It really is a wonderful thing when one of your besties ends up a professional chef. It’s even better when she’s game to whip up a vegan meal and guest feature on your blog! BIG thanks & shoutout to my girl Emma from Capetown who’s cooked up her ‘chilli con aubergine’ for this weeks #veganviernes. This babe is head chef at Hallelujah Cape Town – so if you’re over that way, GO CHECK IT OUT.
Over to you Emma…
Chilli con carne is a staple when it comes to wholesome warming home cooked meals at my home…bear in mind it is basically winter in Cape Town so this was a prefect supper for the miserable evening it is here today. I’m sure you folk in England will still get a fair few rubbish days coming your way before your one to two months of summer, so cook away! Aubergines are incredibly versatile and give an amazing texture. The beans and chickpeas also add some protein to the meal so should help fill you up. If you want to get creative, serve these with some wraps or a bowl of rice.
oil for frying
1 small red onion, chopped (i like to keep it chunky)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3 sprigs of thyme
1 red pepper, chopped (also chunky)
2 green chilli, sliced
2 medium aubergine, cubed, degorged* and rinsed well
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 cinnamon stick
3 cardamom pods
1 tbsp tomato paste
30ml sherry vinegar
100ml red wine (if available….dont go wasting your good stuff)
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1/2 tin chickpeas
1 tin red kidney beans
salt to taste
Avo and fresh coriander to garnish
*NOTE: Degorging just means salting the aubgerine and letting it sit in a colander for about an hour. It just pulls away the bitterness of the aubgerine and gives it a nice texture. Make your chunks big so they are nice and meaty when you eat it. And as I mentioned in the recipe, make sure you wash it well otherwise your chilli is gonna be SALTAY!
Heat your wok (you can use a saucepan but I find the heat distributes better for the amount of veg going in here in a wok) and add a decent amount of oil…probably about 50ml. Get it nice and hot. Add your onions and garlic and season generously, you won’t be adding any more salt until the end and its best to get those juices out of the onions. Sauté for 2 minutes until starting to soften. Add your red pepper and chilli. Sauté for another 2 minutes.
Throw in all your well rinsed aubergine (DO NOT USE the excess liquid that came out of it, as that is obviously what we are trying to get rid of!) Stir for 2 minutes, then cover and let steam for 5 minutes, check half way through to make sure its not burning. Add your spices and mix. Add your tomato paste and mix. Throw in the sherry vinegar and your wine and allow it to reduce so there is practically no more liquid.
Next add your tinned tomatoes and half a tin full of a water. Bring it to the boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer for approximately 10 minutes. You want the mixture to reduce so its saucey but not runny. Add you drained chickpeas and kidney beans and simmer for a few more minutes. Check your seasoning, add a bit more salt if need be. Serve nice and hot garnished with avo and coriander.
Enjoy! This was fun, and who knew vegan food could be so delicious 😉