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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9th Apr, 2019
The name of this recipe doesn’t exactly make your mouth water. That said, this was delicious, I made it for our ‘meatless monday’ recipe (which my husband hates) and was not disappointed. Nervous of burning, or should I say charring the aubergine it was surprisingly easy to do and did add to the flavour. Like others who have posted here, I reduced the stock to 500mls and substituted ordinary onion as I didn’t have any red ones. I have frozen two portions as I made the whole recipe for just two of us, served with guacamole and a brown/white rice mix.
16th Mar, 2019
Terrific, and easy. I didn't have kidney beans and used a can of small black beans instead, putting them in at the end. Worked so well I might even do it again. As others have noted, I adjusted the amount of stock to create my perferred consistency, probably about 500 ml, and didn't cook it as long as the recipe states, more like 40 mins, so the lentils retain their shape and texture. I'm not sure my husband even noticed it wasn't meat! This will become a regular for our meatless days.
14th Feb, 2019
We ‘re trying to cut down on meat so have been looking at veg recipes. This was surprisingly delicious and definitely going in my fave recipe file. Followed the recipe exactly. Using dried lentils takes longer to cook and needs all 800mls of stock, so used the full hour and a half followed by 15 mins reducing time as in the recipe. If you use tinned, i can see how you’de need less stock as the lentils are already cooked, otherwise it would be too watery. You don’t taste the aubergine or cinnamon but they give such a lovely smoky/spicy hum to the flavour. Next time I’ll try it in the slow cooker or on the grain setting of the duo instapot. I am normally terrible for tweaking recipes but didn’t feel this one needed it (except I’d add more chilli if not making for kids). Roasting the aubergine on the gas camping stove was fun - it only takes 5 mins. Hubby who is an avid meat eater really enjoyed it. When making standard meat chilli, might use this as the base and add only 250g of mince. This has inspired me to go looking for more vegetarian recipes. Would def recommend!
12th Feb, 2019
This turned out well and everyone really liked it, even husband, who is not normally a 'bean veggie' kind of man, said it was the best one I'd done. I followed the recipe mostly with just slight adaption. I added sliced mushrooms and an extra can of kidney beans, 1 teaspoon of chilli and a bit less cinnamon, also tomato puree and garlic puree, (as I didn't have fresh). Also I took note of others comments and added only 500mls of stock. It cooked quicker than in the above recipe. After 1 1/4 hours it was done and did not need me to take off the lid and reduce fluid as the consistency was perfect. It wasn't a 'hot' chilli and more fragrant than typical chilli taste, but it was worth the messing around under the grill with the aubergine. Will definitely make it again.
Eileen Hewett
1st Feb, 2019
Not keen on this at all. I followed the recipe exactly but it looked very brown and unappetising. Not like the picture. It was also very salty and I don't understand why the recipe uses dark soya sauce which is why it is too salty and brown. Shame as it looks lovely in the picture. I always put the beans at the end like the other comments.
30th Jan, 2019
Absolutely delicious. The only change I made was to use a whole tin of green lentils (as well as the red ones and beans) and to up the chilli. (It was very mild at first.)
27th Jan, 2019
I am in the minority as there are so many high ratings, but I really didn't like this recipe. I think the soy sauce overwhelmed and confused the flavour. It may have been better to add the soy slowly to taste, but I won't be making it again
20th Jan, 2019
Very tasty! Only used 500ml of stock and added the tinned kidney beans 30 mins before the end to avoid mushiness as per the advice of previous posters. I used dry green and red lentils. Everything cooked perfectly after 1 1/4 hrs. Delicious !
23rd Nov, 2018
Fantastic recipe, really tasty, absolutely worth the effort.
mrshogan's picture
15th Nov, 2018
we are doing veggie dinners twice a week as a Irish government initiative to tackle climate change this was our 2nd dish our first was mexican nachos with refried beans ( amazing ) this dish was amazing too although i did tweek it with a lot more veggies and to our disbelief it was so much nicer than the meat one we did it with baked potatoes and cheese deffo a keeper didnt add any stock .


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