Burnt aubergine veggie chilli

Burnt aubergine veggie chilli

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(217 ratings)

Prep: 25 mins Cook: 2 hrs


Serves 4

This warming aubergine chilli is low fat and 4 of your 5 a day. Serve up this smoky spiced supper with brown rice and all your favourite trimmings

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable
  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal316
  • fat8g
  • saturates2g
  • carbs38g
  • sugars17g
  • fibre17g
  • protein15g
  • salt2.2g
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  • 1 aubergine



    Although it's technically a fruit (a berry, to be exact), the aubergine is used as a…

  • 1 tbsp olive oil or rapeseed oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, finely diced



    The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…

  • 70g Puy lentils or green lentils, rinsed
  • 30g red lentils, rinsed
  • 400g can kidney beans
    Kidney beans scattered on a white surface

    Kidney beans

    kid-nee beenz

    Native to the Americas, kidney beans are so called because of their shape and come in very…

  • 3 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 20g dark chocolate, finely chopped
    Dark chocolate soup pots with double cream in spoons

    Dark chocolate

    dahk chok-o-let

    Dark chocolate means the shiny, dark-reddish brown treat produced from the cacao bean, theobroma…

  • ¼ tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tsp dried oregano



    Closely related to marjoram, of which it is the wild equivalent, oregano has a coarser, more…

  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp sweet smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp cinnamon



    A fragrant spice which comes from the inner bark of a tropical tree. When dried, it curls into…

  • 800ml vegetable stock
  • ½ lime, juiced



    The same shape, but smaller than…

To serve

  • brown rice
  • tortilla chips, mashed avocado, yogurt or soured cream, grated cheddar, roughly chopped coriander (optional)


  1. If you have a gas hob, put the aubergine directly onto a lit ring to char completely, turning occasionally with kitchen tongs, until burnt all over. Alternatively, use a barbecue or heat the grill to its highest setting and cook, turning occasionally, until completely blackened (the grill won’t give you the same smoky flavour). Set aside to cool on a plate, then peel off the charred skin and remove the stem. Roughly chop the flesh and set aside.

  2. In a large pan, heat the oil, add the onion and carrots with a pinch of salt, and fry over a low-medium heat for 15-20 mins until the carrots have softened.

  3. Add the aubergine, both types of lentils, the kidney beans with the liquid from the can, soy sauce, tomatoes, chocolate, chilli powder, oregano and the spices. Stir to combine, then pour in the stock. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat to very low. Cover with a lid and cook for 11/2 hrs, checking and stirring every 15-20 mins to prevent it from burning.

  4. Remove the lid and let the mixture simmer over a low-medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 15 mins until you get a thick sauce. Stir in the lime juice and taste for seasoning – add more salt if needed. Serve hot over rice with whichever accompaniments you want!

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Comments, questions and tips

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11th Jan, 2019
Hi! I'm not vegan, but I do know that proper dark chocolate shouldn't contain dairy. There's plenty of vegan dark chocs on the market.
Mrs P.
28th Sep, 2018
This is the best chilli ever. I cant recommend it enough. I did adjust the recipe based on the comments so: reduced stock to 500ml; upped the chilli to 1tsp and then added a birds eye chilli for extra oomph; added 2 cloves of garlic; put the (drained) kidney beans in during the last 30 mis so this didnt turn to mush; added chopped red pepper when the kidney beans went in; added fresh coriander when the lime went in. Wont make chilli with beef again.
26th Aug, 2018
Such deep flavours. I'm not vegetarian and do love meat, but this is the tastiest chilli I have ever made. Even with the same spice blend in a meat chilli, this is just so much more intense and deeper. The whole family love this and happily devour it! Aubergine is like marmite for most people- you love it or hate it, but you really can't taste it in this- it's the umami element ( the flavour enhancer, like salt for example) Don't omit it cos you don't like it as a veg on its own. This is definitely my preferred chilli recipe . And will be served up on new years eve without mentioning there's no meat in it. I bet no-one notices.
31st May, 2018
Fantastic recipe. Didn't have cinnamon, beans or oregano but it still worked really well.
28th Apr, 2018
this recipe is all kinds of good. i cooked almost exactly as described, but my pan has a good fitting lid and i could tell it was quite watery so i left the lid off for the entirity of the cooking and it ended up a great saucy consistency. love it!
Nicola Higgins's picture
Nicola Higgins
3rd Mar, 2018
Really like this recipe and have made it a few times. I think it is better with the juice of 2 whole limes at the end and a good handful of fresh coriander
22nd Feb, 2018
I made this for a dinner party last night and it was delicious! Really enjoyed burning the aubergine too!
20th Feb, 2018
This is a very tasty recipe. I did add several cloves of garlic, because that seemed to me to be an omission (chilli without garlic - weird?!). As others have said, it needs much less stock. I used about 500ml and needed to reduce it for ages. The end result was well worth it. Lovely deep smoky flavour. Next time I might leave the carrots in bigger chunks or add more beans, as it is very soft textured and we are used to more lumpy chilli.
Big Funk Charli...
18th Feb, 2018
Just made this- tastes fab. I didn’t use cinnamon- don’t like it in savoury recipes. Added garlic after cooking the onions for 5 mins and added the spices at that point too. Only added about 150/200 mls water and didn’t need to cook as long - 1.5 hours is a long time. Added 2 tbsps tomato purée, 1 Tbsp Worcester sauce instead of 1 of the tbsps soy and 2 teaspoons marmite. Bit of a faff to char the aubergine but really worth it for the flavour. Will be making again.
5th Feb, 2018
I followed the basic idea of the recipe but I also added 2 cloves garlic and about 6-8 chopped mushrooms and a tablespoon of tomato puree. I used a chilli packet mix instead of the individual spices plus a teaspoon of smoked paprika. I also used 250g of pre-cooked puy lentils as that's what I had in the cupboard and only added about 150ml water instead of stock. Cooked for about 50 minutes.


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