Burnt aubergine veggie chilli

Burnt aubergine veggie chilli

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(208 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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12th Sep, 2017
My expectations were quite high for this chilli, but weren't fully met. It is so salty that the other flavours besides it tasting smokey are completely overpowered. You cannot even taste the aubergine, which is great for people who don't like it or tricking kids to eat veg but for me it was really disappointing. I did lift the flavours up a bit by adding some sugar at the end and giving the chilli an extra drizzle of lime juice whilst eating. It helped a little bit. By the way I wasn't really sure how long to burn the aubergines on the hob. I had 2 small aubergines and they each took about 20 minutes, turning frequently. I didn't poke holes in them because I read somewhere they are then easier to peel which was true. Furthermore not sure how much carrot 2 carrots is so I used 150gr which seemed about right. I followed the recipe completely besides that I put in the kidney beans after an hour, rinsed without the liquid. As another reader commented I think otherwise they would just fall apart. Also at this point I took the lid of and cooked on low-medium heat for half an hour. My chilli had a great consistency and was not to liquid. I might make this again but then I would put in 1 tablespoon of soy sauce (I used tamari) and perhaps half stock half water. I served it as a vegan meal so with rice, guacamole, salsa and tacos. It is indeed quite filling but for me it was 4 portions and not more.
17th Jun, 2017
Best chilli I've ever tasted, and I'm not even an aubergine fan. Not sure i'll ever make meat chilli again.
7th Jun, 2017
Delicious...I agree with all the comments already given, this was truly very tasty and so easy - I added to my slow cooker after initial prep' and added ground almonds at the end to thicken the sauce (still bit sloppy but didn't want to dirty another pan). Served with roasted cauliflower rice (another first) and added Greek yogurt with chopped coriander, super scrum!
11th Mar, 2017
Wonderful recipe. Beautifully spiced. Nicer than any meat based chilli I have ever eaten
7th Mar, 2017
One of the best chillis I have ever made, or had! It didn't take long to prepare everything, and it wasn't difficult at all. I cooked it for both a vegetarian and non-vegetarians, and all agreed it was really good - nobody missed the meat, not even the biggest carnivore at the table! It was spicy as in tasty, but not as in hot, which wasn't a problem for us even though I love really spicy food too. I will definitely be making this again - 5/5!
2nd Feb, 2017
Excellent recipe. As others have said, I added a spoon of Chipotle paste, halved the stock and cooked on low in my slow cooker for six hours. it had a lovely smokey flavour and the texture was a lot better than I'd expected. Healthy too; a definite winner! Portions are very generous though (not that I'm complaining!)
31st Jan, 2017
Really nice rich chilli but agree with other comments that it is quite mild. I also found it very salty and I hadn't seasoned. Possibly the combination of soy sauce and stock. Might just use water and soy sauce next time
30th Jan, 2017
What a fantastic recipe. I do like a meat chilli, but have to say this is by far the best chilli I have ever eaten or made. You don't even miss the meat!! This will definitely by a regular in our house. So simple and easy to make, and so very tasty.
26th Jan, 2017
Yum! Takes a long time, but worth it, the first vegetarian recipe I have managed to make for my 6 and 3 year old that they have actually eaten and enjoyed!
22nd Jan, 2017
Before we became veggie, my hubby used to make the best chill. The veggie ones he has since made have been sadly lacking, but this recipe is outstanding! Not enough chilli for our liking, so I added a good spoon of chipotle chilli flakes and extra chilli powder too, and he added more on the table. Deep, smoky flavour, great gravy and made enough for 8 good portions


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