There are no fiery or smoky chillies in this African Aubergine Coconut Cassoulet , but it is immensely flavourful.
The recipe for African Cassoulet is originally made with Boerewors which are South African sausages, I liked the sound of the flavour's in the rich ochre coloured sauce, so decided to make a vegetarian version which also happens to be suitable for vegans. In place of the Boerewors I sliced some aubergines length ways in a manner to mimic the look of the Boerewors.
I really wanted this Cassoulet to have flavours reminisce of Boerewors, so I did a little research and learned that spices such as allspice, black pepper, coriander, cloves and nutmeg are used for spicing up the Boerewors , so I have incorporated these spices into the Cassoulet. I also read something about there being grape vinegar, so decided to throw in some grape-like cherry tomatoes (from the greenhouse of course) towards the end for their natural sweet sharp zingness.
As I said earlier, this is a really really rich and flavourful dish. We had it over two days, first with red Camargue rice and Basmati rice. And it made a nice change from chilli spiked food. I am sharing this with Meat Free Mondays hosted by Tinned Tomatoes.
African Aubergine Coconut Cassoulet
2 large aubergines. top and bottom ends removed, then slice in half. then quartered length ways to look like long sausages
2 tablespoon sunflower oil
2 tablespoon sunflower oil
1 large onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon ground coriander
Good Pinch of ground cloves
Scratch grating of fresh nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
Sea salt to taste
1 x 400g tinned tomatoes, crushed
1x 400ml coconut milk
8 - 12 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1 x 400g tinned mixed beans, though I used kidney beans
Remove the butt ends and calyx from the aubergines, then cut in half. Then quarter the halves, then slice through the quartered aubergines to create two pieces, so all together you should have 16 pieces from each aubergine. Transfer to a tray, coat with olive oil and then bake in a preheated oven gas mark 5/200oc for 15 - 20 minutes, or until beginning to soften. Turn off the heat.
Heat the oil, then stir in the onions and soften when it begins to go translucent, stir in the garlic and cook for a few minutes, then stir in the spices. Cook for a few minutes, before stirring in the tinned tomatoes, crushed. Cook on medium heat, crushing the tomatoes with the back of the spoon or a masher until it is well blended , then stir in the coconut milk and simmer for 10 minutes, before stirring in the beans, cherry tomatoes and the roasted aubergines and . Simmer for 5 minutes, being careful no to to damage the aubergines too much, its important that they keep their shape.
Serve immediately with rice of your choice.
Adapted and veganized from The African Chef.