Middle Eastern Eggplant with Coconut Rice

I’ve been making this dish for years but found myself excited to revisit it after my trip to Dubai/Doha.

All these flavors (especially the yogurt sauce, which reminded me of labneh) made me excited to get home and hit the kitchen.

I honestly don’t measure when I make the sauce, so I recommend starting with the suggested measurements below and then adjusting to your taste. This dish is always a huge crowd pleaser!


For sauce

  • 1 28 oz can of Marzano tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (try Lucini Italia)
  • 5-6 cloves garlic, peeled and diced
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon muchi curry
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon ground cardamon
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked salt (try Maldon)
  • Healthy pinch cayenne pepper (to your liking)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder (if you LOVE garlic and need more)

For eggplant

  • 2 eggplants, sliced into 1/4 inch medallions
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt ground pepper

For yogurt

  • 1 large container of greek yogurt
  • 6-8 cloves garlic, peeled and turned to paste in a mortar pestle
  • 1 teaspoon pink himalayan salt
  • 4 sprigs of fresh mint, slivered

For rice

  • 1 cup jasmine rice
  • 1 cup coconut water
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 t sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander

For topping

  • Fried onions to garnish
  • Fresh cilantro optional

Make it happen

Rinse your rice and set aside.

Bring your coconut water/milk mixture to a boil and add your rice, oil, coriander and salt.

Stir well, reduce heat to low and cover.

Cook for about 20 minutes or until rice is moist and fluffy!

In a large sauce pan, saute garlic in olive oil for 1 minute then add your tomatoes. Stir in curry, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, cardamon and smoked salt. Keep on medium-low heat for about 20-30 minutes stirring often.

Brush both sides of sliced eggplant pieces with olive oil and salt and pepper one side. Place on a hot grill pan (or outdoor grill) for about 2-3 minutes per side or until nice grill lines are happening. Add all eggplant to your sauce and stir in well.

Let the pieces break up and simmer in the sauce for another 5-10 minutes.

Using a mortar pestle, mush your garlic cloves into a fine pulp. Add yogurt, salt and mint leaves and stir well.

To plate

Place your rice in the center of the plate and rim the rice with the yogurt sauce. Place your eggplant/tomato mixture on top of the rice and garnish with friend onions.

This way you get a nice scoop of yogurt in every bite!


Ready to learn more about how to unlock the power of food to heal your body, prevent disease & achieve optimal health? Register now for our FREE Functional Nutrition Webinar with Kelly LeVeque.

Kathryn Budig
Kathryn Budig
Kathryn Budig is an internationally celebrated yoga teacher and author known for her accessibility,...
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