Smoky Aubergine Curry

This Indian-inspired, smoky aubergine curry makes for a very delicious meat-free dinner. Charring aubergines like this not only cooks them incredibly quickly, it also gives them a wonderful smokiness that adds huge depth of flavour to the finished dish. If you don’t have a gas burner, don’t worry. You can pop the aubergines under a very hot grill in the oven. As long as they’re blackened on the outside and collapsing in the middle, you’re golden.

  • Author: zenak
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


  • 4 aubergines
  • vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 20 fresh curry leaves
  • 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 inch of ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped
  • 400g tinned crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp mild chilli powder
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 400 ml vegetable stock
  • 2 heaped tbsp yoghurt
  • 1 handful fresh coriander, roughly chopped


  1. Place the aubergines directly over a gas burner set to high. Cook, turning frequently, until completely blackened and collapsing, around 10 minutes. If you don’t have a gas stove, pierce the aubergines all over with a small knife and rub with vegetable oil. Roast at 220°C / 200°C fan for 45 minutes, or until completely softened, turning once halfway through.
  2. Transfer to a bowl, cover with cling film and leave to steam for 5 minutes, then carefully remove the burnt skins. Pull the aubergine flesh with two forks and set aside.
  3. Heat a generous glug of vegetable oil in a medium sauté pan. Add the mustard and cumin seeds and cook until they start to pop, 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. Add the onion and curry leaves, season with salt and pepper and cook until the onion has softened, 5 to 7 minutes.
  5. Add the garlic, ginger and red chilli and cook for 1 minute, then add the tinned tomatoes, ground cumin, coriander, mild chilli powder and ground turmeric. Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes, or until the oil starts to separate from the sauce.
  6. Add the pulled aubergine flesh and vegetable stock, season with salt and pepper and stir to combine. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
  7. Stir in the yoghurt and fresh coriander, then cover and remove the saucepan from the heat. Leave to sit for 5 minutes then serve with rice, naan or both!