RECIPE | Smoky brinjal, tomato & lentil traybake

Packed with vibrant earthy flavours, this meat-free dish is perfect for the Autumn weather

30 May 2019 - 09:59
Smoky brinjal, tomato and lentil traybake.
Smoky brinjal, tomato and lentil traybake.
Image: Khanya Mzongwana


15 baby brinjals, peeled and left whole

150ml extra-virgin olive oil

2 tbsp veggie seasoning of your choice

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 bird’s eye chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, crushed

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tbsp Spanish smoked paprika

1 tsp cumin powder

2 tins whole peeled tomatoes

200ml tomato paste

A handful of pitted kalamata olives

200g cherry tomatoes, halved

1 cup black lentils, cooked

1 tbsp honey

2 tbsp basil pesto


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  2. Combine 100ml of the olive oil with the veggie seasoning. 
  3. Place the brinjals in an ovenproof dish and rub with the seasoned oil. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
  4. Remove the foil, crank the heat up to 250°C, and bake until the brinjals are golden brown and slightly caramelised. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  5. Heat the remaining olive oil in a pan on the stove and add the chopped onions, chilli and garlic. Fry on a medium heat until the onions are transparent.
  6. Add the dried oregano, paprika and cumin and fry for another two minutes, stirring often.
  7. Add the tinned tomatoes, followed by the tomato paste, olives, cherry tomatoes, lentils, honey and, finally, the basil pesto. Check your seasoning.
  8. Pour the tomato mixture over the roasted brinjals and pop back into the oven for 10 minutes until the sauce bubbles around the sides. Enjoy with your favourite steamed grains and a fresh salad for a kicking Meat-Free Monday.

• Chef and food stylist Khanya Mzongwana is one of the brightest rising stars on the local food scene. Check out her incredible work on her brand, Undignified, here.