It’s almost Bonfire Night!
Which means one thing in the kitchen: warming, hearty, wholesome bowls of food to keep you fired up for long enough to enjoy a night out in the chilly November air.
And I think this Chickpea Aubergine Chilli ticks all the boxes. It’s:
- smoky, spicy, rich and fragrant;
- a great one-pan meal;
- ready in under an hour;
- wholesome, healthy but super tasty; and
- great for any occasion, from having guests over for a hearty dinner to a simple mid-week meal.
Growing up, Bonfire Night was always something to get excited about! It involved:
- dressing up in a witch’s hat and bin bag-turned-wizard-cape (I was reluctant to let go of Halloween, and didn’t see why a witch shouldn’t have a wizard cape);
- stuffing one of Dad’s old work boiler suits with newspaper to make a guy;
- bonfires (obviously); and
- big mugs of Mum’s home made carrot and coriander soup, followed by jacket potatoes loaded with lovely, hot toppings and sausages.
Glorious. Our family Bonfire Night parties were so much fun – I hope one day to reignite some of those traditions, in all their odd-ball wonder.
But for now, even without the bonfire, I take great pleasure in recreating little elements of those gatherings in our lovely, cosy home. If we’re not trying to spot some fireworks somewhere on the London skyline, I have something worthy of a Bonfire Night party bubbling away.
And this Chickpea Aubergine Chilli is just the thing! Everyone has their own take on chilli, and this is the result of many tweaks and tasting sessions. I absolutely love chickpeas, so of course they make an appearance, but I think it’s the aubergine that makes this dish really special. It adds great texture and flavour, as well as a lovely alternative to either lentils or soy mince.
Serve in big bowls with the gloriously seasonal Savoury Pumpkin Spice Muffins (SO GOOD!), baked potatoes or brown rice.
Have a wonderful Bonfire Night!
- 2 tsp oil (olive and coconut work well)
- 2 white onions
- 6 garlic cloves
- 1 red chilli
- 1 aubergine (eggplant)
- 2 tsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp cayenne
- 1 tin chickpeas (400g / drained weight 240g), rinsed and drained
- 1 tin kidney beans (400g / drained weight 240g), rinsed and drained
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes (400g) + ½ a tin of water
- 1 tbsp tomato purée
- 1 tbsp good soy sauce
- Fresh coriander, to serve
- Heat 1 tsp of the oil to a moderate temperature in a large non-stick pan. Finely chop the onions, garlic and chilli and add these to the pan. Sauté for 5 minutes.
- While this is cooking chop the aubergine into 1cm cubes.
- Add the second tsp of oil to the pan and stir in the aubergine cubes, ensuring all are coated in a little oil. Increase the heat a little and cook for 10 minutes, until the aubergine softens and browns.
- Add the spices, chickpeas, kidney beans and stir well, before adding the remaining ingredients.
- Cook on a slightly reduced heat for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Serve with fresh black pepper, coriander leaves and something to soak up the delicious sauce.