Freeze for three months. Refrigerator thawing is required before reheating.

What’s The Difference Between An Eggplant And An Aubergine?

Both of them are the same. The French name aubergine is the most common in Europe, while the English word eggplant is more common in the United States since the first eggplants brought to the continent were white and looked like eggs.

How Do I Pick A Good Aubergine?

A good eggplant should be firm, but not overly so. It is overripe if it yields when you gently press on it or if your finger can easily pierce it. It must have a deep purple shade that is shiny and not too shriveled or soft.

 

Give this Aubergine and Lentils Curry a try. It’s incredibly delicious and super easy. I hope you like it.

As always, I would love to hear from you. So if you tried this recipe or any other from my website, please let me know how it turned out in the comments below!

Other Eggplant Curry Recipes To Try

  1. Sri Lankan Eggplant Curry
  2. Potato Eggplant Curry
  3. Eggplant Chickpea Curry
  4. Baby Eggplant Coconut Curry
  5. Jamaican Style Eggplant Curry
Overlay aubergine and lentil curry in a clay bowl on a pink background

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Nutrition

(Per serving)
  • Energy: 230 kcal / 961 kJ
  • Fat: 1.2 g
  • Protein: 14.5 g
  • Carbs: 42 g

Cook Time

  • Preparation: 20 min
  • Cooking: 50 min
  • Ready in: 1 h 10 min
  • For: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 large Aubergines (sliced)
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 1 medium-sized onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 cup black lentils
  • 2 large tomatoes diced
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chili flakes/cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 2 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Cilantro leaves, chopped for garnish

Instructions

  1. Wash and cut the aubergines into round slices, this is how I like them you may dice them.
  2. Roast the slices in a large greased pan, until a little golden for about 8-10 minutes or in an oven at 400 degrees F. for about 25 minutes.
  3. Set aside the roasted aubergines.
  4. Now in a separate pan, heat oil and sauté onions until translucent, about 3 minutes.
  5. Stir in garlic, and lentils and sauté for 5 minutes. 
  6. Now add tomatoes, along with all the spices, and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. Add vegetable broth, and bring to a boil.
  8. Cover the saucepan, and cook for about 25-30 minutes or until the lentils are done.
  9. Now layer the roasted aubergines and let them simmer in the lentil sauce for 10 minutes on low flame.
  10. Now season with salt, add freshly chopped cilantro, and serve with gluten-free flat bread or rice.
Recipe author's Gravatar image

Michelle Blackwood, RN

Hi, I’m Michelle, I’m the voice, content creator and photographer behind Healthier Steps. I share vegan and gluten-free recipes because of past health issues. My goal is to help you make healthier choices and show you how healthy eating is easy and delicious.