I’ve recently found myself talking and thinking a lot about spices, Asian and Indian cuisine. For a long time I wouldn’t really enjoy an Indian takeaway as so often they are loaded with a lot of excess oil and are highly Westernised version of the authentic Indian cuisine that it is replicating. But then since turning vegan a couple of years ago, I realised just how versatile Indian cuisine is, and how plant-based it really can be. A lot of Indian dishes focus on vegetables – in fact most of the side dishes would be naturally vegan – and then there are lovely dishes like dahl, chana masala and vegetable curries.
And there is so much more to Indian cuisine but I’ll save that for another day.
For now, I want to highlight how realising that Indian cuisine is very vegan-friendly has meant I can take part in family gatherings where we all want to order a takeaway and I can even have plenty of options. The vegan dishes don’t stick out awkwardly from the other meals and it feels great to be able to share in the experience.
That said, I would much rather make my own from scratch because I do just love cooking. I love the smells, the act of chopping, frying and creating something wonderful in the kitchen and being able to feed a family.
All of this acted as inspiration for this dish: Sticky Asian Aubergines with Coconut Rice and Curried Chickpeas. It’s a fusion of cuisines: I’ve got Indian and Asian influences as well as my British food blogger take on them both. I’ve turned back to my coconut rice which adds a wonderful creaminess and extra dimension to the rice – and it requires no extra effort!
The sticky aubergines are a particularly favourite way of mine to eat aubergine. Chopped into batons and roasted with a speedy marinade of miso paste, coconut oil, coconut honey (or syrup), lime juice and coconut aminos (or tamari soy sauce) for a rich umami flavour. The aubergine batons turn wonderfully sticky and tender in the oven and are irresistible!
The third component to my vegan, healthy and quick dinner are the curried chickpeas. The key is to really saute the onion and red pepper to allow them to soften and caramelise and add a flavour bomb of spices: garam masala, turmeric, curry powder and lots of black pepper. It packs so much flavour in such a short amount of time.
I hope you’ll love my fusion dish of Sticky Asian Aubergines with Coconut Rice and Curried Chickpeas – it’s naturally vegan, gluten-free and healthy while being a real crowd pleaser. You can easily serve all these dishes separately to allow people to help themselves and make their own plates. It’s packed with flavour, rich and warming spices and lots of fibre, vegetables and protein.
If you are looking for more savoury recipes, how about my Chickpea Chilli with Guacamole, Black Rice or Lentil Mediterranean Salad and Sicilian Caponata with Rosemary Roasted New Potatoes.
Sticky Asian Aubergines with Coconut Rice and Curried Chickpeas
Deliciously sticky roasted Asian aubergine chunks served with coconut milk infused rice and a simple tomato-based chickpea curry.
- For the aubergine:
- 1 aubergine, in batons
- 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
- 1 tsp miso paste
- 1 tbsp coconut honey
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 1 tbsp coconut aminos or tamari soy sauce
- For the rice:
- 150g rice (3/4 cup)
- 30g coconut milk powder*
- 540ml water (2 ¼ cup)*
- For the curry:
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 white onion, thinly sliced
- 1 red pepper, small diced
- 3 large garlic cloves crushed
- 2 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp medium curry powder
- ½ tsp turmeric
- 1 tin chickpeas, drained
- 200g tomato puree or passata
1. Preheat the oven to 170 Fan/190*C. Cut the aubergine into batons and toss with the coconut oil, miso paste, honey, lime juice and coconut aminos with some black pepper and roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes until sticky and tender.
2. Meanwhile, stir the coconut milk powder with 1 tbsp of the measured water to a paste and add to the saucepan with the rice and remaining water. Cook according to packet instructions.
3. While the rice and aubergine cook, prepare the curried chickpeas. Heat 1 tbsp coconut oil in a frying pan and add the onion and pepper and sauté for 10 minutes until really soft and tender. Add in all the spices and some black pepper and fry for a minute until smelling fragrant. Add the chickpeas and tomato puree to the frying pan and cook for 5-10 minutes until warmed through and the sauce is thick.
4. Serve the curried chickpeas alongside the cooked coconut rice, sticky aubergine and top with some fresh coriander, sesame seeds and extra black pepper.
*you can replace the coconut milk powder and water with the same volume of coconut milk.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts on my Sticky Asian Aubergines with Coconut Rice and Curried Chickpeas so please do leave them below. I’m @nourishing.amy on Instagram and use the hashtag #nourishingamy. I’m also on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest – please say hello!
With curry fusion love x