Rather shamfeully, since moving out to Hong Kong almost 3 months ago I have cooked Chinese food a grand total of 0 times. It’s bizarre, because I love eating Chinese food, and generally enjoy trying recipes from around the world, not to mention the fact that it’s the cheapest food to make here because all the ingredients are local. But here I am, constantly making food from other countries. Here, for example, is a chilli that I can’t get enough of: it’s a Simon Rimmer recipe, taken from his The Accidental Vegetarian book, and it’s just sublime. Usually his recipes are a little on the unhealthy side – like Nigella, he’s pretty liberal with the cream, cheese and chocolate. I like to think this one is a pretty safe option though, and I even left out the chocolate this time around, albeit because I forgot to buy some, not for the good of my health. Enjoy!
Aubergine & Black Bean Chilli
450g aubergines, cubed
2 red onions, finely chopped (I used white this time)
4 garlic cloves, crushed
10 small red chillies, chopped (I used 4 big ones and deseeded them too – it depends how spicy you like it)
2 x 400g tins choppped tomatoes
1 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp each cumin and cinnamon
1 bay leaf
1 tin black beans, drained
2 tbsp grated dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa content)
1. Heat some oil in a pan and fry the aubergine for 4 minutes to colour and soften. Remove and drain it on kitchen roll.
2. In the same pan (with a bit more oil, if necessary), fry the onion and garlic until soft, about 5-10 minutes, then add the chillies for a further 5 minutes.
3. Add the tomatoes, spices, bay leaf and aubergines. Simmer for 5 minutes.
4. Throw in the beans, season well and cook for 5-10 minutes. Just before serving, stir in the chocolate and remove the bay leaf.
This is lovely with rice or a nice bit of bread, and I bet it would be amazing on a jacket potato too.