Indian Spiced Eggplant from a Slow Cooker

For many years, I assumed the only thing a slow cooker was good for was pot roast and maybe a few potatoes and carrots. Don’t be fooled! If you don’t currently use a slow cooker, you can pick one up for a great price and experience for yourself how nice it is to go to bed with the components of a meal, then wake up to a cooked meal. 

As if kitchen elves sneak in at night and make a wholesome dinner while you’re sleeping.

 Thankfully for us, there are many plant-based recipes online if you still have trouble thinking of using a slow cooker to make grains, veggies and beans. Several books are on the market too, and that’s where this recipe comes from.  The Vegan Slow Cooker by Kathy Hester is packed with 150 healthful – and creative – recipes. Marmalade, brownies, pumpkin ginger bread, tofu red curry, etc… YUM.

This recipe is straight from the book (with the addition of extra chili powder, and some smoked paprika). This is great served over rice or a grain of choice.

SLOW COOKER EGGPLANT CURRY (Baigan Bharta)

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp grated ginger
  • 4-5 cups thickly chopped eggplant OR 8-10 baby eggplants with an “x” cut halfway through one end
  • 1 cup water
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • chili powder to taste
  • *I added some smoked paprika, about 1 tsp

BEFORE YOU GO TO BED/PREPARATION:

Heat the oil in a pan and sautee onions until translucent, 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and sautee another 2 minutes. Mix water with dried spices in a bowl. Combine the onion, garlic, ginger, spice mixture and eggplant and transfer to an airtight container. Put in the fridge overnight.

Cut "x"'s through the baby eggplant, halfway down the length.

Mix curry spice mixture with water.

Pour sauteed aromatics and spice mixture over eggplant. Store in the fridge.

WHEN YOU WAKE UP/USING THE SLOW COOKER:

Spray the insides of the slow cooker with cooking spray. Add all ingredients to the slow cooker, cover with the lid, and turn on “low” for 6-8 hours. When finished, eggplant will be soft.

Transfer eggplant to slow cooker.

Eggplant is finished in 6-8 hours and will be soft.

Vegan Slow Cooker Eggplant Curry over Brown Rice

 

Garnish with some cilantro or parsley for color. DONE! This would be great with a chutney or served alongside a coconut soup or bean salad.

If you don’t have a slow cooker, do yourself a favor and pick one up! Ask friends or family if they have one they don’t use… I’m surprised to find that many people have one (or more) in their basement or in the back of a cabinet where it never gets used.

Oh, and a little extra info: A “Slow Cooker” and a “Crock Pot” are the same thing. Crock Pot is actually a company that makes slow cookers, and people use the terms interchangeably, just as you may call a tissue a “Kleenex” or a copy of a paper a “Xerox”.

 

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