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If you like a hearty curry that’s big on fillings and lighter on the soupy liquids — this one’s for you. A flavour-bomb that delights the senses, you can almost taste this dish by its aromas before you even take a bite.    

You will need

Serves 4

  • 8 Sicilian eggplants or 5 medium-regular size
  • 6 tablespoons mustard oil
  • 1 tablespoon black mustard seeds (yellow will do)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon nigella seeds
  • 2 long dried red chillies
  • 3 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 10 curry leaves
  • 4 tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon caster sugar
  • 1 tin chickpeas
  • Salt to taste

To serve:

  • Rice or naan bread

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10 mins to prep

15 mins to cook

  1. Step 1

    Cut the eggplant into 1–inch cubes and in a large heavy-based pan, place 3 tablespoons of the mustard oil in and bring it to smoke point. Add the eggplant and fry for 5–6 minutes, or until browned. Remove from the pan and set aside over kitchen paper or baking paper.

  2. Step 2

    Add the remaining oil to the pan and then black mustard seeds, along with cumin seeds, fennel seeds, nigella seeds and dried chillies. Cook for a few seconds. Add the onion and garlic; if your pan is too hot, add a splash of water to prevent the spices from burning. Fry for a few minutes until the onion begins to colour around the edges.

  3. Step 3

    Add the curry leaves and cook for 10 seconds before adding the tomatoes; then fry for about 7 minutes on high heat (a little longer if you prefer to cook on lower heat) until the tomatoes are nicely broken down, a bit jammy. Add the sugar and cook out for a minute before re-introducing the eggplant. Add the chickpeas with 50 ml of water, stir to combine, and cover with a lid to cook for a further 5 minutes. Season with salt to taste.

  4. Step 4

    Serve with naan or rice — or both! (Can serve up to 8 people if you prefer a smaller portion of curry alongside large serve of rice)

Recipe: Simon Toohey

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