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Lemon Rice and Eggplant-Chickpea Curry


  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), divided

  • 1 1/2 cups basmati rice

  • 4 cups chicken stock, divided

  • 1 bay leaf, fresh or dried

  • 1 lemon, zested

  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric

  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom, optional

  • 1 tablespoon butter

  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced

  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 1 medium eggplant, peeled and chopped

  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

  • 1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes (14 ounces), drained

  • 1 can chickpeas (15 ounces), drained

  • Salt and pepper

  • 2 rounded tablespoons mild or hot curry paste

  • 2 scallions, chopped

  • 1/4 cup chopped roasted cashews


Heat a medium pot over medium heat with EVOO. Add rice and toast for 1- 2 minutes. Add 3 cups chicken stock and the bay, lemon zest, turmeric, coriander, cumin and cardamom. Cover pot and bring rice to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer rice 18 minutes. Fluff rice with a fork, remove bay leaf and add butter. Toss to coat the rice evenly. While rice cooks, make the vegetables. Heat a deep nonstick skillet over medium-high heat with 2 tablespoons EVOO. Add onion, garlic, eggplant and bell pepper. Cover and cook stirring occasionally 7-8 minutes until tender. Uncover and add the tomatoes, chickpeas, salt, pepper, curry paste and remaining 1 cup chicken stock. Simmer 6-7 minutes longer. Mix scallions into rice and top with vegetables. Garnish with cashews.