Burnt aubergine veggie chilli

Burnt aubergine veggie chilli

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(343 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 Sep, 2019
The family ate it but it was a bit too smokey for our taste. If I made again I would leave out the smoked paprika. Also added far more chilli powder as it didn't have any kick. Good to find a veggie recipe the whole family will eat.
10th Sep, 2019
Really good!
4th Sep, 2019
This is very adaptable to whatever you have in the fridge/cupboard and freezes brilliantly so well worth making double and freezing leftovers. A great recipe!
1st Sep, 2019
Really tasty vegan chilli. One of the first vegan recipes I tried when I decided to reduce my my meat consumption and I was pleasantly surprised. Great flavours, the burnt aubergine adds so much flavour. Agree with previous poster bluetomo that I always use 800ml stock and cook low and slow in my Dutch pot - consistency is perfect.
Tigs23's picture
31st Aug, 2019
Really nice chilli, with a lovely texture, that I will definitely make again. I didn’t have any chocolate, but it was still delicious. I did add in a can of black beans and also 2 tsp of chipotle paste to give it more of a kick though. On the liquid front, I started with 500ml, as many recommended, but did top up with a little more as it cooked. I think it just depends on how much veg goes in (I used 2 very large carrots for sweetness) and how gentle the simmer setting is on your hob. Next time I will add some chopped peppers too. A really satisfying and healthy dish!
Eoin Cuinn's picture
Eoin Cuinn
19th Jul, 2019
Really grateful for all of the comments. This was amazing. I definitely prefer it to any meat version we have had previously. 500ml Stock 1 TBS of Soy Extra Cumin, Paprika and Cinnamon Canned Lentils Kidney beans in with 40mins to go Cooked for 1hr 10mins lid off the entire duration, lots of stirring. We will definitely eat this again.
Jean-Luc Picard's picture
Jean-Luc Picard
28th Jun, 2019
Absolutely outstanding dish!
bluetomo's picture
17th Jun, 2019
I've been making this chilli every Monday (chilli night) for two years. By far the best vegan chilli recipe around. No need to make any adjustments, I disagree with the comments about stock levels. Just cook low and slow, perfect.
Polishedcat's picture
30th May, 2019
This tasted delicious but I wish I read the comments before adding 800 ml stock. It was very runny, more like soup, despite following the recipe and using dry lentil. At the end of the cooking time, the lentil was overcooked, which I didn't mind so much, I needed to add a second tin of bean and 100g of cooked red lentil + some tomato paste to make the consistency more like the picture. That then required some adjustment of spaces. I'm glad I didn't have soy sauce as some comments claimed it made the chilli brown and salty. Next time no more than 500 ml water, hence 4 stars only, otherwise it would be full 5.
Tanya Jackson's picture
Tanya Jackson
15th Apr, 2019
Delicious. Was a bit weirded out by putting the aubergines onto the hob itself but wow what a flavour.


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