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This ‘chilli non-carne’ uses strips of creamy, smoky eggplant to add some textural heartiness to the bowl. It’s a refreshing twist on a reliable classic that will leave you super satisfied!

You will need

Serves 4

  • 2 eggplants
  • 30ml olive oil
  • 1 brown onion, finely diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • 100g swiss brown mushrooms, finely diced
  • 1 red capsicum, finely diced
  • 1 yellow capsicum, finely diced
  • 2 long red chillies, finely diced
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cracked pepper
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tin crushed tomatoes
  • 100ml vegetable stock
  • Salt and pepper

For the guacamole

  • 2 Hass avocados
  • 2 limes, juice only
  • 1/2 red onion, finely diced
  • Handful of fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped
  • Salt and pepper

To serv:

  • Steamed rice
  • Fresh coriander
  • Plant-based sour cream (natural flavoured coconut yoghurt works great too)
  • Tortilla chips (optional)

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15 mins to prep

45 mins to cook

  1. Step 1

    We’re burning the eggplants – on purpose! Prick each eggplant all over with a fork, and then lay them directly over the flames on your gas stovetop. (If you don’t have a gas stovetop, you can also char them on the BBQ or under a very hot grill). Use tongs to rotate them so they get evenly charred. When you see lots of steam being released, and the eggplants feel soft all the way through when you squeeze them with the tongs, they’re ready to go. Place the charred eggplants in a bowl and cover with a plate or tea towel to let them sweat.

  2. Step 2

    Add the oil to a deep saucepan on high heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add the onion and garlic and fry until lightly browned. Then add the mushrooms, capsicums, and chillies, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.

  3. Step 3

    Once everything is softened and starting to break down, stir in all the spices – including the cinnamon stick – and cook for a further 30 seconds.

  4. Step 4

    Add crushed tomatoes and vegetable stock. Bring to the boil then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

  5. Step 5

    In the meantime, make the guac by mashing up the avocados and adding lime juice, red onion, and coriander. Mix well and season to taste.

  6. Step 6

    Peel the skin off the eggplants and squeeze off the stems at the top. Then roughly tear the eggplants into strips, and put them in the pot along with the liquid. Cook for a further 10 minutes to let the flavours infuse, then remove the cinnamon stick.

  7. Step 7

    Serve piping hot on a bed of rice, topped with guac, plant-based sour cream, and a sprinkle of coriander.

Hot tip!

Tortilla chips pair amazingly with this dish – you can either use them to scoop up the chilli, or crumble them over the top for added crunch!

Recipe: Simon Toohey

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