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Instant Pot Eggplant Curry With Bell Peppers

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This instant pot eggplant curry packs a ton of nutrients with simple main ingredients – eggplants, bell peppers, and tomatoes.  It is quick to make with minimal prep needed and a short cooking time.  The recipe makes a spicy and perfectly tender eggplant curry that makes you go back for seconds, and thirds!

instant pot eggplant curry presentation

Indian vegetable dishes are some of our absolute favorite foods. We could eat them every day.  They are healthy, flavorful, and don’t break the bank.  Let me introduce you to Instant Pot Eggplant Curry with Bell Peppers.

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What is Special About this Instant Pot Eggplant Curry Recipe?

I have drawn inspiration for this instant pot eggplant curry from Indian eggplant dishes.  I like it for the sweet and tangy taste as well as the generous curry the dish is made up of.  The ginger really shines through, especially if you don’t mind using a lot of it.

This is a comfort meal to serve in a bowl on top of basmati rice or khichdi (rice and lentils). If you need something nourishing and quick, this is a great choice!

What Makes this Eggplant Curry Different from Traditional Ones?

Usually, the recipes call for Indian eggplants, but I chose to use a regular eggplant in this dish.  As well, in this recipe, the eggplant is cooked directly in the instant pot — no prep needed.  I also add green bell peppers to the dish for additional flavor and nutritional benefits.

Since Indian eggplants are not commonly found in the local grocery stores in our area, I sometimes use regular eggplants as a substitute.  However, whenever I can find the Indian eggplants, I use those. They pack more flavor and have a denser texture compared to the regular eggplants.  It also makes the dish more of a satisfying stew. And you’ll forget that the dish is 100% vegan. Nevertheless, eggplant type aside, I am not going to let that stop me from making one of my favorite Indian instant pot dishes!

When I started making this recipe, I used to roast the eggplant in the oven before cooking it in the instant pot. I tried many sauté and pressure cook time combinations, but no setting allowed all ingredients to have a perfect consistency.  Either the eggplant dissolved into a soup or the rest of the ingredients were too tough. So I decided to eliminate the step of roasting the eggplant.  Instead, it is now cooked, peel on, directly in the instant pot.  This not only saves time cooking the dish, but also helps to preserve nutrients. 

Ingredients in Instant Pot Eggplant Curry With Bell Peppers

Our instant pot eggplant curry is made up of three main ingredients — eggplants, tomatoes, and green bell peppers.  In addition to these, the recipe also uses avocado oil, cumin seeds, red onions, ginger, garlic, and green chili peppers along with a spice blend made up of coriander, turmeric, garam masala, red chili peppers and salt.

instant pot eggplant curry ingredients mise en place
  • Avocado Oil — any cooking oil works but we use the avocado oil for added health benefits and flavor.
  • Cumin Seeds
  • Onions –this recipe calls for red onions, but you can substitute for white, yellow, or any onion of your choice.
  • Garlic — fresh cloves, peeled and minced.
  • Ginger — I always taste the ginger in this dish, and that’s one of the reasons I love it.
  • Green Chili Peppers
  • Bell Peppers — I like to use the green bell peppers in this recipe for their slight bitterness as it complements the sweetness from the eggplants and tomatoes.
  • Tomatoes — Roma or on-the-vine works great but you can use just about any kind of tomatoes you have available.
  • Spice Blend — Coriander, Turmeric, Garam Masala, Red Chili Pepper, Salt
  • Eggplant — we use regular eggplants in this recipe as the texture can turn soft quick, which eliminates the need for roasting them in the oven prior to cooking them.  They also tend to absorb the spices in the liquid well.  This allows the eggplant to be cooked on top of the other ingredients to prevent the pot from burning on the bottom.

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Health Benefits of Instant Pot Eggplant Curry With Bell Peppers

This take on an Indian eggplant curry is rich in nutrients. Both eggplant and bell peppers are known for their high fiber content and low calorie count. In combination with tomatoes and cooked in an instant pot, this eggplant and bell pepper recipe is a wholesome dish you are sure to come back to, time and again.

Eggplants are high in fiber, rich in nutrients, contain protein and are low in calories.  They are also high in antioxidants.

Bell Peppers are also low in calories but high in fiber, rich in nutrients, and contains protein.  While having double the amount of Vitamin C compared to oranges, bell peppers are also high in iron.  Green bell peppers also contain lutein antioxidants.

How To Make Instant Pot Eggplant Curry with Bell Peppers

Start the recipe by adding all the spices to a small bowl or cup.  Chop the onions and dice the bell peppers and tomatoes.  Turn on the instant pot on Sauté mode on normal heat.  Add the avocado oil to the pot.  When the instant pot has reached the correct temperature (display reads “HOT”), add the cumin seeds and let simmer until the seeds start to sputter.

Next, add the onions to the pot.  Let simmer until onions turn opaque while stirring frequently.  Then, add the garlic, ginger, and green chili peppers and let simmer for two more minutes. Now, add the bell peppers and tomatoes to the instant pot and simmer for ten minutes until the tomatoes become soft.

While the ingredients are cooking, cut the eggplant into one-inch cubes.  After ten minutes, add the spices (coriander, turmeric, garam masala, red chili pepper, and salt). Stir well to evenly distribute the spices and coat the vegetables.

Add water to the pot and use a spatula to scrape the bottom of the pot clean from any stuck ingredients.  Then place the cubed eggplants on top of the other ingredients.  Do not stir the pot.  If the eggplants are at the bottom of the pot there is a greater risk of getting the dreaded “BURN” notification on the instant pot.

Close the lid on the instant pot and set the vent to sealing.  Pressure cook for 5 minutes on high pressure and normal temperature.  Quick release when the timer has reached zero.

Kitchen Tools Needed to Make Bell Pepper and Eggplant Curry

  • 6 Quart Instant Pot.

How to Make Instant Pot Eggplant Curry Step-by-Step

Step 1 — Add and Sauté

Set instant pot to sauté mode, normal heat and add avocado oil. When instant pot reads “HOT”, add cumin seeds. Let sauté for two to three minutes until the seeds starts to sputter in the oil.

instant pot eggplant curry step1

Step 2 — Add and Sauté

Add onions to the pot. Stir frequently and sauté until onions turn opaque (about five minutes).  Add green chili peppers, ginger, and garlic and cook for two more minutes

instant pot eggplant curry step2

Step 3 — Add and Simmer

Add tomatoes and bell peppers to the instant pot.  Stir continuously while the ingredients simmer in the pot.  Let simmer until the tomatoes are soft and have turned soft (about ten minutes).

instant pot eggplant curry step3

Step 4 — Cube

Remove the leaves from the eggplants and cut them into one-inch cubes (keep the peel on the eggplants). Note: if you cube the eggplants too early, they will turn brown and wilt.

Step 5 — Add and Stir

Add all the spices to the pot and give it a good stir.

instant pot eggplant curry step4

Step 6 — Deglaze and Add

Add water to the pot and scrape the bottom of it using a spatula to remove any stuck ingredients. Then add the eggplants without stirring the pot.

instant pot eggplant curry step5

Step 7 — Pressure Cook

Close the lid on the instant pot and set the vent to sealing.  Pressure cook for five minutes on high pressure.  Quick release when done.

instant pot eggplant curry step6

Step 8 — Serve and Enjoy

When complete, thoroughly mix the ingredients to coat the eggplant.  Serve with rice and raita.  Garnish with cilantro if you wish.

instant pot eggplant curry presentation

What To Serve With Instant Pot Eggplant Curry With Bell Peppers

This Instant Pot eggplant curry can be served on basmati rice, with raita and roti, paratha, or naan, or in a bowl by itself. 

If you add an additional cup of water or broth before adding the eggplant this recipe will turn into a spicy and delicious eggplant soup!

This eggplant dish is also great to have alongside our instant pot zesty lemon artichoke sambar.

Serve this curry with these Indian inspired dishes:

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bhindi masala okra curry presentation 1

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instant pot eggplant curry recipe

Instant Pot Eggplant Curry With Bell Peppers

Susan & Björn
This simple comfort dish nourishes with eggplants, bell peppers, and tomatoes. A spicy and perfectly tender eggplant curry that makes you go back for seconds, and thirds! Serve on top of basmati rice or khichdi (rice and lentils).
No ratings yet
servings6
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Calories 94 kcal
Fiber 7 g
Carbohydrates 17 g

Equipment

Instant Pot 6 Quart

Ingredients
 
 

  • 1 tablespoon Avocado Oil
  • ½ teaspoon Cumin Seeds
  • 1 Cup Red Onion, chopped
  • 1 inch Ginger, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves Garlic, crushed
  • 2 Green Chilis, finely chopped
  • ½ tablespoon Turmeric
  • ½ tablespoon Garam Masala
  • ½ tablespoon Coriander
  • 2 Tomatoes, diced
  • 2 Green Bell Peppers, diced in 1 inch cubes
  • 2 Eggplants, Indian or Italian, cut in 1 inch cubes
  • ½ Cup Water

Instructions
 

  • Chop the red onions and dice the green bell peppers and tomatoes into half-inch cubes.
  • Set instant pot to sauté mode, normal heat and add avocado oil.
  • Add cumin seeds when instant pot reads “HOT”. Let simmer for two to three minutes until the seeds starts to sputter in the oil.
    instant pot eggplant curry step1
  • Add onions to the pot. Stir frequently and stir fry until onions turn opaque (about five minutes).  Add green chili peppers, ginger, and garlic and cook for two more minutes
    instant pot eggplant curry step2
  • Add tomatoes and bell peppers to the instant pot.  Stir continuously while the ingredients simmer in the pot.  Let simmer until the tomatoes are soft and have turned into paste (about ten minutes).
    instant pot eggplant curry step3
  • Add water to the pot and scrape the bottom of it using a spatula to remove any stuck ingredients.
  • Cut the eggplants into one-inch cubes (keep the peel on the eggplants). Note: if you cube the eggplants too early, they will turn brown and wilt. Add all the spices to the pot and give it a good stir.
    instant pot eggplant curry step4
  • Add the eggplants without stirring the pot.
    instant pot eggplant curry step5
  • Close the lid on the instant pot and set the vent to sealing.  Pressure cook for five minutes on high pressure.  Quick release when done.
    instant pot eggplant curry step6
  • When complete, thoroughly mix the ingredients to coat the eggplant.  Serve with rice and raita.  Garnish with cilantro if you wish.

Nutrition

Calories: 94kcal Carbohydrates: 17g Fiber: 7g Protein: 3g Fat: 3g Saturated Fat: 1g Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g Monounsaturated Fat: 2g Sodium: 58mg Potassium: 541mg Sugar: 9g Vitamin A: 357IU Vitamin C: 43mg Calcium: 35mg Iron: 1mg

Note

The above nutritional values are estimates and should only be used as a guide. If you are following a specific diet or have dietary restrictions, please use your preferred nutritional calculator. If you have a food allergy please ensure that none of the listed ingredients are part of your restrictions. As well, always use a food thermometer to ensure safe cooking temperature of the food items.

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