Veggie aubergine chilli
Aubergines seem to feature quite heavily in a lot of veggie recipes. Is it because they’re fairly meaty in texture, while also good at soaking up other flavours? Probably, I guess. They’re not something I’ve got much experience of cooking – if I’m honest, before I went veggie I’d probably only used them once or twice before. This easy-peasy recipe for a warming, thick chilli sin carne uses a whole aubergine, chopped up roughly. I used the slow cooker (because I’m quite lazy) in this recipe, and was surprised how thick the end result turned out – I usually factor in 15-20 minutes of oven cooking at the end of a slow cooker recipe to thicken the stew, but here it wasn’t needed! The smoked paprika gives an amazing depth of flavour, and I’d estimate you’d end up with around 4-6 portions (depending on if you go back for seconds…)
1 aubergine (the bigger the better, hurr hurr)
1 onion (red or white, up to you)
400g tin Tesco Spicy Beans
400g tin chopped tomatoes
400ml vegetable stock
Big glug of soy sauce
1/2 tsp chilli powder
2 tsp oregano
100g red lentils
1 tsp Schwartz Moroccan seasoning
1 tsp La Chinata Sweet Smoked Paprika
1 tbsp light oil for frying
Start by dicing your carrots and onion, then fry over a low heat for 10 minutes or so, to brown. While this is cooking, chop up your aubergine into chunks. Larger chunks are good for texture, but smaller ones break down a little more easily – up to you!
Once your onions and carrots have browned, tip them into the slow cooker with the aubergine chunks. Turn the slow cooker to High, to get it warmed up while you add everything else. Tip in your tin of spicy beans (I love these beans, and use them for so many things. Cheap and tasty!), tomatoes, as well as the lentils and all your spices. Stick the kettle on and stir it all together as you wait for it to boil.
Make up your vegetable stock when the kettle has boiled, pour the whole lot into the slow cooker, add a glug of soy sauce, and stir to make sure it’s all combined.
Pop the lid on, turn the slow cooker down to Medium, and… that’s it! I let mine cook for 4 hours, but you could equally turn it up to High and see what it looks like after an hour and a half, or leave it for 6 hours on Low while you’re at work.
Serve with rice or tortilla chips (or both!) – I also added coleslaw, you could make guacamole, or use soured cream – the possibilities are endless!