Tomato-Chickpea Curry in Eggplant Shells

Total Time
Prep 15 mins
Cook 45 mins

A lovely dish that will leave your tastebuds begging for more! It has just the right amount of heat without being overpowering. Make sure to test before salting when making the filling, since there is a lot of salt involved when roasting the eggplant. This recipe came from The New Vegan Cookbook.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Set the rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 450°F Lightly oil one or two roasting pans large enough to hold the eggplant halves in one layer. Add 1/8 inch of water.
  2. Leaving the stem intact, halve the eggplants lengthwise. Use the tip of a paring knife to score the flesh side deeply in a crisscross pattern. Brush the cut side with oil, season with salt and pepper, and set flesh side down in the roasting pans. Brush the skins with oil.
  3. Roast until the eggplants are tender and easily pierced with the tip of a paring kife, 18 to 25 minutes. (Check after 10 minutes and add more water, if needed.) When the eggplants are cool enough to handle, use a paring or grapefruit knife to create a 1/2-inch "wall" all around, and then scoop out the flesh. Coarsely chop the flesh (including seeds) and set aside. Lightly season the eggplant shells with salt and pepper, and reserve them in a warm place.
  4. To prepare the filling, first toast the mustard seeds: Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large, heavy saucepan over high heat. Stir in the mustard seeds, cover the pot, and leave the heat turned to high. Listen carefully: as soon as you hear the mustard seeds begin to pop against the lid, turn off the heat (remove to a cool burner if using an electric stove), and wait for the popping to subside. Most of the seeds should now be gray.
  5. Stir the onions into the mustard seeds and cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until the onions start to brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Add a bit more oil during this time if the onions are sticking. Stir in the curry powder and cook for 10 seconds. Then add the tomatoes, chickpeas, coconut, reserved eggplant flesh, salt, and cayenne to taste. Cover and simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the chickpeas develop a curried flavor, about 15 minutes. During this time, add more curry and salt, if needed, and stir in a few tablespoons of water if the mixture becomes dry.
  6. Mound the filling into the eggplants shells. (If you have a little extra filling, enjoy a snack.) Garnish with a sprinkling of cilantro, if you wish, and serve immediately.


Most Helpful

I'm so sorry not to rate this higher, but it didn't work out very well for me. I liked the idea of serving in the eggplant shell, but it was too soft to hold up....that wasn't a big deal though. I use all of these ingredients very often which is what drew me to trying this, however I missed that usual addition of garlic & ginger that you normally see in a curry. The biggest thing for me was the amount of small bits to chew through in the finished product with so many mustard seeds, eggplant seeds and the dried coconut. So I'd agree with Gandalf the White about maybe leaving the coconut out next time. Of course it's all personal preference...I think with a few tweaks I'd find this one a keeper too.

magpie diner April 16, 2010

Since the ingredients in this recipe remind me of one of my favorite Indian dishes, I selected it for the Fall contest ... and I wasn't disappointed. There is a little bit of work: it's a two step recipe in which the eggplant is roasted, the flesh removed and made into a filling, and the eggplant shells then filled and used to serve the dish. Can be as elegant or as informal as you like. I'm not a coconut fan and would leave it out next time, but my kids both loved it with coconut and would definitely vote to keep it. They both had seconds -- that's a real vote!! I made the recipe exactly as written, using a commercially prepared mild curry powder. Clearly, once you've made it, you can adjust the spices to your own taste and tolerance. As made, a little heat was noticeable, but no one had any discomfort over the spiciness of the dish. The author clearly points out that the chef needs to monitor the saltiness of the eggplant in the production. If you use the small oriental eggplant (eg, Japanese egglant or the Asian round eggplant), you may not need to use salt to draw out the water from the eggplant. Definitely a keeper recipe. Can be made on a weeknight after work. Thanks, Vegan4TheWin, for sharing this with us! Made for PAC Fall 2008. Photos pending.

Gandalf The White October 23, 2008

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