Eggplant Adobo Stew


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves:


Appears in

Easy Vegan

Easy Vegan

By Sue Quinn

Published 2015

  • About

Eggplant soaks up the spicy, smoky flavour of adobo paste well. This recipe makes more paste than is needed for the stew because it’s easier to do in this quantity, but it keeps for about three months, covered, in the fridge.

PREPARATION: 25 minutes, plus 30 minutes soaking
COOKING: 1 hour


  • 2 medium eggplant (aubergines), about 500 g (1 lb 2 oz), peeled and chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • sea salt flakes
  • 2 tablespoons rapeseed or vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 x 400 g (14 oz) tins chopped tomatoes
  • ½ teaspoon caster (superfine) sugar
  • 1 squeeze lime juice, or more to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • soya yoghurt or dairy-free cream cheese, to serve
  • chopped coriander (cilantro), to serve

For the Adobo Paste

  • 4 chipotle or 2 ancho chillies
  • 100 g ( oz) tomato paste (concentrated purée)
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar
  • ½ onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 clove, ground
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 50 ml ( tbsp) red wine vinegar


Heat the oven to 200°C (400°F/Gas 6). For the adobo paste, put the chipotle or ancho chillies in a bowl, cover with boiling water and set aside for 30 minutes. Make sure the chillies are submerged – you might need to weigh them down with a saucer.

Meanwhile, put the eggplant in a single layer in a large baking tray, sprinkle with salt, drizzle with the rapeseed or vegetable oil and toss to coat. Roast for 20 minutes, giving the tray a shake a couple of times during cooking.

Drain the chillies, remove and discard the stalks and put in a food processor. Add the remaining paste ingredients and blitz until smooth. Set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a large lidded pan, add the onions and cook for 10 minutes, or until soft and golden. Stir in 90 ml (3 fl oz) of the adobo paste and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the tomatoes and sugar and stir in 400 ml (14 fl oz) water. Add the eggplant, stirring to ensure all the pieces are submerged. Gently simmer with the lid on but slightly ajar for 25 minutes. Add the lime juice and season with salt and pepper.

Serve with a spoonful of yoghurt or cream cheese and a sprinkling of coriander. Delicious with steamed rice.