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5 from 8 votes

Thai Eggplants and Chickpeas in Peanut Masala

Don’t be intimidated by the long list of ingredients; most of them are thrown together into the food processor and ground to a paste. This dish comes together remarkably easily, and if your eggplants are young and tender, it cooks quickly. Note that if you don’t have Thai eggplants, any eggplant will do.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian, Vegan
Servings: 4
Calories: 219kcal
Author: Susan Voisin


  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
  • 2 medium onions chopped
  • 2 small tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled
  • 2 teaspoons ginger paste or 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli pepper or cayenne or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 teaspoon tamarind concentrate or substitute 1 tsp. lemon juice and 1/2 tsp. agave nectar or sugar
  • 2 tablespoons coconut dried, fresh, or frozen
  • 1/2 tablespoon agave nectar or sugar or 1 small pitted date
  • 10-12 small Thai or Indian Eggplants or use one large eggplant
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas
  • salt to taste


  • In a dry, non-stick skillet, toast the coriander, cumin, and sesame seeds until the sesame seeds begin to turn golden, about 1-2 minutes. Be careful not to burn them. Remove from pan and let cool for a minute. Then transfer to a blender and grind to a paste. Keep the paste in the blender.
  • Add the onions to the pan and cook until they begin to brown. Transfer to the blender and add all remaining ingredients except the eggplant, chickpeas, and salt. Puree to a smooth paste.
  • Remove the stems of the eggplants and cut them into quarters. (If you’re using small purple eggplants, you may choose to leave the stem attached and cut a deep cross up through the bottom of each eggplant; if you’re using a regular eggplant, cut it into 1-inch cubes.)
  • Return the pan to the heat and add the eggplants. Cook, stirring, until they begin to brown on the outside, adding water by the tablespoon if needed to keep them from sticking.
  • Add the spice paste, the chickpeas, and 1/2 cup of water. Stir well, add salt to taste, and cover. Simmer, adding more water if the sauce seems too thick, until the eggplants are tender. (The time will vary depending on the eggplants you use, but count on at least 15 minutes.) Garnish with chopped parsley or cilantro, if desired, and serve over rice.


Nutritional info does not include salt. Note that because of the peanut butter, this is a higher-fat recipe.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 219kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 8g | Sodium: 25mg | Fiber: 7g