A question I get asked regularly is “doesn’t it cost a lot of money to eat vegan?”. There is a real misconception that in order to live a healthy, balanced diet you need to spend a lot of money on the food you eat. Fair enough organic products cost a bit more than your regular ones but you don’t always have to buy organic to be healthy. I try to buy organic when I can but I just buy what I can afford. I tend to way up the price difference and the additives then decide which I’ll buy. Another question I get asked a fair amount is “Don’t you need to be really well organised and plan in advance?” Well, yeah but isn’t this true of anyone who lives a busy lifestyle? If you’ve been following my blog you’ll know that I’m running out of space in my freezer as I batch cook and a lot of my recipes freeze really easily but there are times when, believe it or not, my freezer runs empty. Crisis!!! Or maybe not.
I’d happily spend a whole weekend in the kitchen, that’d be a dream weekend for me but cooking is my passion. I do realise that there are lots of people trying to make the transition to a vegan lifestyle that may be completely daunted by what might seem like hard work. So, I’d like to share this dish with you as it’s one of the first that I made when I initially went vegan. I ate a lot of this as it’s quick, easy to make and super tasty. But to be honest I too felt a tad overwhelmed about what to eat. On that note if you feel in anyway daunted please, please drop me an email, I’ll be so happy to lend you any advice whether you’re making the full transition to vegan or even cutting down on meat and finding it tough. This dish takes about 40mins maximum to prepare and cook, it requires little effort and it tastes great. Oh, and did I mention, it freezes well too!
P.S. You’re going to have to buy up all of the spices but this is an expense that will pay off and if you go to the Asian market you’ll save a lot of money. Spices are generally used in small quantities so they’ll last for a long time too. I’ve also added the price per person for this dish at the end to show just how easy it can be to eat a healthy meal that doesn’t cost the earth and takes practically no time at all to make.
What you’ll need: Serves 4 – 6
- 1 tin of chickpeas drained
- 1 tin of coconut milk
- 2 aubergines
- 1 tablespoon of mustard seeds
- 2 tablespoons of sunflower oil for roasting plus another 1 tablespoon for frying
- one large onion, finely chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic finely chopped
- 10 curry leaves, more for serving is optional
- 1 teaspoon of chilli flakes
- 1 tablespoon of garam masala
- 2 teaspoons of turmeric
- 2 teaspoons of ground corriander
- 1 punnet of cherry tomatoes, washed well
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- Preheat the oven to 180°. Wash the aubergines and cut them into bite sized cubes. Pour the oil into an oven dish and add the aubergines. Give them a good toss to make sure they are all coated in the oil. Sprinkle with some salt and and cook in the over for about 15 minutes, turning once.
- Place a large pan over a low heat and add the onion. Cook for a minute or two and then add the garlic, curry leaves and the mustard seeds. Cook until the onions start to soften.
- Add in the spices with a tablespoon of the coconut milk. Stir constantly for about 2 minutes, making sure the spices are cooking. Then add the rest of the milk, the chickpeas and the tomatoes.
- When the aubergines are cooked add them to the curry and continue to cook until the tomatoes start to split.
For the cost I’m adding €0.10 for every tablespoon of spice. If you go to the Asian market you can buy different sized bags of spices and it’s so cheap. I think €0.10 is erring on the low side here.
- 1 tin of chickpeas drained = €0.59 non organic
- 1 tin of coconut milk = €0.89 non organic
- 2 aubergines €0.89 x 2 = €1.78
- 1 tablespoon of mustard seeds €0.10
- 2 tablespoons of sunflower oil for roasting plus another 1 tablespoon for frying (I’m not even going there)
- one large onion, finely chopped €0.33
- 4 cloves of garlic finely chopped €0.25
- 10 curry leaves, more for serving is optional €0.10
- 1 teaspoon of chilli flakes €0.10
- 1 tablespoon of garam masala €0.10
- 2 teaspoons of turmeric €0.10
- 2 teaspoons of ground corriander €0.10
- 1 punnet of cherry tomatoes, washed well €2.00
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
Prep Time & Cook Time: 40mins
Cost per person, not including rice, is €1.61 for 4 people or €1.07 for 6 people.
Share and enjoy!