An aubergine and lentil curry cooked in the slow cooker for all the flavour and none of the hassle – and no bitterness.
Do you eat a lot of aubergine? It was never something I ate a lot of growing up – just the odd moussaka. When I started trying to cook it as a student I treated it pretty much like courgette – frying, grilling or roasting it fairly quickly. However, where courgette quickly turns to slime if overcooked, my aubergine remained stubbornly tough and bitter.
Over time I’ve learned that aubergine is much tougher than it looks, and prefers a longer cooking time to really bring out that sweetness, however you choose to cook it. Why I didn’t try it in the slow cooker sooner I’ll never know, but I’ll certainly be doing it again. It was melted and sweet, infused with yummy spices, and not slimy.
Aubergine (egg plant) is widely used in Indian cooking. It has a meaty texture and absorbs flavours readily – all things that make it perfect for a curry. Serve this hearty aubergine and lentil curry with rice, chapatis or just bread to take your aubergines to a new level. I think it would be just as nice if you swapped the spices for garlic, stirred in some basil at the end, and served with fresh bread for a Mediterranean style feast.
In India it’s traditional to serve a vegetable curry alongside a lentil curry such as a dal and that’s how we often eat Indian food in our house, but I love this aubergine and lentil curry because the lentils are integrated into the main dish – it’s a one pot curry. I can’t claim it’s authentic Indian though – just a hearty warming meal with Indian inspiration. With no added fat, this is the perfect healthy winter warmer.
Edited and re-photographed from the original article published on 12 April 2016
An easy, low fat slow cooker curry. This vegan dish cooks the aubergine to perfect sweetness.
- 6 aubergine
- 8 oz lentils
- 2 tins of chopped tomatoes
- 2 tsp coriander
- 2 tsp turmeric
- 2 tsp cumin
- 2 tsp cornflour/cornstarch
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1.5 tsp chilli paste
- Cut the aubergines into quarter slices and place it in the slow cooker, along with the lentils.
- Open the tins of tomatoes and add them to the slow cooker.
- Boil the kettle. Mix the spices, chilli paste and cornflour together with a little of the water of the water from the kettle to form a paste.
Mix the ingredients in the slow cooker well, and stir in the curry paste thoroughly. Add 600 ml freshly boiled water from the kettle, and cook on medium for 6 hours or on low for 8 hours.