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Baingan Cholay Masala: Aubergine and chickpea curry

11 October 2012

Indian cooking uses two kinds of chickpeas - a small, dark variety and the larger, light-coloured one that we are familiar with in the West. Chickpeas are rich in carbohydrates, protein and zinc. This delicious Indian curry is quick, easy and super healthy too.

Chickpea curry in a bowl on a wooden table
This nutritious vegetarian curry is easy and quick to make

Preparation time

10 minutes

Cooking time

30 minutes




  • 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • 2 medium onions, finely sliced
  • 2 teaspoons ginger-garlic paste (see below)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato purée
  • 1 green chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 medium aubergine, cut into 2.5cm cubes
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • Salt, to taste
  • 200g tinned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh coriander leaves, plus extra to garnish


  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a heavy-based saucepan and fry the onions over a high heat until soft – about 5 minutes.
  • Add the ginger-garlic paste and tomato puree and fry until mushy. Add the chilli.
  • Cool slightly, and then transfer the mixture to a blender and blitz to a smooth puree with a few tablespoons water, if necessary.
  • Wipe out the pan and use it to heat the remaining tablespoon oil. Add the aubergine and powdered spices and stir-fry for 1 minute to coat the aubergine in the oil and spices.
  • Add the mixture from the blender and season with salt.
  • Pour in 100ml water and bring to the boil, stirring all the time.
  • Add the chickpeas, and then reduce the heat, cover with a lid and cook for about 15 minutes, or until the aubergine is tender.
  • Garnish with fresh coriander.

Ginger-garlic paste

  • To make ginger-garlic paste, you will need one part fresh root ginger to one and a half parts garlic.
  • Never peel ginger because the medicinal part lies just beneath the skin - simply scrape it gently with a knife.
  • Peel and roughly chop the garlic cloves and combine them with the ginger in a blender.
  • Blitz to make a smooth puree with a few tablespoons of water.

Extracted from: Healthy Indian In Minutes Monisha Bharadwaj (Kyle Cathie, £14.99) with photography by Georgia Glynn-Smith.


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