Curried Eggplant with Chickpeas

Adapted from Food and Wine (October 2009)

My friend Amy turned me on to this simple and tasty vegetarian dish, letting me know that even her kids gobble it right up. You may be tempted to try to cut down the oil a little, but don’t (learn from my experience here). The vegetables need it to roast properly. Try it with warm whole wheat naan and plain yogurt. You may find yourself surprised at who is asking for seconds!

  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • A large pinch of kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons curry
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 eggplant (about 1-1/2 pounds), peeled and cut into cubes
  • 1 small yellow onion, cut into wedges
  • 1-15 oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup fresh ginger root, peeled and julienned
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Several generous handfuls of baby spinach
  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. On a rimmed baking sheet, mash the garlic with the salt until it’s fairly well broken up. Add curry and oil to the baking sheet and blend. Toss eggplant, onions, chickpeas and ginger on baking sheet until coated with oil and spice mixture. Sprinkle with black pepper. Roast vegetables for 15 minutes, then toss well and roast another 15 minutes or so until browned. Add spinach, toss again and set sheet back in the oven for just another minute or two until the spinach is wilted. Serve warm with naan and plain yogurt.
  • Quick Tips
  • 1. I’ve tried this with canola oil (which is what the original recipe calls for), but olive oil gives a better overall flavor.
  • 2. If you think your children won’t eat this with the spinach mixed in, you might try starting out with just the eggplant, onions and chickpeas by reserving some of the mixture before adding the spinach. Once they decide they like it, try adding the spinach the next time you make the dish.

Preparation time: 15 minute(s)

Cooking time: 30 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4

8 responses to “Curried Eggplant with Chickpeas”

  1. AmyK says:

    So excited to find this! It is RIGHT up our alley! Will try and let you know!!

  2. Alicia says:

    I LOVE this dish! You just reminded me that I need to make this again soon. It’s a keeper and a repeater.

  3. AmyK says:

    Made this to take to a Sukkot party tonight. Had to put it away so I wouldn’t eat it all before I get there! Delicious!!

  4. AmyK says:

    Oh, and I meant to add that to cut down on the oil, I used my sister, Martha’s suggestion and par-blanched the eggplant cubes with a little water for a few minutes in the microwave. It softens the eggplant enough so you can use less oil when baking. Came out beautifully!

  5. marcia cooks says:

    Alicia, be strong! I continued to put interesting vegetables in front of my daughter for years — and from about age 10 on, her favorite enthnic foods included sushi, Indian, Thai. She’s more adventurous than I am! Those little boys will come around as their taste buds both develop and calm down a little. 🙂

    • Alicia says:

      Thanks, Marcia! My oldest is pretty adventurous. He loves sushi and all sorts of ethnic flavors. But he’s still a kid and that means that on any given day, I might get fork pushing. I’m encouraged to hear that your daughter is very adventurous and that your good work is paying dividends.

  6. Jean says:

    Do you have a particular curry powder you like for this dish? Just curious, as I’ve had some really nasty ones!

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