Thai Red Curry with Eggplant and Sweet Peppers: A one pot simple weeknight curry that comes together in about 30 minutes and is freezer friendly too! This recipe is vegetarian, vegan and gluten free. [ see VIDEO in recipe card ]
Ingredients I always tend to have on hand: curry paste, coconut milk, fresh ginger, garlic, and onions. This is the base of Thai curry, forever adaptable and such a flavorful way to use those lingering veggies in the fridge. However, it’s gotta have lots of ginger and garlic as the base so that the flavors pop!
Have I told you how much I adore eggplant? It’s truly a vegetable I have complete heart eyes for, and although roasted is my favorite, stir-fried in curry is not far behind.
This Thai Red Curry couldn’t be simpler to make.
Related: Love red curry? Give my Thai Mushroom Pumpkin Curry Recipe a go!
How to Make Thai Red Curry with Eggplant and Sweet Peppers
Weeknight simple, this Thai eggplant curry is full of flavor and interesting textures. In summary, here’s how to make it (see recipe card for details):
- First, choose chickpeas or baked tofu to include in the recipe. If going for tofu (pictured here), press it for about 30 minutes, then bake for 20 minutes. This improves its texture and allows for soaking up that all curry goodness. I toss in chickpeas sans tofu when I’m short on time.
- Second, use a micoplainer to grate the garlic and ginger. Chop the veggies into bite size pieces.
- Third, put some Jasmine rice on to cook.
- Next, start cooking the Thai Red Curry by sautéing the eggplant and onion in a bit of coconut oil to soften, then add the sweet peppers. Stir in the garlic and ginger, red curry paste, red pepper flakes, and brown sugar.
- Last, deglaze the pot with broth and coconut milk. Stir in the tofu or chickpeas. Simmer for about 10 minutes, then stir in a squeeze of lime juice and a few tablespoons of Tamari.
By the time the curry is done, the rice is ready! Garnishing this Thai Red Curry with sesame seeds and Thai basil is a delicious way to add a little beauty, texture and flavor to this dish.
A Few Recipe Notes
- For this recipe, look for Globe, Italian or Japanese eggplant. I like Globe (pictured above) because that’s what the farms grow here. Choose an eggplant with smooth, shiny skin, a firm texture and with a green stem (no browning or mushyness).
- Use any color of sweet peppers you like. Red and yellow tend to be sweeter than green. They’re all good!
- This Vegetarian Thai Red Curry recipe calls for 1/4 tsp of red pepper flakes (chili flakes), for a spicy of about 4. Another pinch should take it up to a 5! Remember there’s spice in the red curry paste too.
- Is Thai Red Curry freezer friendly? Yes please! Store in a lidded container for up to two weeks.
More Vegetarian Curry(ish) Recipes to Love
- Thai Mushroom Pumpkin Curry
- Cauliflower Potato Red Lentil Curry
- Chana Dal with Cauliflower, Cashews and Coconut Milk
- Coconut Curried French Lentil Soup
- Forbidden Rice with Mango and Bok Choy Salad
Thai Red Curry with Eggplant and Sweet Peppers
- 10 oz (284g) Firm Tofu pressed for 30 minutes and drained (*see notes for chickpea option!)
- 2 Tbs Coconut Oil
- 1 lb (450g) Globe Eggplant Sliced into 1/2" cubes
- 1 C (165g) Yellow Onion about 1 medium
- 2 C (260g) Sweet Bell Peppers green, yellow or red - or a mix, about two peppers
- 1 Tbs Fresh Garlic microplaned
- 1 Tbs Fresh Ginger microplaned
- 2 Tbs Red Curry Paste
- 1/4 tsp Red Pepper Flakes optional - about a spicy 4 with it!
- 1 Tbs Brown Sugar or maple syrup
- 1/2 C (120g) Vegetable Broth
- 1, 13 1/2 oz (382g) Can Full Fat Coconut Milk
- 2 Tbs Tamari
- 1/2 Lime juiced
Serve With: Thai basil, lime wedges, sesame seeds, cilantro and jasmine rice.
For The Tofu:
- While pressing the tofu (see notes for chickpea sub)** preheat the oven to 350F (180C). Slice the pressed/drained tofu into (about) 1" (2.5cm) cubes and place on a parchment or silpat lined sheet pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden. This will dry the tofu out. Set aside.
For the Curry:
- In a large Dutch oven, add the coconut oil and heat until it shimmers. Turn the heat to medium high and add the eggplant and onion. Stir fry for about 6-8 minutes or until the vegetables begin to soften. It's okay of the eggplant sticks a bit.
- Stir in the bell peppers and stir fry for about one minute, just to soften a bit. Add the garlic and ginger. Stir for another minute, scraping the bottom of the pot - the garlic and ginger will start to stick. Add the curry paste and red pepper flakes. Take a big inhale..... ahhhh.
- Cook, stirring for a minute more, coating the vegetables with the paste. Stir in the brown sugar and deglaze the pot with broth and coconut milk. Stir in the tofu or chickpeas. Bring to a simmer, turn to low and cook for about 10 minutes just until heated through. Stir in the Tamari and lime juice.
- Remove from heat and spoon over rice. Top with Thai basil, cilantro, and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve with additional Tamari and lime wedges.
- Store in a lidded container for up to three days or up to two weeks in the freezer. Thaw in the fridge overnight and gently rewarm on the stovetop.