Eggplant-and-Tomato Masala With Chickpeas


Delicious dinner alert! This hearty, Indian-inspired vegetarian recipe comes together in under 30 minutes and still manages to build intense flavor. That’s because you’ll layer in seasonings twice: First, cumin, mustard seeds, and coriander, which stew with the onions and eggplant, and then garam masala and cilantro stems, which simmer up with canned chickpeas and fire-roasted tomatoes. Shopping tip: Japanese eggplants are longer and thinner than the Italian variety, and tend to be less bitter.

Photo: Antonis Achilleos
Hands On Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
25 mins
4 serves


  • 1 cup uncooked basmati rice

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds

  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds

  • ½ teaspoon coriander seeds

  • 1 medium white onion, halved and thinly sliced (about 2 cups)

  • 2 medium Japanese eggplants (about 12 oz.), cut into ½-in. rounds

  • 1 14.5-oz. can chickpeas, undrained

  • 1 14-oz. can fire-roasted diced tomatoes

  • ½ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro stems, plus 2 Tbsp. leaves for serving

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • ½ teaspoon garam masala

  • ÂĽ cup plain whole-milk yogurt


  1. Rinse rice until water runs clear; drain. Transfer to a saucepan and add 1½ cups water. Bring to a boil over high; reduce heat to medium and simmer, covered, until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat; let stand, covered, for 3 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

  2. While rice cooks, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large, high-sided skillet over medium-high. Add cumin, mustard, and coriander; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and golden, about 8 minutes. Push onion mixture to sides of skillet. Add eggplants and remaining 2 tablespoons oil to center of skillet; cook, undisturbed, until eggplants are lightly browned on 1 side, about 2 minutes.

  3. Add chickpeas with their liquid, tomatoes, cilantro stems, salt, and garam masala to skillet and stir to combine. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer, stirring occasionally, until eggplants are tender, about 5 minutes.

  4. Serve eggplant-and-tomato masala over rice, garnished with yogurt and cilantro leaves.

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