Eggplant Curry with Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce

Eggplant Curry with Cucumber Yogurt Sauce | vegetarian recipes | curry recipes | eggplant recipes | gluten-free recipes | perrysplate.com

I feel like I’ve been holding out on you with this one. I’ve made this three times in the past year and somehow never got decent photos until now. Every time I make it I’m surprised by the same three things:

1. How weird eggplant looks when it’s pan-fried.
2. How long it takes to bake. (I keep forgetting it’s almost an hour and don’t plan for it.)
3. How amazing it tastes, despite my doubts when I taste the sauce (before it bakes) and the weird resistance I feel using Parmesan cheese in an Indian dish.

Eggplant Curry with Cucumber Yogurt Sauce | vegetarian recipes | curry recipes | eggplant recipes | gluten-free recipes | perrysplate.com

I like to think of this as the Indian version of Eggplant Parmesan, which I love. You must, must serve this with the yogurt sauce, which compliments the curry amazingly well. We also served this with additional cucumber slices and some pita bread. I don’t think I would put it over rice because it would dilute the flavors too much.

Go grab a nice eggplant before they go out of season and give this a whirl. You can even make it a few days ahead of time and reheat it. (I’ve tried it, and it was just as great.)

Eggplant Curry with Cucumber Yogurt Sauce | vegetarian recipes | curry recipes | eggplant recipes | gluten-free recipes | perrysplate.com

Eggplant Curry with Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce

Eggplant Curry with Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce

Yield: Serves about 6.

Eggplant Curry with Cucumber Yogurt Sauce is my favorite vegetarian curry! It's a bit of work to put together, but completely worth the effort.

Ingredients

  • for the cucumber-yogurt sauce:
  • 3/4 cup whole-milk plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 a cucumber, peeled and grated (about 2/3 cup)
  • for the curry:
  • 2 medium eggplants (about 1 1/2 lbs total), cut crosswise into 1/3-inch slices
  • About 1/2 cup avocado or coconut oil for sauteing and frying
  • 1 cup gluten-free flour blend, almond flour, or tapioca starch
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 5 medium plum/Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoon good quality curry powder (or homemade, even), divided
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teasopons ground cardamom
  • pinch of saffron (optional, it's good with and without)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine or chicken/vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. For the yogurt sauce, mix all ingredients in a small bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and chill until ready to use. TIP: can be made a day ahead.
  2. Sprinkle eggplant slices lightly with salt. Let them stand for 30 minutes. (Important, don't skip this!)
  3. Meanwhile, heat 1 Tablespoon of oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, tomatoes, 1 1/2 Tablespoon curry powder and remaining spices. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook vegetables until soft, about 6 minutes. Add wine/broth; let some of the liquid cook off, another 3-5 minutes. (The original recipe said it would take two minutes until the mixture was "almost dry". Um, not the times I made it. Mine wasn't even "almost dry", but it wasn't as soupy as before.) Cool slightly.
  4. Puree with a stick/immersion blender or transfer to a blender and process until smooth. Strain. (If you want. I never strained it. I didn't want to dirty more dishes, and I think it turned out great.)
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place flour in a shallow bowl.
  6. Pat eggplant slices dry and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 tablespoon of curry powder. Coat both sides with flour.
  7. Heat 2-3 Tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Working in batches and adding more oil as needed, fry eggplant for about 2-3 minutes per side, until golden brown. Transfer to a baking sheet.
  8. Lightly oil an 11x7x2 baking dish. Place about 1/3 of eggplant on the bottom of the dish. Spread 1/3 of curry sauce over the eggplant, then sprinkle with 1/3 of the cheese. Repeat the layering two more times.
  9. Bake until bubbling around the edges and cheese is golden, 45-50 minutes. TIP: Can be made a day ahead. Simply cool, cover, and chill. To rewarm, uncover and cook it for about 30 minutes at 300 degrees F.
  10. Spread a little cucumber yogurt sauce on each plate and place a square of the eggplant curry on top of the sauce. Serve with sliced cucumber and pita bread, if desired.
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