This easy side of curry roasted eggplant will leave you licking your fingers and your plates. And if you don't love eggplant? Well, it'll turn you into a raving fan.
I've said before that I simply cannot understand people who claim they don't like eggplant (brinjals, aubergines). I have met a few, including many veggie-loving vegans who will reject the tastiest eggplant dish, and I am always left shaking my head because there isn't a vegetable I could possibly love more.
Cooked thoroughly and correctly, eggplants are creamy and delicious, and they effortlessly take on the flavors of the foods you are cooking. You can throw them on a grill and they'll come back all smoky and rich and utterly tasty. You can add them to a curry and they'll reward you with great, meaty texture and flavor from all the spices they just sucked right in as they were cooking. And they are, of course, irresistible in a vegan eggplant parmesan.
Besides, eggplants are also really, really good for you. That purple skin is due to anthocyanins--antioxidants that fight free radicals in your body. Eggplants are also packed with other nutrients, including vitamins, and are proven to be effective at fighting cancer, heart disease and lots of other bad stuff.
Now, don't you love them just a little bit more?
Why you'll love this curry roasted eggplant
- It's delicious. Try serving it instead of fries with a veggie burger (like this hearty bean and oats burger) or a tofu steak (like these Irish whiskey tofu steaks) and watch it disappear.
- It's easy. There's no real skill needed for this recipe. So long as you know how to use a knife, you are golden.
- You need just five ingredients: Yep, that's all. Eggplant, curry powder, rice flour, vegetable oil and cilantro. And salt, of course. You can also sprinkle on some ground black pepper if you like more heat.
- It's versatile. You can tweak it to the spices you have and to your taste. I used my homemade curry powder, but if garam masala is what you have, carry on. This is a dish with Indian flavors but it's not really a traditionally Indian dish, so I am not going to be a purist on which spice blend you use.
- It's kid-friendly. Seriously. You might never have imagined your picky eater actually eating eggplant, but this recipe is definitely kid-approved with flying colors.
- Small Italian eggplants. I like using the smaller eggplants in this as the skins are not as tough but the flesh holds it shape after roasting.
- Curry powder: A really good curry powder (try this recipe for curry powder I posted recently) makes all the difference to this recipe. You can also use garam masala at a pinch for a different, but delicious, flavor.
- Rice flour: Rice flour helps soak up moisture and flavor of the spices and makes the eggplant just slightly crispy on the outside.
- Coconut oil: Coconut oil is a fine oil to use here and it goes with the south Indian flavors in the curry powder. But you can use another oil like peanut, avocado or sunflower oil.
- Cilantro: For garnish. You can skip, but it tastes amazing with the flavors of this dish.
- Ground black pepper: This is completely optional and add it only if you like your food quite spicy. There is already some heat in the curry powder. Ground black pepper is a really nice flavor in combination with the eggplant.
How to make curry roasted eggplant
- Buy eggplant that has shiny, firm, deep purple skin with no brown spots. The eggplant should feel heavy for its size when you hold it in your hand. Wash and dry the eggplant and cut it into 1-inch cubes.
- Place the eggplant cubes in a bowl and add the curry powder, rice flour, salt and oil.
- Toss everything together until well-mixed.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the eggplant cubes on it in a single layer.
- Bake 30 minutes, rotating the baking sheet around halfway through, or until the eggplant is golden-brown on the outside but still creamy on the inside.
- Serve hot.
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Curry Roasted Eggplant
- Large baking sheet
- 3 medium Italian eggplants (cut into 1-inch cubes)
- 2 heaping tbsp curry powder
- 2 tbsp rice flour
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- Salt to taste
- Ground black pepper (optional. The curry powder has some heat already, but black pepper complements eggplant very nicely)
- 2 tbsp cilantro (chopped, for garnish)
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place the eggplant cubes in a large bowl. Add all of the remaining ingredients and toss well to mix.
- Place the eggplant cubes in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Bake 30 minutes, rotating the sheet once halfway through baking to ensure everything cooks evenly.
- Remove the eggplant from the oven and garnish with cilantro. Serve hot or warm.