Packed with flavour this Vegetable Rogan Josh is a vegetarian version of the classic dish. This rich and fragrant curry with aubergine and chickpeas is ready in under an hour, low in calories and it really hits the spot!
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This is the first recipe in a series of recipes I am creating in collaboration with the BMI Can Do It team, and I'm so excited to share it with you here. This is my vegetarian version of the classic curry that we all know and love. This vegetable rogan josh is easy to make and easy to adapt so it's suitable for the whole family. And best of all it's healthy, low calorie and made in one pan! Less washing up is always a winner in my book!
Why This Recipe Works
- All those spices - they make this curry so flavourful and rich! But don't worry, you can find all these spices in your local supermarket!
- Veggies - packed with aubergine, pepper, chickpeas and tomatoes, you're definitely getting some of your 5 a day right here!
- Dietician approved - this recipe has been tried and tested and approved by the lead dietician at the BMI Can Do It team.
What You'll Need
This is a two-part list! The aromatics and the ingredients!
- Spices - paprika, cumin seeds, ground coriander, garam masala, green cardamom pods, fennel seeds, dried red chilli flakes, whole black peppercorns, dried bay leaf and cinnamon stick. You may have some of these in your cupboard all ready but if not they can all be found in your local supermarket.
- Onion, garlic, and ginger - you will one need one medium brown onion, 4 cloves of garlic and fresh root ginger.
- Chopped tomatoes - one can of chopped tomatoes is all you need here! I also add a tablespoon of tomato purée/paste (not included in the photo above)
- Chickpeas - I add a can of cooked chickpeas to this curry, but you can, of course, use dried chickpeas and cook them yourself.
- Yoghurt - low-fat, natural plain yoghurt makes this curry creamy but keeps it low calorie. If you want to make this curry vegan then you can use a plant-based yoghurt instead.
- Aubergine - one large aubergine does the trick here. When buying your aubergines look for firm, plump aubergines. Always check for soft spots, they can be a sign that the aubergine is going off. Also, check the cap of the aubergine and make sure it is mould-free.
- Green bell pepper - I add one large green bell pepper for this curry. If you don't have green pepper, a red pepper will work too.
- Coriander - a handful of fresh coriander is used at the end of cooking and also as a garnish for the finished dish.
How To Make It
This is just a quick visual guide, the full recipe instructions are in the recipe card below.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large pan in a large sautè pan. Add the onion, cardamom pods, black peppercorns, cumin seeds and fennel seeds and cook over a low to medium heat until the onion is translucent and soft. Use a wooden spoon to pop open the cardamom pods and release the seeds, you can remove the pods now.
- Add the ginger, garlic, chilli flakes and cook for a minute until they release their aromas, then add all the spices and the tomato purée and stir well.
- Now add the chopped green pepper and aubergine and stir until they are coated with the spice mixture. Pour in 50 ml of water and stir well.
- Remove from the heat then slowly stir in the yoghurt. Once the yoghurt has been added return the pan to the heat.
- Pour in the chopped tomatoes plus another 50 ml of water and stir well.
- Add the chickpeas, bay leaves and cinnamon stick to the sauce. Simmer covered for 15 minutes stirring occasionally then simmer uncovered for 15 - 20 minutes. You should have a thick sauce and the aubergine should be tender and cooked. Remove the bay leaves and cinnamon stick then stir in the chopped coriander. Leave to cool slightly then serve with rice or chapati and top with extra chopped coriander and a dollop of yoghurt.
Tips For Making The Best Vegetable Rogan Josh
- Spices - While it may look like there are a lot of spices listed here, don't worry they are all available in your local supermarket. They are also ingredients that you can use for other recipes, like my Cauliflower and Chickpea Curry or my Red Lentil Dahl. In the long term having a well-stocked pantry with dried herbs and spices has always worked out as a more budget-friendly way of cooking for me.
- Chickpeas - to save time, I use canned cooked chickpeas in this recipe. You can use dried chickpeas instead if you wish, you will need to soak and cook them first. Using dried chickpeas is a more budget-friendly option.
- Aubergine - I don't peel my aubergine but if you prefer you can do this before you add it. Make sure you cut the aubergine into similar size pieces, this will ensure they all cook at the same time. I like to cut them into bite-size pieces for best results.
- Stir! - Be careful when you are cooking the spices that they don't burn, burnt spices will ruin your curry! Stir this curry often at all stages, the onions will need to be slightly golden but not browned, so stir often!
- Heat - You can adjust the spiciness in this vegetable rogan josh to suit you and your family. I serve this as is to my family who prefers milder heat. If you are serving this to younger children I would reduce the chilli flakes to a very small pinch. If like me, you like a hot curry, then I add some chilli flakes to the finished dish just for me! You can also increase the heat by using a fresh red chilli, chopped very finely and added when you add the ginger and garlic.
How To Serve Vegetable Rogan Josh
We love this topped with a dollop of yoghurt and a couple of chapatis. You can also serve it with rice, brown rice is great with this curry as is quinoa.
Can I freeze this? You can freeze this curry but I recommend you omit the yoghurt if you want to freeze it. You can follow the instructions but omit the yoghurt. Leave the curry to cook then transfer to a freezer-friendly container. Defrost in the fridge overnight, heat on the hob and add the yoghurt in once the curry is hot. Use with 3 months.
How long will this curry keep for? This will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days and like all good curries, it will taste even better the next day!
I'm not keen on aubergine, what can I use instead? You can use cauliflower instead of aubergine if you prefer. A small head of cauliflower would work really well.
More Veggie Curry Inspiration
If you liked this vegetable organ josh and would like to try some other curries then you may like my Aubergine, Spinach and Chickpea Curry. If you prefer a milder curry you may like my Vegetable Korma. And if you are looking for a good vegan curry then check out my Chickpea and Lentil Curry or my Mushroom Curry, two of the most popular recipes on the blog!
Have you made this Vegetable Rogan Josh Recipe? Rate it and leave me a comment below to let me know what you think!
And remember to check out the new NHS driven healthy living movement.
Vegetable Rogan Josh
- 2 tbsp olive oil you can also use vegetable oil if you prefer
- 1 medium brown onion peeled, cut in half lengthways then sliced thinly
- ½ tsp sea salt divided
- 10 green cardamom pods
- 2 tsp cumin seeds
- ½ tsp fennel seeds
- 1 5cm piece of fresh ginger peeled and finely grated.
- 4 cloves of garlic minced
- 2 tsp paprika
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- ½ tsp garam masala
- ½ scant tsp dried red chilli flakes
- 1 tbsp tomato purée (paste)
- 1 large aubergine cut into bitesize pieces
- 1 large green bell pepper pith and seeds removed then chopped into large pieces
- 150 g / ½ a cup low-fat natural plain yoghurt + more for serving
- 1 400g / 14.5 oz can of chopped(diced) tomatoes
- 100 ml / 1 cup water divided into 2 equal portions
- 1 400g / 15oz can of cooked chickpeas 240g drained weight
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 dried bay leaves
- a handful of fresh coriander(cilantro) chopped + more for serving
- chapati for serving
- Heat the oil in a large sauté pan. Add the onion, ¼ teaspoon of salt, 10 green cardamom pods, 10 black peppercorns, 2 teaspoons of cumin seeds and ½ teaspoon of fennel seeds.Cook over a low to medium heat until the onion is translucent and soft, stirring often so the onions don't burn.Once the cardamom pods are soft pop them open using a wooden spoon to release the seeds within. Remove the pod shells.
- Add 4 minced cloves of garlic, a 5cm piece of ginger that has been finely grated and ½ a teaspoon of dried red chilli flakes. Cook until they release their aromas,Next, add the spices. Add 2 teaspoons of ground coriander, 2 teaspoons of paprika and ½ a teaspoon of garam masala. Stir and cook for a minute until they release their aromas too.Add a tablespoon of tomato purée and pour in 50 ml of water, stir well.
- Add the chopped aubergine and green pepper to the pan and stir well until the vegetables are covered in the spice mixture.
- Remove the pan from the heat. Slowly start adding the yoghurt, stirring until the yoghurt is fully incorporated into the spice mixture.Return the pan to the heat then pour in the tomatoes, stir in 50 ml of water and the drained chickpeas.Add one stick of cinnamon and two dried bay leaves to the pan. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and simmer for 10 minutes.Remove the lid and simmer uncovered for another 10 to 15 minutes. The aubergine should be soft and the sauce should be thick and creamy.Stir in the chopped coriander.Leave to cool slightly then serve with a dollop of yoghurt some chopped coriander and chapati.
- Chickpeas - I use canned cooked chickpeas for this recipe but you can also use dried chickpeas if you prefer. You will need to soak and cook them first.
- Heat - this curry is a medium heat curry, You can reduce the heat if you wish by reducing the red chilli flakes to a small pinch. If you are serving this to young children then I would recommend doing this. I would also recommend omitting the whole peppercorns and replace then with ¼ teaspoon of ground black pepper. Add that at the same time as you add the dry spices.
- Spices - instead of using all the spices listed you can use half a jar of Patak's Rogan Josh Paste instead. Follow the instructions on the jar.
- Storing/freezing/reheating - this curry will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat it on the hob, you may need to add a little water to loosen it up. You can freeze this curry but I recommend not adding the yoghurt if you wish to freeze it. You can add the yoghurt when you reheat the curry. Leave the curry to cook before freezing, transfer to a freezer-friendly container and use within 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge and reheat on the hob adding the yoghurt once hot.
- Nutrition information -is approximate and is calculated using an online nutrition tool. It is based on a serving of one and does not include chapati.