Published Nov 21, 2022, Updated Feb 22, 2023
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This eggplant curry combines fresh zucchini and eggplant in a creamy tomato sauce that’s packed with Indian spices. It’s flavorful, vegan, gluten-free and comes together quickly in the slow cooker.
Isaac and I love Indian food! I have a few Indian-inspired recipes on the blog (like this dairy-free butter chicken and vegan tempeh tikka masala) and today I’m sharing an eggplant curry, which was inspired by Baingan Bharta, one of my favorite vegetarian dishes to order when we go out for Indian food.
Baingan Bharta is a traditional Indian dish made with grilled eggplants, onions, tomatoes, spices and fresh herbs, but I decided to change things up a bit by using a combo of eggplant and zucchini. I also added coconut milk to make it extra creamy.
After cooking for hours the eggplant and zucchini get melt-in-your-mouth tender and soak up tons of flavor from the spicy sauce. So delicious!
And did I mention this eggplant curry recipe is super easy? You literally throw everything in your slow cooker, stir, cover and go about your business while the veggies cook to perfection.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- The perfect way to prepare an eggplant.
- Easy to make… just toss all your ingredients into your slow cooker and let it work its magic!
- Healthy, hearty and comforting. It’s the perfect cold-weather meal to make for dinner.
- Gluten-free, vegan and perfect for meal prep!
- eggplant – the star of the recipe! Eggplant works great in curry because it’s really versatile and has a mild flavor so it soaks up the flavors of the curry. When looking for eggplants in the store, look for ones that are shiny and firm. Avoid eggplants that are dull, wrinkled or have bruises.
- zucchini – pairs well with eggplant and provides plenty of nutrients and fiber.
- yellow onion and garlic – key ingredients that add a ton of flavor to this dish.
- tomato paste – adds a deep, rich flavor and helps to thicken the curry.
- coconut milk – adds creaminess and helps to balance out all the spices. I prefer to use full-fat coconut milk, but feel free to use lite coconut milk if you prefer.
- spices – curry powder, garam masala, cayenne pepper and cumin. If you’re new to garam masala it’s a traditional Indian spice that’s typically made with cinnamon, cardamom, mustard seeds, coriander seeds, cloves, mace and nutmeg.
- salt – brings all the flavors together!
- vegetable broth – this is optional but will help thin the sauce slightly if you want a thinner sauce. Plus, it adds more flavor!
- fresh parsley or cilantro – for garnish. I love adding fresh herbs to my dishes. It really elevates the flavors.
How to Make
Combine ingredients: Add all the ingredients to your slow cooker, except for the vegetable broth and fresh parsley or cilantro. Stir everything together and add vegetable broth if the mixture seems too thick to you.
Cook: Cook on low for 4-5 hours, until vegetables are tender. Stir and season to taste.
Serve: Serve warm with rice and naan and garnish with fresh parsley or cilantro.
How to Serve Eggplant Curry
- With naan: There’s really nothing better than a warm piece of garlic naan to go with this eggplant curry. Naan + curry = pure perfection!
- Over rice: Serve this curry over basmati rice, jasmine rice or cauliflower rice for a full meal.
- With protein: Add some protein to this curry with chicken, shrimp or chickpeas to keep this dish vegan!
- Side salad: Fresh leafy greens on the side is always a great idea. Try this garlicky kale salad or massaged kale salad for a simple salad.
How to Store Leftovers
This is a great recipe for meal prep! Make a batch over the weekend and you’ll have lunches or dinners ready to go for the week!
Store any leftovers in an airtight sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
More Eggplant Recipes to Try
More Curry Recipes to Try
- Summer Vegetable Curry
- Coconut Curry SunButter Noodle Bowl
- Tofu Pumpkin Curry
- Sweet Potato Curry
- Thai Green Curry with Shrimp
- Easy Coconut Shrimp Curry
- Tuna Curry Bowl with Cauliflower Rice
- Coconut Curry Mussels with Zucchini Noodles
- Chicken Curry With Vegetables
Be sure to check out all the eggplant recipes as well as the full collection of vegan recipes on EBF!
- 4 cups chopped eggplant peeled, if desired
- 4 cups chopped zucchini or more eggplant
- 1 medium yellow onion chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 Tablespoon curry powder
- 1 Tablespoon garam masala
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ¼ teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 6 oz can tomato paste
- 1 15 oz can coconut milk
- ¼ cup vegetable broth optional
- chopped fresh parsley or cilantro for garnish
- Add onion, garlic eggplant, zucchini, spices, tomato paste and coconut milk to your slow cooker. Stir everything together. At this point if the mixture seems too thick you can add in a little vegetable broth.
- Cook on low for 4-5 hours. Garnish with fresh parsley or cilantro. Serve warm with rice and naan.
- Recipe adapted from Love & Flour.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
I’m trying to get rid of the food in my fridge and pantry before I go home for the holidays, and I have almost a whole can of coconut milk and an eggplant. I said, what am I going to do with this? Then THIS RECIPE!! Thank you!!
This looks fabulous! Perfect for chilly winter nights. I don’t have a slow cooker – do you have a sense of how long it would take for the flavors to develop well on the stove-top?
LOVE your crock pot recipes! Keep them coming! Can’t wait to try this one – I’d love to add some chicken like you suggested – do you think it would work okay to add chicken thighs in with everything in the crock pot?
Thanks Alexandra! I think adding chicken thighs in with everything will work yet fine. Let me know if you try it. 🙂
Oh my gosh Brittany… this looks amazing! Definitely going to pin this to make 🙂
Can I use almond milk instead of coconut milk? Thx
You can try it, but I’m not sure how it will turn out because I’ve only used coconut milk. Let me know if you try it!
Aloha from Hawaii! I made this last night and it was delicious! I made my own garam marsala and added carrots. I think when I make it again I’ll use different veggies and maybe tofu. The sauce is so delicious, I think there are a lot of different veggie combinations that can be used with this. I made cauliflower rice to go with it. This is a keeper!! Thank you for a great recipe ????
Hi Barb. I’m so glad that the dish turned out to be tasty. I think it would be delicious with tofu and veggies as well. Enjoy experimenting. 🙂
Excellent dish. I made it for dinner yesterday but also added garbanzo beans. Big hit! Thank you for sharing.
This was sensational. I substituted boneless chicken breast for zucchini. I did not add any broth as the chicken provided enough liquid. Will definitely make this again.
Hi Leslie! I’m so glad that you liked this recipe. And, thanks so much for coming back to leave a comment letting me know. 🙂
Thank you so much for this recipe. It is super hot and humid here today and I have 4 eggplants ready in my garden along with about 5 zucchini so this will help use at least some of them up. My kids LOVE ‘indian food’.
It’s really the perfect way to use up your eggplant and zucchini! I hope the whole fam loves it, Emily! 🙂
This is cooking in the slow cooker right now! We had rice yesterday, so I’ll serve it with whole-wheat pasta and grilled chicken breast. I’ll let you know how it turns out 🙂
This sounds fantastic! I don’t have a slowcooker, any ideas on how long this would need to simmer to get all the flavours correctly on a stove top?
I haven’t tried it on the stove top yet, but I’d cook it on medium for at least an hour. This should give the eggplant sufficient time to cook down and get soft. Let me know if you try it. 🙂
Husband loved it. I’m Asian so I think it needs more spice for me but I will definitely save it and make again. Thanks a bunch
This looks delicious. How do you prepare the eggplant before putting it in the slow cooker? Thanks!
Hi Jenna. All you have to do is chop it. You can peel it if you’d like, but it’s not necessary. 🙂
Would you add the chicken raw?
Hi Justin. Yeah, I would cut back on the amount of veggies a bit (just so you have enough sauce) and add chopped raw chicken to the slow cooker. Let me know how it turns out.
Going to make this but just wanted to note that it’s hard to tell you mean 1 X 6oz tomato paste and not 16oz.
Good point! I just updated the recipe. I hope you enjoy it. 🙂
Hi- I was wondering if you think the slow cooker could be left on for 8-10 hours on low instead of the 4-5 hours in the recipe, or would the entire dish be too mushy?
Hi Emily! I haven’t tried it, but I think doing it on low for 8-10 hours would be fine. Let me know if you try it!
I tried this recipe exactly as per instructions, and after 4 hours it came out smelling awful – the coconut milk had gone rancid! I’ve made recipes before where the coconut milk goes in at the end, so I should have trusted my instincts and put it in at the end. I don’t know why this didn’t work for me but seems to have worked for others. A full pot of veggies ruined and time wasted!
This was excellent- velvety, flavorful and filling. I added carrots
and sweet potato. Strongly encourage not adding coconut milk until the last hour so that it doesn’t break.
I love this recipe! I had an eggplant and a yellow squash one day and found this recipe – I’ve made it five or six times. Thank you!!
Tried this today, it was spicy! I love the spice but my 17 month old… Not so much! Sadly I had to make an alternate meal for him (good thing for leftovers 😊) I did find it needed something. Maybe I missed a spice? Will definitely make it again with some meat 👍
Omg, it is soooo good!!! I have made it at least 4 times already and I love it every time! I just top it with sour cream for a complete meal. It is delicious and meatless! 🙂
Hi! Do you have an idea of how long this will keep in the fridge or freezer?
I haven’t tried freezing this dish yet, but it’ll keep in the fridge for about 5 days.
If I were to add chickpeas, do you recommend during the slow cooking process or to add-in when serving? Thanks!
Hey Allison! If you’re adding canned chickpeas, I’d add them to the slow cooker after the eggplant is done cooking, with just enough time for them to get warm before serving.
i literally came here to ask this, and was so happy to see someone else did!
I haven’t made this yet, but it looks easy and yummy. One clarification, though: I think you mean garam MASALA and not marsala. I was a bit confused when I first read the recipe.
Yes, garam masala! So sorry for the confusion, Lisa and thank you for catching that. I just fixed it on the blog! 🙂
What are the UK measurements please? Would like to try your recipe 🙂
Hey Beth – If you pull up a conversion chart online you should be able to figure out the exact measurements you’d need. 🙂
This is a very delicious hearty meal. I added 2 x carrots and I kept the skin on my eggplant which gives an added texture, it also keeps the eggplant together as it could turn into mush.
Wow this is tasty!! So easy and healthy as well. I used light coconut milk and added a can of chickpeas, otherwise followed the recipe as is – and it turned out great. Eating leftovers as we speak 🙂 This is going into my regular recipe rotation!
Ahh yay!! I’m so glad you enjoyed this dish, DeeDee! Thanks for trying it an for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. I really appreciate it. <3
I make this regularly and have recommended it to other friends who also love it.
Ahh yay, so glad you’ve been loving this recipe, Richard! Thanks so much for making it and for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. I really appreciate it. 🙂
Strange question – do you think if I don’t have Aubergine, this would work with butternut squash?
I bet it would! Let me know if you try it!
Thanks for this great recipe! I also added carrots as some suggested. I am not eating garlic and onion so instead used ginger and the green parts of scallions. Flavor was on point! I also added a can of diced tomatoes. Super excited to eat this all week and will probably add chickpeas when I want to make it a complete meal!
So glad you enjoyed this recipe! Thanks for the review, Anne. I so appreciate it!
Thank you for posting this recipe. I made it and absolutely love it! I added chickpeas and put it over Jasmine rice topped with some feta cheese.I think it’s that concentrated tomato flavor that the eggplant picks up that I enjoy so much.
Woo! So glad this recipe was a hit! Thanks for making it and for coming back to leave a review. I so appreciate it, Cynthia.
I’m not big on aubergine/eggplant but we tried this recipe the other night and O.M.G! So good! It was a hit with the whole family. I might try adding chickpeas and carrot next time but if that doesn’t work I know the recipe already works as is
Yay! I’m so happy this recipe was a hit with your whole family, Kirstie. Thanks for making it and coming back to leave a review, it means so much to me!
I’ve been trying to find a way to serve my family eggplant and this was the ticket! None of the eggplant haters noticed it was in there. Delicious, creamy and easy!
Yay! I’m so glad this recipe worked for you and your family, Nyssa. Thanks for making it and coming back to leave a review!
I love Indian food but my curry powder never tastes as yummy as restaurant flavours. I’ve bought so many brands of them and made mine own. Any suggestions?
Oh no! Sorry to hear that, what brand of powder do you typically use? You could always try using curry paste instead of powder. I find that the paste is more flavorful.
Slower cooker on high or low? How long?
Hi Dawn – You will cook on low for 4-5 hours! Enjoy!
It turned out with a bitter aftertaste.
I am sorry to hear that. Did you make any changes to the recipe?
Great option if you are hosting for a vegan friend! Thanks a lot 🙂
Absolutely! I am glad to hear you are loving this recipe, Anabel. Thank you for sharing it with your friends and for your review + star rating, I so appreciate it!