Eggplant with Chickpeas

If you’ve been following my blog you know I’ve put in a new garden this year. One of the things I’ve tried is eggplant. Eggplant pairs well with spicy, sweet, and savory flavors. At first the eggplant in my garden wasn’t doing too well but by now in September it’s producing well. It complements Indian dishes like the curry I will make today. I am making an eggplant curry with chickpeas. The chickpeas add a really nice texture and color to the dish.

Eggplant is one of those vegetables that can be spongy, bitter, or bland if not prepared well. In this recipe I will show you some of the tricks I’ve learned that make eggplant turn out well. For example, I salt the eggplant to draw out moisture. This helps avoid an overly spongy texture.

Eggplant comes in many different kinds, shapes, and sizes. In my garden I grew Millionaire eggplant this year. Millionaire or Chinese eggplant tends to be long and thin, and the outer skin is violet or purple. It has a milder, sweeter, and less bitter flavor than other large eggplant. Millionaire eggplant is used in stir fries since they hold their shape pretty well. These eggplants will keep up to one week when stored in a cool and dry place.

If you need to buy eggplant from a store, I recommend choosing one with a smooth and shiny skin that is uniform in color. I don’t buy it if it looks shriveled. I try to choose smaller eggplant that feels heavier for its size; smaller ones tend to have thinner skin.

Millionaire eggplant

Ingredients

Curry spice

  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp Indian red chili powder (kashmiri)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin powder
  • 2 tsp ground coriander powder
  • 1 tsp garam massala powder
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt or to taste

Eggplant curry

  • 4 cup eggplant, cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 cinnamon leaves
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 cup yellow onion, grated (easier in a food processor or box grater)
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, paste
  • 1 tbsp fresh garlic, paste
  • 1 cup tomato, chopped
  • 1/4 cup yogurt
  • 1 (15.5 oz) can chickpea (garbazo bean), rinsed and drained well
  • 1.5 cup water
  • 1/2 cup coconut cream (fat sits on top of a coconut can)
Ingredients for the curry
Washed eggplant
Cut eggplant

Instructions

Curry spice

Mix all curry spice together in a small bowl and set aside.

Eggplant curry

Sprinkle 1.5 tsp salt over the eggplant. Toss to coat the pieces with salt.

Set it aside for an hour. After an hour you will see eggplant released some water. Drained all water. Set aside.

Heat 1.5 tbsp oil in a large sauce pan over medium high heat. Add eggplant to the oil. Be careful when adding eggplant it might splatter. Fry the eggplant for 8-10 minutes, stirring as needed. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Heat another 1.5 tbsp oil to the same pan. When hot add mustard seeds and cinnamon leaves. Fry for 10 seconds. Add onion, garlic and ginger. Fry this mixture till you see brown bit forming and raw onion smells are gone. Turn down the heat to medium low. Add the curry spice. Fry for about 1 minute. If the mixture is too dry add 1 tbsp of water. Don’t let the mixture burn.

Add chopped tomatoes. Stir well to mix in all the spices. Add yogurt, stir for another minute. Cover and cook till tomatoes are broken down. About 3 -5 minutes stirring in between.

Add water to the pan. Stir well. Cover cook for 5 minutes on medium low heat. Add drained chickpea. Stir. Cover and cook for a minutes.

Add eggplant back in the pan. Stir. Add coconut cream. Stir. Cook for additional 2 minutes. Taste. Remove from the stove. Transfer to a serving bowl.

You can serve this with rice, paratha, roti or naan.

Serves 4-6

Did you make this dish? I’d love to know how it turns out! Feel free to like this post and comment or use the hashtag #globaldinein on Instagram.

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