I love this burnt aubergine (eggplant) curry, the spices mix beautifully with the smoky flavour. And while it is best and easiest to prepare burned aubergine on a gas hob, If you are like me and don't have a gas hob, I will show you another way!
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
🥘 Main ingredients
- aubergines (eggplants)
- red bell pepper
- red onion
- Spices; cumin seeds, nigella seeds, cumin powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, chili's
- spring onion (green onion)
Some of these ingredients are adjustable. Like; You can use tinned chopped tomatoes instead of fresh. Red chili's could be green chili's or use a chili paste if you cannot get them fresh.
For the decoration, use whatever has your fancy. I like the roasted pepper because it adds colour, and strong roasted flavours. You could use green leaves instead, for earthiness. Or sprinkle some toasted peanuts over it. Tons of options.
🍆 How to burn the aubergine
Have you wanted to try recipe's with burned aubergine, but you don't have a gas hob? Well there are other ways to get the beautiful smoky flavours of burned aubergine.
Of course you can get yourself a little camping gas burner, which I sometimes use for making zaalouk or dressings. In those recipes I would only use one aubergine. But in this aubergine curry I use minimum 2 (for 2 people). Therefore it is easier and quicker to find another way.
So, when I make this curry I roast the aubergines on a very high heat 250C / 482F. I roast them for almost an hour. Until I feel that the skin is completely blacked, and crispy. The flesh inside should have a texture almost as soft as a mash.
This way of roasting does not give the same amount of smoky flavour. So if you do have a gas hob, use the gas hob! But for those who don't, yes we can still enjoy these beautiful flavours.
💭 Top tips
One important feature in my ingredients are the nigella seeds. Nigella seeds have a natural smoky flavour. By adding nigella seeds to your dish you will lift up the smokiness.
But if you really want to get the maximum amount of smokiness in your curry. Just add some liquid smoke, smoked oil, or smoked salt to your dish, at the end. Is this cheating?? ... Do you want to rebuilt your kitchen and introduce a gas hob?? I guess I prefer to 'cheat' 😉
Prepare all your ingredients in advance, this makes cooking so much easier.
Serve with basmati rice and homemade chapati's
🍷 Wine pairing
This is a great dish for wine pairing. It can handle big, bold reds. So hop in your cellar, and get a goodie!
Think of a nice old chateau neuf de pape, or a saint joseph. But going over to the Italian side, try a Barolo or a Barbaresco with this dish.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do. It has become my new favourite! Add @haricoco1 if showing on instagram, so we can share our different approaches to this delicious curry.
- 2 Aubergines (eggplants) burned
- 1 red bell pepper (paprika) roasted
- 1 red onion roughly chopped
- 2 tomatoes de-seeded and chopped
- 6 garlic cloves thinly sliced
- 6 Tablespoons olive oil devided
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- ½ teaspoon nigella seeds
- 2 chilli peppers red or green
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 spring onion (green onion) finely chopped
- bunch fresh coriander Roughly chopped leaves
- ½ juice of lemon
- 1 Tablespoon sesame seeds roasted
- salt and pepper
- 1 Tablespoon smoked oil, or liquid smoke optional
- First prepare your roasted (burnt) aubergines and red bell pepper; Burn your aubergines in a very hot oven 250C / 480F Roast them for approx. 45 - 60 minutes. Until the outside skin is all black and crispy, while the inside flesh has gone completely soft. You can check this by pinching with your fingers. Once completely cooled down, Cut the aubergine open, and scrape out the flesh with a spoon. set aside (can keep in fridge for a day or two)
- The red bell pepper should be roasted in a colder oven 200C / 390F, until the skin is blackened all round. Leave to cool, wrapped in aluminium foil. Once cool, de-skin the pepper and discard the seeds. Slice the flesh in nice thin slices, and set aside (you can keep it in the fridge for 2-3 days)
- *Both roasting can be done in advance, even two days in advance. If you happen to have the oven on for something else. Than the making of the curry, is really quick.
- If using; Pre-toast sesame seeds, by toasting them in a hot dry pan, until lightly browned, and release a nice nutty smell. Transfer into a bowl and set aside.
- Heat 3 Tablespoons of olive oil (or other oil) in a pan. Let the oil get really hot. You can test this by adding one sesame seed to the pan, and the seed should immediately sizzle, and preferably open. When you reach this heat, add all the sesame seeds, stir well through the oil, and add the nigella seeds. Straight after add the chopped red onion (with a little pinch of salt), and stir well.
- After approx. 5 minutes add the sliced garlic and all the spices. Stir well so the flavours release. Then stir in the chopped tomato, turn the heat to medium and put the lid on the pan.
- After approx. 5 - 8 minutes, Stir in the aubergine, let this lightly simmer for another 10 minutes with the lid on.
- Now the last seasoning starts; Add salt and pepper to your liking. And add the lemon juice. Make sure to taste, and add more if required.
- If using; add a little bit of liquid smoke, smoky oil or smoked salt. To get a more smoky flavour.
- At last, stir in the chopped spring onions (so they stay nice and crunchy, giving texture to the dish). Serve in a bowl or on a plate, decorate with 2 or 3 slices of roasted red pepper, chopped coriander leaves, and some toasted sesame seeds (optional).
- Great to serve with chapati and rice!