Recipe: Smoky aubergine with tomatoes and chickpeas

A simple (and economical) vegan supper or light lunch that's packed with flavour

  • place PRE 10 minutes plus soaking time
  • place COOK 60 minutes
  • place SERVES 4
  • printicon

The smokiness in the sauce comes from chipotle chillies, which in this instance are dried and rehydrated. You can use chipotle paste if you prefer – add it cautiously though — a teaspoon at a time — as it can vary in heat. Serve with steamed couscous, brown basmati rice or warmed flatbreads.


  • Preheat the oven to 160° (fan)/180°C.

  • Soak the chipotle chillies in freshly boiled water for 20 minutes to soften.

  • Tip the chopped onion into a large, heavy lidded saucepan. Add 1 tbsp of the olive oil and cook over a low-medium heat for about 8 minutes until softened and just starting to brown at the edges.

  • Meanwhile, cut a cross on the underside of each tomato and soak in a bowl of freshly boiled water for 1 minute to loosen the skins. Drain the tomatoes under cold running water, peel off the skins, cut out the tough core and roughly chop the flesh. Set aside.

  • Combine the aubergine and peppers in a large roasting tin, drizzle with the remaining oil and mix thoroughly to coat the vegetables. Cook in the oven for about 30 minutes, turning every ten minutes, until softened and golden brown.

  • Add the garlic and cumin to the onions and cook for another minute. Drain the chillies, finely chop and add to the pan with the tomato purée. Stir to combine and cook for a further 2 minutes to lightly caramelise the tomato purée. Add the chopped tomatoes, chickpeas and vegetable stock and season well with salt and black pepper. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for ten minutes until the tomatoes have broken down and softened.

  • Add the roasted aubergines and peppers to the pan, cover and continue to cook for a further ten minutes until the aubergines are very soft and have soaked up the tomato sauce.

  • Add the date syrup and adjust the seasoning if needed. Scatter with the coriander and lemon zest to serve.

    Recipe adapted from ‘Eat More Vegan’ (Pavilion Books)


2 dried chipotle chillies
1 large onion, chopped
3 tbsp olive oil
500g ripe tomatoes
2 aubergines, quartered lengthways then cut into large bite-size chunks
2 Romano peppers, deseeded and cut into large bite-size chunks
1 large garlic clove, crushed
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tbsp tomato purée
1 x 400g can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
200ml vegetable stock
2 tsp date or dark agave syrup
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
To serve:
2 tbsp roughly chopped coriander
Zest of 1 unwaxed lemon

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