Indian roasted aubergine and cauliflower curry is so delicious, easy to make and great for meal prepping. Featuring a thick gravy, a fantastic (yet simple) spice blend and creamy coconut. We bet you’ll be reaching for seconds before you know it. For even more aubergine (or eggplant) goodness, you may like to serve it with aubergine bhaji and some easy 3 ingredient roti.
🌟 Why this recipe works
- Easy – aubergine and cauliflower curry is so easy to make – it’s ready in just 35 minutes. To be honest with you, we did try to make this dish as a one pot meal. However, we realised through trial and error that the aubergine was much better roasted in the oven for 10 minutes first. That way the curry only needs a short simmer time to thicken up the delicious gravy.
- Spice blend – this is an Indian inspired curry. While it’s not traditionally made (e.g. it’s not in the style of say a pasanda or jalfrezi), it features classic Indian spices that create a delicately spiced and warming aubergine curry.
- Oven roasted aubergine – to make sure the aubergine is well cooked, that the skin isn’t bitter and the fleshy part is lovely, creamy and soft, we roast the aubergine for ten minutes before adding it to the pan. It’s also important to chop the aubergine really small (1cm cubes) so that they cook extra quickly (see the photo below for a size guide).
- Super delicious – this is a wet curry with a thick gravy and it’s medium spicy. However, you can make it spicier if you like!
- Quick – it only takes 35 minutes to make. To speed up the cooking process, we recommend getting all of the ingredients ready in advance. That includes measuring out all of the spices into a ramekin to make it much quicker.
📋 Ingredient Notes
- Aubergine/eggplant – well, it wouldn’t be aubergine and cauliflower curry without the aubergine (AKA eggplant)! When roasting aubergine whole, it takes around 30 minutes. As we cut the eggplant into tiny cubes they don’t need long to roast, just around 10 minutes. Then they will simmer in the sauce and become beautifully soft and creamy.
- Cauliflower – this cruciferous vegetable is excellent at absorbing flavours and is often overlooked as a curry ingredient. It pairs so well with the spice mix and creates a contrasting texture to the soft aubergine, as the cauliflower adds a satisfying crunch, as it is served al dente.
- Passata – a lot of the time curries call for chopped tomatoes. It’s cool, we like canned chopped tomatoes to make curries too. However, we want a luxuriously smooth gravy in this curry, so we chose to use passata, and in fact, we do this more often than not. Don’t worry, chopped tomatoes can be used instead if you don’t have passata.
- Coconut Milk – to bring the creaminess! Aubergine and cauliflower curry is creamy, tomato-ey and spicy. The coconut adds a creamy edge that balances out the spice.
- Spices – we’ve put together a classic spice mix that incorporates chilli, cumin, garam masala, coriander and turmeric powders. Feel free to increase the chilli powder from one teaspoon to two, if you’d like it a little bit spicier.
Check out the recipe card at the bottom of this article for exact measurements to make this aubergine and cauliflower curry.
🔪 Step-by-step Instructions
This is a step-by-step overview with photos for this recipe. The full recipe, along with measurements and detailed instructions can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of this page.
1. Place the cubed aubergine on a roasting tray and roast for ten minutes in the oven on gas mark 5/190c. They should come out of the oven semi-cooked, it will cook further in the pan when simmering.
2. In a large pan or wok, optionally pour in a splash of oil or oil spray. Pop in the onions and sweat them down for 5 minutes.
3. Next, add in the garlic and ginger, stir well until fragrant, but be careful not to burn. It should take around one minute.
4. Sprinkle in the spices until fragrant, stir well again.
5. Pour in the passata and coconut milk, then bring to a simmer.
6. Add in the cauliflower and simmer for 10 minutes.
7. Finally, add the roasted aubergine, stir well and simmer for another 10 minutes.
👩🍳 Expert Tips
- Oven roasted aubergine – contrary to popular belief, there’s no need to salt aubergine to release water, it actually makes no difference to the finished dish. In this recipe, we roast and simmer the aubergine and it cooks for a total of around 20 minutes. They end up perfectly cooked, soft and creamy.
- Passata instead of tomatoes – as mentioned above, this aubergine and cauliflower curry has a thick and luxurious gravy, so we’ve used passata instead of canned tomatoes for this recipe. I just think it makes for a better end result!
- Get the right spice blend – stick to the quantities in the recipe that we have outlined. It makes for a perfectly balanced flavour. Trust us! We know about curry. We also recommend measuring out all of the spices into a small bowl or ramekin before you start cooking, that makes the cooking process easier.
- Size of aubergine – when we were testing this recipe, we actually didn’t chop the aubergine into small chunks to begin with; they were medium to large in size initially. We learnt that this meant they would need a lot longer simmering time. Therefore we realised this recipe needs the aubergine to be chopped into small chunks, but also an initial 10 minutes roasting time to help them to cook quicker in the oven.
- Make it spicier – feel free to make this aubergine curry a little bit spicier. You can double the amount of mild chilli powder used, alternatively you could use hot chilli powder or you could even use a finely chopped fresh chilli.
- Make ahead – aubergine and cauliflower curry can be made ahead of time. It can be kept in the fridge for 3 days in an airtight container. That means it’s a great dinner for meal prepping!
Like all vegetables, cauliflower is a carbohydrate and it contains very little protein. However, it is considered to be low carb so can also be used as an alternative to rice – in the form of cauliflower rice. It is also packed with vitamins and antioxidants.
Well, aubergine of course! In addition, cauliflower is a very versatile vegetable that goes with many different flavours and spices. It takes on flavour so well, like this Moroccan roasted cauliflower, in this red lentil curry and even in this vegan cauliflower cheese.
There’s no need to salt an aubergine before cooking. It doesn’t make any difference to the finished product. And we have that on good authority from a friend that is a chef, as well as from our own experience.
Aubergines or eggplants can be bitter because of both the skin and the flesh. The older an eggplant is, the more bitter the skin will become. In addition, the seeds also become bitter as they mature inside the vegetable. It’s important to use fresh aubergines for best results.
Yes, this curry freezes well for upto three months. It can also be made ahead and is great for meal prepping. Keep it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Be aware that the spices will develop overnight in the fridge.
🍛 What to serve with it
🇮🇳 More Indian inspired recipes to try
There are so many vegan Indian recipes to try, for more inspiration, check out our article 60+ Best Vegan Indian Dishes.
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Aubergine and Cauliflower Curry
- 1 onion – chopped
- 4 garlic cloves – crushed
- ½ tbsp ginger – finely chopped
- 400 g cauliflower – chopped into medium florets
- 400 g aubergine – AKA eggplant, chopped into 1cm cubes
- 1 tsp mild chilli powder
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 2 tsp coriander powder
- 2 tsp turmeric powder
- 400 ml coconut milk – or light coconut milk
- 400 ml passata
- Place the cubed aubergine on a roasting tray and roast for ten minutes in the oven on gas mark 5/190c. They should come out of the oven semi-cooked, it will cook further in the pan when simmering.400 g aubergine
- In a wok, optionally pour in a splash of oil or oil spray. Pop in the onions and sweat them down for 5 minutes.1 onion
- Next, add in the garlic and ginger, stir well until fragrant, but be careful not to burn. It should take around one minute.4 garlic cloves, ½ tbsp ginger
- Sprinkle in the spices until fragrant, stir well again.1 tsp mild chilli powder, 1 tsp cumin powder, 1 tsp garam masala, 2 tsp coriander powder, 2 tsp turmeric powder
- Pour in the passata and coconut milk, then bring to a simmer.400 ml passata, 400 ml coconut milk
- Add in the cauliflower and simmer for 10 minutes.400 g cauliflower
- Finally, add the roasted aubergine, stir well and simmer for another 10 minutes.
- Season to taste. Serve with Indian breads, side dishes like steamed rice, mushroom bhaji or vegan raita and chutney for a delicious Indian themed feast.
- Make sure to chop the aubergine into small, 1cm cubed pieces. This means that they will cook relatively quickly, and more importantly, evenly.
- Add more chilli powder if you would like it to be spicier.
- There’s no need to salt aubergines before cooking, this is an outdated method.
- The cauliflower will be al dente once the cooking time is up. This means there will be a satisfying bite to it. Feel free to cook it for an extra 5 minutes if you want it softer (although this isn’t necessary).
- The curry can be kept in the refrigerator for 3 days and can also be frozen for up to 3 months.