Burnt aubergine veggie chilli

Burnt aubergine veggie chilli

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(342 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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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.
Issy33's picture
15th Nov, 2017
This was really tasty, the best vegetarian chilli I’ve ever made I’m not a veggie but don’t always want to eat meat. Thanks to the other comments I reduced the soy and the amount of stock but decided to add kidney beans at the start. I also added in garlic, some Worcester sauce in lieu of reducing the soy, extra chilli powder for heat and extra smoked paprika as I don’t have a gas hob.
15th Nov, 2017
I really love this recipe. I've made it a ton of times now, and it always works really well. I don't always simmer it for the full 90 minutes as I find it doesn't always need it, so don't worry if you don't have quite that long. Definitely recommend!
7th Nov, 2017
I am not an veggi. I love my meat along with husband but this was amazing!!!!
28th Oct, 2017
This chilli is the bomb! Burning the aubergine over gas was something I’ve not done before, and took 5mins at the most. It really added a wonderful smokey flavour. The finished dinner is so filling and comforting. As suggested by others, I only added 600ml stock, added a little garlic, and added a teaspoon of chilli powder. I had to stir it quite regularly as it stuck to the bottom of my pan easily. It was quite a lot of effort, but totally worth it and will make again! Served with a little cheese sprinkled on top, tortilla chips and sour cream. Yum!
9th Oct, 2017
Loved this chilli! The best veggie chilli I have made by far. If your not blessed with a gass hob you can cheat by adding a squirt of BBQ sauce and it tastes just as good, also benefits from fresh chillis if you have them to hand.
1st Oct, 2017
We really loved this chilli, it's definitely the best veggie chilli we have tasted! It's a perfect balance of seasoning and spices with a rich body of flavour. A couple of adjustments - after reading comments about the saltiness I omitted the salt with the onions and carrots and used a Kallo very low salt veggie stock cube in the stock. I also added two minced garlic cloves towards the end of the onion/carrot frying stage. I used a lot less liquid in the stock, 600ml instead of 800ml and added the liquid from the beans with this but the beans towards the end to stop them breaking down. I used a small red chilli instead of chilli powder and it could have done with being a bit hotter so next time I shall use a bigger one or a larger amount of chilli powder. Also, I couldn't help adding another square of chocolate haha! I had no lime sorry to say, used lemon and wish I had been able to get a lime today as I think it would have been even more awesome. I have posted a comment today so that when I make it again, and that is a definite, I can remember what I did! Enjoy, you won't be disappointed.
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.


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