Burnt aubergine veggie chilli

Burnt aubergine veggie chilli

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(254 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 Jan, 2017
Agree with all the other positive comments: this is the best vegetarian chilli I have tried and it was enjoyed equally by the meat-eaters and vegetarian in our family. We like it hot so I added some fresh chillis and, of course, lots of garlic! Rather than cooking the kidney beans for 90 mins I added them just before serving to preserve taste and tenderness, and replaced the water from the tin with some passata left over from another recipe. Serve with all the trimmings as recommended.
10th Jan, 2017
Decided to be a bit healthier and try to go veggie more often- I LOVE meat and so does my 6 year old daughter so I didn't have high hopes, but this was so good! I have honestly never seen my daughter eat anything so fast- she wolfed it down and went on to second helpings. It's definitely good for kids as not much salt or chilli but if you like heat it definitely needs more. I also added peppers and I guess the only thing you don't get is the texture you get from mince- maybe a bit more of the puy lentils will help. I also have an induction hob so could only grill the aubergine but I just added more smoked paprika as I love smokey flavour. I'll definitely do this again
9th Jan, 2017
Best vegetarian chili I have made ever. I don't have gas hob or access to a BBQ however I grilled the aubergine and added Chipotle to the spice mix to smoky it up. Taste amazing the next day and thicker too. Recipes makes more than enough to see you through the week.
8th Jan, 2017
Really delicious chilli. I used my slow cooker. I halved the stock and drained the beans. I cooked it for 6 hours on low and added the aubergine for the last 2 hours. We all loved the smokey flavour and the rich, thick sauce.
7th Jan, 2017
This is my first ever comment. When a meaty comfort food recipe like a warming chilli goes veggie, it usually feels like there is something missing! This is the best veggie dish I have ever eaten. Definitely saved in the folder. Brilliant recipe. Its five stars but I can't seem to add them. Just as well I'm better at cooking than IT!
7th Jan, 2017
I generally prefer veggie chilli to meat chilli and this was lovely. Not a looker but that can be tarted up with accompaniments. I served with white rice instead of brown, then chopped coriander, soured cream, finely diced chilli, finely sliced spring onion and diced avacado
6th Jan, 2017
What a lovely recipe! Really thick, delicious and 'meaty' in texture! The chocolate was a great addition, and the spice mix was delicious; perhaps be careful on the paprika as it can be slightly overpowering. Otherwise, an absolutely fantastic recipe that I will be re-using. 'Serves 4' - definitely made at least 6 big portions, but this is good for me as it will be handy for a leftover lunch!
14th Feb, 2017
I've always shied away from making veggie chilli, thinking it would be tasteless and watery. Not so! What a fab recipe this is, very tasty and filling. Just a couple of observations - I used one and a half veg stock cubes in the recipe but next time I'd try one cube. Also the recipe says it feeds 4. They would be mighty portions! In our house I'd get at least 6 portions from this especially if it's served with accompaniments.


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