Aubergine and Onion Masala (a vegan eggplant crock-pot curry recipe)

Aubergine and Onion Masala (a vegan eggplant crock-pot curry recipe)


I don't make many curries. Well actually that's not true, I make dal nearly every week, but I don't often make any other curries or Indian side dishes. We used to eat a lot more Indian food, but Cooper isn't keen (although he loves dal) and Graham never seems to be in the mood for curry. Today I made this Aubergine and Onion Masala and it must have been the smell as Graham was tempted by it and thought it tasted great. Cooper had a snack before heading out to Boys Brigade so he hasn't tried it yet, but I have some dal at the ready just in case.

You can't win them all.



Aubergine and Onion Masala (a vegan eggplant crock-pot curry recipe)

Oh and by the way, that's mango chutney in the little bowl. It's a really rich colour. I didn't want you to think I serve ketchup with curry. Ugh! I DO NOT SERVE KETCHUP WITH MY CURRY! Good, glad we cleared that up.

I made this masala curry in my Crockpot slow cooker. It was easy!

You know how I love easy!

Aubergine and Onion Masala (a vegan eggplant crock-pot curry recipe)

CROCKTOBER


You may not know it but October is also #Crocktober. A month long celebration of slow cooking and sharing easy slow cooker recipes. Slow cooker meals are great for sticking on before work or at night for a slow cook while you sleep and shorter program after work so the slow cooker does the work while you relax or see to that pesky homework with your children.

This month I've partnered with Crock-Pot to support slow cooking. Chef Neil Rankin is also involved with the campaign and this is one of his recipes I'm sharing.

Chef's aren't always great at making a recipe simple, so I'll be rewriting the method a little. The original recipe called for fresh fenugreek which I couldn't find, so I used dried fenugreek. I made the recipe vegan, but you're welcome to use butter and single cream if you don't follow a vegan diet and it's easier.

crock-pot

Basic Slow Cooker


I had a retro looking slow cooker which was stylish and was a useful bit of kit, but it was ceramic and heavy. I was waiting for that day when I'd drop and smash it. Yes, I am that clumsy! It two settings, one for 6 hours and one for 8 hours, but that was it. 

Crock-Pot


The crock-pot is super light and has three settings. Low, high and a keep warm function.

I have the 4.5L DuraCeramic Crock-Pot Slow Cooker which is suitable for meals for four. The multi-purpose aluminium pot can be used on all hob types, it's easy to clean and free from PFOA and PTFE non-stick chemicals.

Crock-pot is the original slow cooker. Launched in North America in 1971 and is the leading slow cooker brand.


Aubergine and Onion Masala (a vegan eggplant crock-pot curry recipe)


Curry Sauce



I was sceptical about this curry as it isn't cooked in the sauce, it's started off in the inner aluminium dish of the Crock-Pot with spices then popped it back in the slow cooker for a couple of hours. The sauce is actually made at the end when you add dairy free spread (or butter) and soya cream (or single cream).

The onions and aubergine were tender, the spices had a good warmth and it wasn't swimming in sauce. So more like a traditional Indian curry rather than those presented to us in Indian takeaways, which are made for the British palate and always swimming in sauce.


How to Make Rice


I cheated and used microwave rice, but you can make your own. The rule of thumb is add double the quantity of water to rice. Pour the rice into a pot, pour over the water, bring to the boil, give one good stir, then turn off the heat, cover and leave to cook. Don't be tempted to keep stirring. You will end up with claggy rice. Not nice at all. Once it's cooked, fluff it up with a fork.

Aubergine and Onion Masala (a vegan eggplant crock-pot curry recipe)






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Aubergine and Onion Masala Recipe
Aubergine and Onion Masala
A masala spiced curry. This Masala is made with aubergine (eggplant) and onion in a light creamy sauce. It's made in a slow cooker, but could be made in a pot on the hob too.

Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 onions, sliced
  • 2 aubergines (eggplant), cut into cubes
  • 3 medium salad tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp ginger paste
  • 1 tsp green chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ground fenugreek
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 6 almonds whizzed up with 50 ml water, a little more if it needs it
  • 30g dairy-free spread (or butter)
  • 30 ml soya cream
  • a handful of fresh coriander, chopped
  • a good grinding of black pepper

Instructions

1. In the inner aluminium dish of the Crock-Pot, saute the onion in the olive oil for a few minutes, then add the spices and stir well. 2. Pour in the aubergine, tomato and almond water and warm through. 3. Set your slow cooker to high, pour in the ingredients and leave to cook for 2-3 hours until the flavours are intense and the vegetables are soft.4. Add the dairy-free spread, cream and fresh coriander and stir to make a sauce. Seasoning with black pepper. 5. Serve with rice and mango chutney.6. Enjoy! >Notes: If you don't have a slow cooker, saute the onion with the spices until soft, then add a little more water when you add the almond water and veg and cook gently with a lid on. It won't take nearly as long, probably just half an hour. Add the dairy-free spread, soya cream and coriander at the end, the same as the slow cooker version. Just check it more often to make sure it doesn't start to catch on the base of the pan. The flavour might not be as rich.

Details

Total time:
Nutrition facts per 4 servings:
321 calories
3.2 grams saturated fat
Yield:  Serves 4



Follow the conversation with #Crocktober.


Disclosure: I developed this recipe for Crock-Pot UK. I was not required to write a positive review and any opinions are my own.

23 comments

  1. Wow this really sounds so yummy.. I am an eggplant fan and am loving this.

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  2. so down with crocktober and loving this easy, healthy dish!!!!

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    Replies
    1. Haha yes, it's definitely the season for crock pots and thank you :)

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  3. I love new ways to enjoy a vegetarian dinner. I am loving this one!

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  4. This looks so flavorful! And perfect for me as I have lots of eggplants still in my garden. I'm all about the slow cooker this time of year!

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    Replies
    1. This is perfectly timed then. I do hope you try this in your slow cooker with some of your homegrown eggplants (aubergines).

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  5. I always forget about using the slow cooker for Indian curries, even though my mum has adapted many of her recipes to work well in one. Love aubergine in curries so much.

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    Replies
    1. I bet yo have an amazing bank of recipes from your mum Kavey. Great to know she has updated so many of them for the slow cooker too. Curries work really well in the slow cooker.

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  6. Not in the mood for a curry? Sorry, I don't understand! :-p

    I must admit, I thought it was tomato chutney... not ketchup though! Ha ha!

    Outside India, I've never seen fresh fenugreek leaves (methi) anywhere but specialist Indian supermarkets. It's a shame because the fresh ones are so gorgeous, and fill the kitchen with such a lovely aroma. Still, at least we can dried ones in Europe!

    BTW, as with coriander, the leaves taste quite a bit different to the seeds (ground or whole), so if you can find them, I definitely recommend you give them a try!

    Adding the butter and cream (for example) at the end of cooking to make a gravy is how food in India is cooked too. In Indian restaurants in Britain, the basic gravy is made in advance, in huge stockpots, and then once the meat or veggies are cooked, the gravy is added, along with any additional flavourings which may be needed. In Thailand, however, it's the other way around because you cook the curry paste first, thin it out, add the veggies etc., then simmer. First time I ever made a Thai curry, I use the Indian method of cooking... it didn't turn out very well! Ha ha!

    I'm curious now, about cooking a curry in a slow cooker. Definitely something to try!

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    Replies
    1. Haha yes I don't get it either.

      Yes you are right about the fenugreek leaves. I just didn't have time to search them down, but the ground fenugreek is still a good option.

      I use a lot of fresh coriander and I agree you get a totally different flavour from the ground and the fresh and now you mention that Indian curries and how the sauce is pulled together at the end, I had heard that before, but totally forgot. I have a fabulous indian cookbook actually. I just don't get much chance to cook from it.

      Let me know if you try a slow cooker curry and what you think.

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  7. Yum! I love aubergine/eggplant in curries. It soaks up all the flavours so well. It's so handy that you can cook it in a slow cooker too. How great that the one you have has an aluminum insert so it can be used on the hob. I've not seen a slow cooker like that before!

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    Replies
    1. It really soaks up the flavours andcyes the insert is handy although I used a frying pan this time.

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  8. Love curry and love my slow cooker, I often use mine for making curry. Aubergine and Onion Masala looks amazing, I'll be giving this one a go.

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    Replies
    1. I will be using mine more now autumn is here. I hope you enjoy it Jan.

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  9. Love the smoky taste of aubergine but never think to use it in a curry, this looks really tasty. I use my slow cooker all the time especially in the autumn x

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    Replies
    1. I don't use aubergine nearly enough in dishes. I hope you give this one a try.

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  10. Oh how delicious does this sound?! I'm a huge fan of Indian food so this curry is right up my street! :D I need to get a slow cooker. It would make my life so much easier!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks and yes it's a handy piece of kit to have. You just have to get into the habit of using it.

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  11. Curry and in the slow cooker? You can't go wrong with that meal!

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I love reading comments, so thank you for taking the time to leave one. Unfortunately, I'm bombarded with spam, so I've turned on comment moderation. I'll publish your comments as soon as I can and respond to them. Don't panic, they will disappear when you hit publish. Jac x

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