Burnt aubergine veggie chilli

Burnt aubergine veggie chilli

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(329 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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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.
2nd Feb, 2018
This was fab even my meat loving partner thought it was as good as if not better than a beef chilli. Will definitely make again.
29th Jan, 2018
Lovely texture, rich colour and quite tasty though the cinnamon was a little over powering. It was lacking something though not sure what! I also reduced the stock to about 400ml and added more chilli. Also used 1 tin of green lentils instead of the suggested mix and added mushrooms. My kids didn't complain so I'll defo make it again! I didn't find it salty at all so advise everyone to make sure you use the dark soya sauce which is the sweet one as the light soya sauce is the salty one!
28th Jan, 2018
Who needs meat? Love this recipe, added some extra veg, leeks, peppers, mushrooms, courgettes, garlic. The aubergine gives it a lovely smoky sweet flavour, made 5 portions with the extra veg, so a couple have gone in the freezer. Even the kids loved it, and didn't realise how much veg they were eating. Definitely one I will be making again and again.
11th Jan, 2018
Really robust chili unlike many other veggie chillis . Boyfriend was surprised it was so tasty for being meat free. I used ancho and chipotle chilli powders. Froze several portions which make really easy suppers, warm up from frozen in a saucepan. Have added red peppers when reheating too. I’ll be making up another batch soon.
7th Jan, 2018
Delicious. Am a meat eater but trying to eat more veg / be healthier. I added garlic, chopped celery and leek at the start, and black beans as well as kidney beans. I used ancho chilli flakes instead of chilli powder and chucked in a couple of bay leaves. Also swapped dark chocolate for cocoa powder! Used less stock too.
josiethetoaster's picture
6th Dec, 2017
I made this with a few variations (black beans instead of kidney beans, charred a red pepper as well as the aubergine, a bit less soy sauce and a bit more chilli) - it was very good.
4th Dec, 2017
Made this many, many times! Even the meat eaters like this one. Cooking the aubergine is a bit of pain with an electric grill, I just chop the lot up when cooked, I don't bother peeling anymore. I also only use about 500ml of stock and sometimes throw in some quorn mince for variation. Taste better the next day so make ahead.
4th Dec, 2017
I made this recently and thought it was lovely - even my highly carnivorous partner grudgingly said it was 'ok'. I'm making it again for a pre-Christmas get together. I don't have a gas hob so I used my kitchen blowtorch, which worked well and I was able to do it outside so the kitchen wasn't full of that burnt smell. I didn't use the salt at the beginning, reduced the stock to 600ml, thinking I could always add more if it was too thick, chose two medium sized carrots and and used two aubergines as they were quite small. To the person asking about the weight of the carrots - I really don't think it matters in this recipe if the amount of veg isn't exact.


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