Egg, aubergine and chickpea curry

Egg, aubergine and chickpea curry

Mid week dinners. The ones where you’ve been out of the house for 12 hours, are dog tired and the motivation to cook is low. They can sometimes feel like a real drag. The antidote – for me at least – is to do something a little different that doesn’t take an age to make. Hurrah for curry! Big flavours, healthy and only an hour from picking up the kitchen knife to tucking in.

If I’m making South Asian food at the weekend I’ll usually go all out and fry poppadoms, make raita, cachamber and at least two or three different curries, dal, the works. But on a Monday night I just can’t be bothered. So it’s plain old curry and rice.

However, as plain old curries go, this one’s a beauty. So long as you don’t pander to the aubergine’s appetite for oil (and they’re hungry buggers) it’s pretty healthy. And the aubergine-chickpea-tomato combo is a culinary everyman, providing a solid base with which to experiment.

You could forgo the blending, garam masala and fennel and add cinnamon, coriander seeds, ground ginger afor a more North African feel. Or why not strike out in a completely different direction with smokey paprika, cayenne, cumin, some celery, carrots and okra and go all Creole on its ass?

But what I wanted was properly warming, comforting and yet punchy flavours. The sort that leave a lingering warmth in your gullet and take your brain off to somewhere hot and dusty, away from the everyday commute. And that’s exactly what a good curry does.

It helps I have a rice steamer because it means I can just chuck the rice in, add the water and switch it as soon as I start frying the paste. It then just switches off when the rice is ready and keeps it warm. But so long as you’re organised you should be able to cook it in a pan alongside the curry.

Egg, aubergine and chickpea curry
Serves 3-4, but scales well if you have a big enough pan

2 small onions – chopped
1 small bunch of coriander – leaves and stalks separated and roughly chopped
2 medium green chillies – deseeded and chopped
1 thumb of ginger – peeled and diced
1 tblsp garam marsala
1 tin chickpeas
1 tin cherry tomatoes (or regular chopped ones)
1 aubergine – quartered lengthways and chopped into 2cm pieces
1 tsp tomato puree
Half tsp each of cumin, mustard and fennel seeds
4-6 hard boiled eggs – shelled
30 curry leaves (optional)
Sunflower, groundnut or rapeseed oil

Put the onion, garlic, chilli, coriander stalks and garam marsala in the blender, add a little oil and blend to a thick paste.

Put a little oil into a wide based pan and when it’s hot add the mustard, cumin and fennel seds. When they start to pop, add the paste and stir-fry before chucking in the aubergine. Stir and fry until the aubergine starts to turn brown. I boil the eggs at this point.

Add the tin of tomatoes and the tomato paste then mix it all together. Simmer for 15 minutes, giving the pan a regular stir.

Mix in the chickpeas, the curry leaves and some salt and pepper and simmer for another 15 minutes. Add a little water if it dries out. Keep stirring every couple of minutes. Add the eggs, stir and cook gently fir a couple if minutes. Serve over rice and garnish with the coriander leaves.

12 Responses to “Egg, aubergine and chickpea curry”

  1. Food Urchin

    I always used to boak at the idea of egg curry but then Kavey of Kavey Eats urged me to try it, and yes, bloody gorgeous it is too. Double danger on the wind front though. Great recipe Aaron.

  2. Lesley

    Sounds great. I always cook sliced aubergine in the oven for 15 mins, smeared with a little oil, before adding it to the dish, to keep the fat content down.

  3. Matt

    I got a very similar recipe (w/o the eggs) from a vegan cookbook and make it regularly. It’s a good one for a slow cooker.
    Lovely curry.

  4. Sharmila

    I love egg curry, and it’s also a midweek mainstay for us. I like to cook it with spinach, but there is also a lovely version I sometimes make with coconut milk, which takes it into a totally different direction.

  5. Vicky @ Ursine Cuisine

    I love egg curry, although I was a bit like Food Urchin and wasn’t entirely sure about it. I blogged one last month using lentils and yogurt – egg curries are always so tasty and substantial. Will definitely be making this for a mid-week supper. Lovely.

  6. Naaz

    nice one – looks delicious and very appetising. It was always my mum’s Thursday night curry – all the meat and fish from weekend had been eaten by then so it was egg curry, mashed potato (but with onions melted down in ghee and cooked with dried red chilli), dal and rice for dinner as i watched TOTP! On the chickpea and egg theme, have you ever had chotpoti? Bengali streetfood – chickpeas cooked with potatoes in a spicy tamarind sauce and garnished with chopped up hardboiled eggs and other odds and ends – more snacky but I always make it for parties. Goes down a treat! Happy to have been of help!

  7. The Grubworm

    @FoodUrchin – thanks, this was my first time making egg curry too. No idea why as I have been making curried scrambled and baked eggs for a while now. And I have to agree, it’s a great combo (and perfect for vegetarian friends).

    @Lesley – that’s a really good idea, and one I will be utilising in the future!

    @Matt – I’ve never thought about using a slow cooker for curry, it’s a really good idea. Do the veggies keep their shape or does everything fall apart?

    @Sharmilla – I did think about coconut milk. But wasn’t sure whether it would work. Good to know that it will. Next time I’m going to go down that route. I’m also thinking of a saag paneer with egg as well… All these great new ideas, thanks!

    @Vicky – oooo, lentils and yoghurt and egg. I’m going to look that up ASAP, they’re three of my favourite ingredients.

    @Naaz – Thanks for the twitter advice, it sent me haring off in the right direction for sure. Egg curry is already a new fave, and I wouldn’t have thought about adding aubergine if you hadn’t mentioned it. I’ve never tried chotpoti, but it sounds right up my street. I’ll google some recipes unles you have a good link?

  8. Kavey

    Urge you to try it? I bloomin’ cooked it for you, darling! And yeah, it does come with a wee unexpected windy gift, doesn’t it? I love it though!

  9. Kavey

    PS my comment was directed to FoodUrchin as, for some weird reason, his was only comment showing when I started typing mine. I think I opened the windows from my RSS feed before I went into town and just came back to it now and didn’t refresh. :-)

  10. The Grubworm

    @kavey Heh! No worries, I figured that ;) Eggs do make a bloonin’ great curry though. I now have so many more ideas and combos to try out.

  11. Lizzie

    I’ve never had an egg curry. Really really. Now I want one, especially if it has aubergine in it.

  12. The Grubworm

    @Lizzie FACT: aubergine makes EVERYTHING taste better. It was my first time too, now my mind is filling with all sorts of eggy curry possibilities.

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