Tomato and Aubergine Curry (Vegan!)

Tomato and aubergine curry pictured top down in a purple casserole dish.

I’ve got a delicious Tomato and Aubergine Curry for you guys today! It’s not an at home version of a British takeaway classic like my Better Than Takeaway Chicken Passanda, nore is it one of those curries with lots of slow cooking and layers of spices like my Lamb & Green Chilli Curry. Instead this is a very quick, very speedy vegan curry I like to serve over a bowl full of nutty brown rice whenever I need to rustle up a quick supper (this recipe halves beautifully for just me, just either use a smaller, half tin size tin of tomatoes, or freeze the other half until next time!)

Vegan Tomato & Aubergine Curry
Vegan Tomato and Aubergine Curry

I don’t think I’ve talked about Leon’s latest cookbook, Happy Curries (ad) yet. They gifted me a copy when it came out last October, and more so than any other of my Indian or Asian cookbooks it is the one curry book I’ve reached for it when I want to guarantee delicious results. Nothing in here has not pleased the crowd I’m feeding, and I love how quick, easy and accessible all of the recipes are, almost all of them fitting on one page, in spite of complex lists of spices and ingredients. Once you’ve made this curry and seen how easy and delicious it is, I have to point you towards the Goan-style Chicken Cafreal which was a literal crowd pleaser on New Years Eve last year alongside this simple chicken curry I love to make for a crowd, and the Rajma kidney bean curry, which are already part of my main rotation from the book.

This curry is barely adapted from this book (I leave the aubergines seeds in to cut down on food waste, and I find the cooking time varies wildly depending on what pan you’re using) but I thought sharing this Tomato and Aubergine Curry would be the perfect excuse to share it with you all, and to tell you to go and buy a copy!

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Tomato and aubergine curry pictured top down in a purple casserole dish.

Vegan Tomato & Aubergine Curry

  • Author: Rachel Phipps
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 2
  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: Indian


A super quick, super easy vegan tomato and aubergine curry adapted from Leon’s Happy Curries. Serve alongside nutty boiled brown rice. 


  • 1 tbsp light oil
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • thumb sized piece fresh ginger
  • 1 green chilli (optional)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground tumeric
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder (mild or spicy, depending on your preference) 
  • 2 aubergines
  • 1 x 400g (14 oz) tin chopped tomatoes
  • freshly ground sea salt
  • pinch golden caster sugar
  • roughly chopped fresh coriander (optional, to serve)


  1. Heat the oil in the bottom of a large, heavy bottomed, lidded saucepan or casserole over a medium high heat. Grate the garlic and the ginger (I have this Microplane zester #ad which I also use for citrus and parmesan, and I’ll never struggle to grate ginger / buy a garlic crusher every again) and add them to the pan, along with the chilli finely chopped (and deseeded if you like) if using. Gently fry for a couple of minutes until the garlic and ginger are aromatic, but not yet starting to brown. 
  2. Add the spices to the pan and fry for another minute or so until they’re toasted and aromatic.
  3. Cut the rough tops off of the aubergines and cut each into fingers roughly 2cm wide. Add the aubergine to the pan along with the tinned tomatoes (wash out the can with 1/4 tin of water to catch every last drop of tomato juice and add that to the pan too), a generous amount of salt and a pinch of golden caster sugar. 
  4. Stir everything well until the aubergines are well coated in the sauce. Bring the mixture to a simmer and clap on the lid, leaving everything to bubble away for 15 minutes.
  5. The aubergines should have started to collapse into the sauce and become soft. If not, cook with the lid on for a further 5 minutes. Allow to cook for a further 10 minutes with the lid off until the sauce has thickened and the aubergines are totally soft. Add a little more salt, if needed before serving sprinkled with fresh coriander, and with your choice of brown rice or warm, fluffy naan.