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Fresh bowl of eggplant chili

Burnt Aubergine Chilli Recipe

  • Author: Michelle Minnaar
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Total Time: 2 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


This Burnt Aubergine Chilli is vegan, healthy and easy to prepare – a perfect treat to warm your taste buds. Serve with rice and avo. 



Burnt Aubergines

  • 2 aubergines

Vegan Chilli

  • 15ml (1 tbsp) olive oil
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • 150g (¾ cup) dried green lentils, rinsed
  • 400g (14oz can) kidney beans, drained
  • 45ml (3 tbsp) molasses
  • 400g (14oz can) chopped tomatoes
  • 25g (1oz) 100% dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1g (¼ tsp) chilli powder
  • 2g (2 tsp) dried oregano
  • 4g (2 tsp) ground cumin
  • 4g (2 tsp) smoked paprika
  • 2g (1 tsp) ground coriander
  • 2g (1 tsp) ground cinnamon
  • 750ml (3 cups) vegetable stock
  • 1 lime, juiced

Recommended Accompaniments

  • brown rice
  • avocado
  • sour cream
  • grated cheddar
  • coriander leaves


  1. For the Burnt Aubergines: Place each eggplant on a gas hob and turn a quarter every 5 minutes. The process should take 20-30 minutes in order for the eggplants to be completely charred all over and completely cooked through. They will have a “collapsed” appearance.
  2. Remove from the heat and set aside to completely cool down. Once cool enough to handle, peel off all the blackened skin until you’re left with just the flesh. (You might need to rinse off the last black bits under running water. Pat dry with a paper towel afterwards.) Chop roughly and set aside.
  3. For the Vegan Chilli: Heat the oil in a large frying pan. 
  4. Add the onion and carrots, and fry over a medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring constantly, until the vegetables have softened.
  5. Add the aubergine, lentils, beans, molasses, tomatoes, chocolate and all the spices. 
  6. Pour in the stock then stir well. 
  7. Bring to the boil then lower the heat to reach a slow simmering point. 
  8. Cover with a lid and cook for 1½ hours. Check in every now and then to stir and check the liquid level. If the chilli is looking on the dry side, add a splash of water to loosen things up. 
  9. Remove the lid and check the consistency of the chilli. If it’s on the watery side, continue to simmer for another 15 minutes until a thick, saucy consistency is achieved. 
  10. Stir in the lime juice and season to taste. 
  11. Serve with accompaniments of your choice. Enjoy!


  • Feel free to play around with the types of dried pulses you use in this recipe. While puy, red and green lentils don’t need soaking, other items such as chickpeas will need soaking in water the night before. Have fun playing with different combinations!
  • You can use black treacle instead of molasses, which will lend a sweet flavour to the chilli. If you prefer saltier undertones, use soy sauce instead.
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Boil
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Keywords: burnt aubergine chilli, eggplant chili, vegan chilli recipe, lentil and eggplant chili