Aubergine and Red Lentil Curry

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A vegan curry that packs the goodness of aubergines and the texture of red lentils, this aubergine and red lentil curry is sure to satisfy the entire family. You can serve this super nutritious and tasty aubergine curry with rice or naan bread for a dinner that’ll feel like a feast. 

Eggplant aubergine in pan with naan bread on the side

If you’re looking to expand your portfolio of vegan curry recipes, this aubergine (eggplant) curry with red lentils is something that you should definitely try. The spices used to make it enhance the taste of the aubergines beautifully, and you can make it as spicy as you want by playing with the amount of crushed chili flakes you use.

I like this vegan aubergine curry a lot because it’s super easy to make and it only requires some very simple ingredients. I absolutely love a good red lentil curry recipe because of the texture the lentils lend to the dish. Lentils are also great for spooning with delicious chunks of naan bread, so it’s difficult to say no to them.

Ingredients you need for this curry

To make this vegan red lentil curry with aubergines, you need the following ingredients: 

  • Red lentils — the split kind of lentils is perfect for this recipe. Red lentils are high in protein, they’re full of fiber and provide you with a good dose of iron, so this red lentil curry is not just delicious, it’s also super good for you.
  • Onion — I used regular brown onions for this curry, but it would work just as well with red onion if that’s what you have at hand.
  • Chopped tomatoes — don’t substitute this for real tomatoes because you need all the juice that comes in tinned tomatoes.
  • Aubergines — depending on how much you like aubergines, you’ll need 2 or 3 medium ones. I like this curry to have lots of aubergine chunks, so I use 3 medium ones. 
  • Spices — you’ll need ground turmeric, cumin seeds, ground coriander, ground cardamom, chilli flakes, garam masala and garlic. 
  • Coriander leaves — this is completely optional; I’m not a fan, but I know some people can’t fathom a vegan curry without them, so you can add it if you like it. 
Aubergine curry in pan with naan bread

How do you make it? 

In a large pan, put the red lentils, onions, chopped tomatoes, and turmeric together with 400 ml (2 cups) water and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to low and simmer for 20-25 minutes until the lentils are cooked. 

Toss the aubergine chunks with the olive oil and season with salt and ground black pepper. Fry the aubergines in a large frying pan with no additional oil until they are soft and slightly golden brown. Do it in two batches for uniform results.

Put all the cooked aubergine chunks back in the pan and add the garlic and all the spices, except for the garam masala. Cooks for 1 minute until fragrant. 

Add the cooked aubergine chunks into the red lentil mix together with another 200 ml (1 cup) water and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring regularly. Add the garam masala and cook for another minute. Add the chopped coriander if using, and serve with naan bread or rice.  

step by step process of making aubergine curry in a pan

Tips for making the best vegan curry with aubergine

  • If you’d like this curry to be hotter, double the amount of chilli flakes. 
  • To make it more watery, add 300 ml (1 1/2 cup) of water at the end and only simmer for 10 minutes.
  • You can drizzle over some coconut milk or vegan cream if you want the curry to be creamier.
  • This recipe serves 2 as a main or 4 as a side. It goes very well with basmati rice, naan bread, or coriander poppadoms.

Can you freeze this aubergine and red lentil curry?

Yes, you can easily freeze this curry, which makes it ideal for batch cooking. Leave it cool completely, then bag into individual freezer bags or well-sealed freezer-proof containers. The curry can be frozen for up to 2 months. 

If you liked this aubergine curry  recipe, why not dig into some of my other vegetarian recipes:

Easy Vegetarian Swedish Meatballs

Vegan Lentil Soup with Kale

Savoury Muffins with Spinach, Sundried Tomatoes and Feta Cheese

Palak Paneer Makhani

Looking for more delicious inspiration? 😄 Follow Skinny Spatula on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest!

Yield: 2

Aubergine and Red Lentil Curry

Aubergine and Red Lentil curry with naan bread in orange pan

A vegan curry that packs the goodness of aubergines and the texture of red lentils, this aubergine and red lentil curry is sure to satisfy the entire family. 

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 150 g (3/4 cup) red lentils
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tin 400 g (14 oz) chopped tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 medium aubergines, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 5 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/4 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • Coriander leaves (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a large pan, put the red lentils, onions, chopped tomatoes and turmeric together with 400 ml (2 cups) water and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to low and simmer for 20-25 minutes until the lentils are cooked. 
  2. Toss the aubergine chunks with the olive oil and season with salt and ground black pepper. Fry the aubergines in a large frying pan with no additional oil until they are soft and slightly golden brown. Do it in two batches for uniform results.
  3. Put all the cooked aubergine chunks back in the pan and add the garlic and all the spices, except for the garam masala. Cooks for 1 minute until fragrant. 
  4. Add the cooked aubergine chunks into the red lentil mix together with another 200 ml (1 cup) water and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring regularly. Add the garam masala and cook for another minute. Add the chopped coriander if using, and serve with naan bread or rice. 

Notes

Recipe adapted from Olive Magazine

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

2

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 484Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 201mgCarbohydrates: 81gFiber: 24gSugar: 24gProtein: 15g

Nutritional information is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator.

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