This eggplant lentil curry comes together in around 30 minutes and it will be your new favorite weeknight dinner! It's hearty, comforting, and packed with flavor and plant-based protein.
Imagine this: saucy tomato lentils, cooked in coconut milk and Indian spices, with bites of chewy eggplant pieces.
This dish is hearty and satisfying and is made with good-for-you ingredients. It's vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free!
Ingredients and Notes
- Coconut milk: Make sure to use light coconut milk, because you'll need to use a whole can.
- Green chilies and red pepper flakes: If you don't like spicy food, you can omit these two.
- Tomatoes: It's best to use chopped canned tomatoes, as they don't require that much cooking.
How to make it
Start by cooking the aromatics. To a medium pot, heat some olive oil and the white onion. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Then, add the chopped green chilies, minced garlic, and spices. Cook for 2-3 minutes until fragrant. This will give a real boost of flavor, as the spices release their aroma from the heat.
Then, add red lentils, chopped eggplants, canned tomatoes, coconut milk, salt, black pepper, and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil.
Cover and let simmer for 30 minutes or until the lentils are soft.
Be sure to stir occasionally, to prevent burning. At this point, you can taste and adjust the flavor if needed. Maybe add more salt or black pepper to taste if needed.
We love to add a squeeze of lemon juice and some fresh cilantro at the end, it really brightens up this curry.
- Cook the spices in the beginning. It's important to activate them in the oil before adding any liquid. This unlocks their flavor and takes this dish to another level.
- Add more vegetables like spinach, kale, carrots, cauliflower, etc. This curry is great because you can easily sneak in any greens and it will be delicious.
- If you want more of a saucy curry, add more liquid. This recipe makes for a thicker curry, but you can always thin it out by adding 1-2 cups of vegetable broth or water.
Nope! You don't need to soak your lentils to make this recipe. However, soaking cuts back on cooking time. So if you need to make it even faster, you can soak them for 2 hours in advance, then drain and rinse.
Red lentils are the best because they cook the fastest. If you want to use other types of lentils like green or brown, be sure to soak them before using, because they take longer to cook.
Yes! Let leftovers cool to room temperature then transfer to a freezer-safe container. Freeze for 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.
More Easy Vegan Dinner Recipes
Eggplant Lentil Curry Recipe
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (or any neutral oil)
- 1 medium white onion, diced
- 2 medium green chilies, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 cup (180-190g) red lentils, rinsed
- 2 medium eggplants, chopped into 1-inch cubes
- 1 14.5oz can (400-430g) diced tomatoes
- 113.5oz can (400ml) light coconut milk
- 3 cups (700ml) vegetable broth or water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
For serving (optional)
- Juice of ½ lime
- Chopped cilantro
- To a medium pot, heat oil over medium heat. Once hot, add onion and cook for 3-4 minutes until lightly golden.
- Add green chilies, garlic, and the spices - cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and red pepper flakes (optional). Stir and fry for 2-3 minutes or until fragrant.
- Add lentils, canned tomatoes, eggplants, coconut milk, vegetable broth, salt, and black pepper. Stir and bring to a boil. Simmer for 25-30 minutes with a lid on, stirring occasionally to prevent burning.
- Remove from the heat. Taste to see if the lentils are cooked trough, and add more salt or black pepper if needed.
- To finish, add lime juice and cilantro and stir (both optional). Serve right away!