Delicious Tomato and Eggplant Curry

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I didn’t think I liked eggplant. When cooked wrong, it can have a weird texture and flavor. But one of my Grandma’s recipes won me over to it. This was the second recipe to score some winning points on our table. This curried tomato and eggplant dish is delicious!

Once I served it to a guest, saying it was a “vegetable” curry, knowing that he might have second thoughts  if he knew it was made with eggplant. He loved and raved over it. But I forgot to tell him that he had actually eaten eggplant……Later, I asked him if he liked eggplant, he said “No.” I then laughingly told him that he did indeed, in a curry at least!


Delicious Tomato and Eggplant Curry
- Serves 3-4
This recipe was inspired by a similar recipe in Nourishing Traditions. When I got freshly picked eggplant in season from a local farmer, it was so sweet, you really didn’t need to do the salted eggplant step (the farmer would actually be offended if you did!). I recommend it for store bought eggplant as it removes the eggplant’s bitterness. This is very simple to make, but you do have to leave time for it to soak in the salt, and then cook, so give yourself plenty of time.

    1 large eggplant
    Sea salt
    Olive oil (coconut oil should work well here too, or a mixture of the two)
    1 onion, peeled and diced
    3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced or put through a garlic press
    3 teaspoons curry powder
    2 cups of canned diced tomatoes (liquid included)
    Sea Salt

1-Wash and peel the eggplant. A regular peeler works great. Cut the stem off. You will now be cubing the eggplant. Here is how I do it (I apologize in advance for the confusing directions. This was one place where a picture would have been worth a thousand words! If it’s confusing to you, just cube it however you want, just get it to half inch pieces. ). Cut down the middle of the eggplant lengthwise. Keeping one half of the eggplant in the same position, carefully cut lengthwise again to make an 1/2 inch strip. You may have to cut several 1/2 inch strips depending on the size of the eggplant. The end goal is to have each half of the eggplant cut into strips. Reconstruct each half of the eggplant, by re-layering it, cut side down. In the long direction of the eggplant, cut the eggplant in long strips about 1/2 inch width. Then cut the other way (the short length side of the eggplant), once again, into 1/2 inch width. You should be left with 1/2 by 1/2 inch squares, or around there. Do the same to the other half.

2-Place in a colander set on a dish (such as a pie dish) and sprinkle with several pinches of salt. Mix to combine well. Let this sit for 1 hour. Then rinse well.

3-Pat the eggplant dry and preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a large saucepan, heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil until hot. Add half the eggplant and saute until cooked through. Remove to a small casserole dish {8 by 8 should work great} and repeat the process with the other half.

4-In the same saucepan, heat enough oil to lightly cover the bottom of the saucepan until hot and then add the onions and a pinch of salt. Stirring, cook the onions until they are tender, then add the garlic and the curry powder and saute for a minute or two more. When the curry powder is smelling fragrant, add the chopped tomatoes. Pour this over the eggplant, and mix to combine.

4-Bake uncovered in the oven for 35-45 minutes, until everything is very soft and the top is lightly browned. Depending on how much salt was in the tomatoes, you may or may not have to add more salt. Serve over brown rice or flat bread.

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I love beautiful and simple food that is nourishing to the body and the soul. I wrote Fresh: Nourishing Salads for All Seasons and Ladled: Nourishing Soups for All Seasons as another outlet of sharing this love of mine. I also love sharing practical tips on how to make a real food diet work on a real life budget. Find me online elsewhere by clicking on the icons below!

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Comments

  1. says

    Great, I don’t like eggplant either, but I always grow a plant or two in my garden. I’ll give this recipe a shot when I have some fresh eggplant later this summer.

  2. Heather says

    Hi Kimi, Thanks for such a great reliable site! I have been following for a while now and have tried several recipes that are super! I look forward to making this the next time I get eggplant through our co-op. I was wondering a while back you had posted that you had recipes on a site that you just type the ingredient and it pulls up all recipes with that ingredient. I can’t remember which post it was and it would be oh so helpful if you put it in the recipe index or resources section. Thanks for all you do to make this such a great and helpful site. May God bless your ministry!

    KH: Thanks for the comment. :-) I am so glad that you have enjoyed recipes you have tried here! I don’t clearly remember what site I was referring to, but I am assuming it was a personal favorite of mine, epicurious.com. Another reader also mentioned allrecipes.com, which I will also sometimes use. Hope that helps!

  3. says

    I LOVE eggplants! My favorite way of cooking them is to thinly slice them, steam them in a little water or stock, then add butter/oil for frying as the last step, adding sea salt and pepper to taste. Melt in your mouth goodness!

    KH: I do something very similar, delicious! Thanks for sharing.

  4. says

    I can’t wait to use eggplant from my garden to make this recipe. I might have to go buy some eggplant at the store first because I’m not sure if I can wait until late summer. :)

  5. says

    I’ve also find that while I don’t like the standard big purple eggplant that most folks see in stores, I really like the skinnier ones – like Ichiban or the Japanese ones.

    KH: Great point! Some of the other varieties are very nice. I’ve tried to the Japanese one and it was great.

  6. says

    Mmm… I just transplanted our lovely eggplants outside this morning, and I can’t wait to try this recipe with them come summer!! :)

    Oh, and do you use Allrecipes.com? I do know that it has an “ingredient search” capability – has TOTALLY saved many a meal for me! ;)

  7. Heather says

    hey kimi, I found the link you had posted it was supernaturalrecipes.com This was what I was looking for. You should put this in your resources section or your recipe index section for easy reference! Thanks!

  8. lolaloves13 says

    I just tried this and I think I totally messed it up! Yes, I admit I am not a great cook, but I am trying! The curry tasted so bitter( it smelled really good though). The Olive oil I used was Bariani and I think that may have contributed to the bitter taste. Does anyone know of a lighter flavored “real” olive oil? Is curry powder supposed to be bitter? I want to try this again so please help!

  9. KimiHarris says

    Hi Lola Loves 13,

    Bummer! Two things that I have noticed that can contribute to a bitter taste. One is overcooking the curry. I seem to be a little more sensitive to this, but I don’t like curry powder over cooked (sauteed). If it gets burnt, it will taste very bitter. The other thing to watch is the eggplant. The salting process should remove the bitterness from your eggplant, but eggplant can be bitter, especially if it’s older.

    Anyone else have any suggestions?

    • Joe Frank says

      Yes, and it is so simple it shocked me because of similar experiences with bitterness. You simply cut the eggplant down the middle the long way. Brush the meaty areas with olive oil, and bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove, and after it cools use a knife and score into cubes and scoop out. The one key is not to dig into the skin, which remains on, or have skin in the cubes. Shockingly, even with the skin on the plant and without salting, it has no bitterness. My in-laws are from Lebanon and showed me this trick, and I was skeptical. After five years, I have yet to get a bitter bite.

  10. Christy says

    I made this recipe the night before last and it was fantastic. My husband had it for lunch the next day and was still ranting and raving about how great it was when he got home from work. I love curry recipes and had never thought to use a tomato base before. I also added some fresh ginger (bc I love it!) and served with rice and whole wheat sourdough naan. Yummy!

  11. Nana says

    Your eggplant curry recipe looks delicious, but I’m curious about something. What would be the taste difference if I just put the raw diced eggplant and all the other ingredients into the pot and simmered it until soft? Sometimes when time is of the essence, I can’t help but wonder about the beginning steps.

  12. Tracy says

    Kimi,
    It appears the link to this recipe through you index is wrong. It gives me the chicken drum sticks instead. Thought I’d let you know!
    Love your site!

  13. says

    thank you for telling everyone that eggplant can be delicious. i grow and use only an asian variety of eggplant from china and thailand that does not have the bitter skin we all associate as the taste of eggplant. dont get the long japanese variety, as it’s skin is also bitter.
    I would like to make a suggestion to improve this recipe. Use fresh tomatoes!!! Using canned tomatoes is only going to make this dish less nutritious and less delicious. Fresh tomatoes are available year round. Almoat all the people I know who love to cook with tomatoes grow their own or get fresh ones at their local farmers market. Lets get away from eating canned foods, especially when delicious fresh vegetables are so easy to come by. In addition, you get rid of the salt and sugar and preservatives that almost always get into the can with the tomatoes.
    When i first began trying yo eat healthy. the first thing i did is get rid of the canned fruits and vegetables in my diet and haven;t eaten any in 40 years. It was a lot easier to put into practice than many of the other steps to ward a healthy diet

  14. Betsy says

    Just fixed this, and it was deliiiiicious. I bought tomatoes with no salt added, so it definitely needed some – if I do that again, I might just be doubly lazy and add garlic salt. But great recipe, really pretty easy, and made the house smell amazing. :)

  15. says

    Excellent recipe! I used coconut oil to saute the eggplant. It gave it a great sweetness that went well with the kick from the curry and the fire roasted tomatoes I tossed in. Definitely one for the recipe book! Thanks!

  16. Rebecca C says

    Just made this tonight. I used the last quart jar of my own canned tomatoes, so no salt there. But the eggplant retained a lot of salty taste. So I didn’t add any more salt later. But even with the saltiness it was very good. My husband doesn’t like eggplant that much, but he still ate all that I served to him. My toddler wanted second and third helpings of the eggplant, it was her favorite thing on the plate. I love eggplant, but it is hard to find ways to prepare it so it doesn’t soak up oil like a sponge. This was a good recipe, thanks.

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