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Slow-cooked aubergines, tamarind, roasted onion, white bean purée

by Chantelle Nicholson from Planted (Kyle Books)

Photography: Nassima Rothacker

Cannellini beans are such a handy store cupboard ingredient. These white beans can be used for salads, soups, curries and also blended to make a wonderfully creamy purée. If you have not used tamarind before, it has a rich, slightly sour taste.



2 aubergines

2 tbsp of olive oil

2 tbsp of vegetable oil

2 onions, peeled and halved from root to tip

2 tbsp of non-dairy butter

300ml roasted vegetable stock, see recipe below (or use a good quality ready-made)

sea salt

freshly ground black pepper


150ml of non-dairy milk

2 bay leaves

2 tbsp of non-dairy butter

400g of tinned cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

sea salt

freshly ground black pepper


50g of tamarind paste

100ml of vegetable stock, see recipe below (or use a good quality ready-made)

1 tbsp of agave syrup (or substitute with maple syrup or honey)

1 tbsp of cornflour


coriander, to garnish


Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4

Halve the aubergines lengthways and score the flesh with diagonal lines. Drizzle with the olive oil and season well with salt. Place in a roasting tray, cover with foil and roast for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and roast for a further 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, set an ovenproof saucepan or frying pan over a moderate heat and add the vegetable oil. When hot, put the onions, cut-side down, into the oil. Season well with salt and brown for 8 minutes until golden, then add the butter and cook for a further 8 minutes.

Pour over 300ml of the stock, bring to the boil, then cover the pan with a lid or foil. Transfer to the oven and cook for 30 minutes. Once cooked, remove the onions from the pan and reserve the liquid.

For the bean purée, put the milk, bay leaves and butter in a saucepan. Bring to a gentle simmer then remove from the heat, add the beans and cover and set aside to infuse for 20 minutes. Remove the bay leaves, then blend the beans until smooth, adding more milk if needed. Season well and keep warm.

For the tamarind sauce, put the tamarind paste, 100ml stock and agave syrup in a medium saucepan. Add the cooking liquor from the onions, bring to a simmer and season well. Mix the cornflour with 1 tablespoon of water, then whisk into the sauce. Remove from the heat and pour through a fine sieve.

To serve, place a large dollop of white bean purée onto each plate and add an aubergine half. Using a fork, peel apart the layers of each onion and add to the plates. Finish with the tamarind sauce and garnish with coriander


2 tablespoons vegetable oil

4 onions, roots removed and halved

1 leek, trimmed and cut into four

3 carrots, peeled and halved

2 celery stalks, halved

1 whole garlic bulb, halved horizontally

2 tablespoons tomato paste

½ teaspoon Marmite

2 sprigs of rosemary

2 bay leaves

4 sprigs of thyme

6 white peppercorns

½ teaspoon coriander seeds

½ teaspoon fennel seeds

Heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan over a high heat. When almost smoking, add the onions, leek, carrots and celery and brown well. Add the garlic and brown for 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and Marmite and mix well. Add 8 litres of water followed by the remaining ingredients. Turn down the heat and simmer gently for 2 hours. Strain off and refrigerate the liquid for up to five days, or freeze in batches.

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