Thai Eggplant Curry

Thai Eggplant Curry

Serves 6 • Cooking Time 2 to 4 hours on Low • Slow Cooker Size 4 to 7 Quarts

Why This Recipe Works: To create a healthy, vegetable-packed Thai curry in the slow cooker, we turned to eggplant as the star ingredient. Our first attempts, however, resulted in bland, mushy eggplant. Clearly we needed to drive off excess moisture before adding the eggplant to the moist heat environment of the slow cooker. A quick spin under the broiler did the trick and further deepened the eggplant’s flavor in the process. To achieve great flavor without the need for gathering up a laundry list of ingredients we turned to store-bought green curry paste, which contained all the ingredients of classic Thai curries and added big flavor and depth to this dish in record time. A combination of chicken broth and light coconut milk (added at the end) gave us a rich, creamy base for our curry without adding excess calories or fat. Snow peas and red bell pepper were the perfect accents to the eggplant, and to ensure that they were perfectly crisp and tender, we microwaved them with a little water, then added them to the finished curry.

Serve with rice.

Vegetable oil spray
2 pounds eggplant, cut into 1-inch pieces
4 shallots, minced
3 tablespoons Thai green curry paste
1 tablespoon sugar
4 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons fish sauce, plus extra for seasoning
2 tablespoons instant tapioca
Salt and pepper
1 pound snow peas, strings removed, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into 2-inch-long matchsticks
1 (13.5-ounce) can light coconut milk
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon lime juice, plus extra for seasoning

1. Adjust oven rack 6 inches from broiler element and heat broiler. Line rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with oil spray. Toss eggplant, shallots, curry paste, and sugar together in bowl. Spread eggplant mixture evenly in prepared sheet and lightly spray with oil spray. Broil vegetables until softened and beginning to brown, 10 to 12 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through broiling; transfer to slow cooker. Stir in broth, fish sauce, tapioca, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cover and cook until flavors meld and eggplant is tender, 2 to 4 hours on low.

2. Microwave snow peas, bell pepper, and 1 tablespoon water in covered bowl, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Drain vegetables, then stir into curry. Microwave coconut milk in bowl until hot, about 2 minutes. Stir into curry and let sit until heated through, about 5 minutes. Stir in cilantro and lime juice. Season with salt, pepper, extra fish sauce, and extra lime juice to taste. Serve.

Per 1 2/3-cup serving: Cal 170; Fat 3.5g; Sat Fat 2g; Chol 0mg; Carb 28g; Protein 8g; Fiber 7g; Sodium 860mg *To reduce sodium level to 600mg, use unsalted broth.

Quick Prep Tip: Cutting Eggplant

On the Side

Cutting up an awkwardly shaped vegetable like e­ggplant can sometimes be a challenge. To cut eggplant into even cubes, simply cut eggplant crosswise into 1-inch-thick rounds, then cut rounds into tidy 1-inch cubes.

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