Meat Free Lent: Recipe 1, Spiced Aubergines.

This year Canterbury Anglican Deanery Eco Group are encouraging us to have a Meat-free Lent, and every day will be sending out a recipe. Thank you to all of those who have contributed to this.

(I am glad to share this project but finding pictures would be too time consuming! Will Turnstone. I’ll catch up by posting two recipes today and tomorrow, and probably again ;ater in the season!)

Rev Jo Richards writes:
Here is the introduction to this initiative:”One thing we can all do to help combat global warming and help the environment is to eat less meat, because plant-based food produce only half the green-house gases than meat does.  Lent is traditionally a time when Christians give up meat, and although fish was often allowed as an alternative, the 17th century poet Robert Herrick pointed out that it is not a true fast “to quit the dish of flesh, yet still to fill the platter high with fish” ,

These recipes have been suggested by members of churches in Canterbury as good ways to eat well without eating meat. Many of these recipes use no animal products – they are vegan, and are marked with an * in front of the title ; others use cheese, milk, cream  and/or eggs but not meat. In  some cases these can be made vegan by omitting these ingredients, or by  using soya or almond milk or cream, and  an egg substitute such as aquafaba as a binding agent. Most of them are hot warming dishes suitable for Lent when the weather is often cold and dull, but there are a few salads and dishes served cold which might be useful when the weather warms up.

Recipe number 1 from Bev at All Saints:

Spiced Aubergines

Serves 4-6

The deep colour of the aubergine brought it under suspicion in the 16th century.  The herbalist John Gerard, in whose day it was known as the ‘madde apple’ or ‘raging apple’, commented in his Herbal (1597): ‘Doubtless these apples have a mischievous qualitie, the use whereof is to bee utterly forsaken’ – advice that his countrymen may have hearkened to, for the plant was rarely eaten here before 20th century.  As aubergines originally came from India, it is not surprising that some of the best recipes for them include spices which have become familiar to us in curries.  Asafoetida is a gum resin, with a strong onion odour, relished as a condiment in India and Iran, where it is used as a flavouring in cookery. 

Preparation time: 45 mins Cooking time: 35-40 mins

2 aubergines, cut into ½ inch (1.5cm) thick slices
Sea salt
6 tbsp veg oil or ghee
2 tbsp sesame seeds
Pinch of asafoetida (optional)
Root ginger, approx 1 inch (2.5cm) 
chopped1 tsp paprika
¼ tsp ground black pepper
Juice of 1½ lemons or 2 limes
2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander or parsley

Put the aubergines in a colander and sprinkle with salt.  Leave to stand for 40 mins to remove excess moisture, Dry with paper towels.

Heat 4 tbsp of oil in a heavy frying pan and add the aubergine slices; fry quickly on both sides.

Remove from the pan and set aside.

Heat the remaining 2 tbsp of oil in the pan.  Add the sesame seeds, asafoetida, ginger, paprika and black pepper and fry for 2-3 mins.

Return the aubergines to the pan and stir in the lemon or lime juice.

Cover and simmer over a very low heat for about 30 mins.

Place the aubergines in a warmed serving dish and sprinkle them with the chopped coriander or parsley. 


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Filed under Christian Unity, Daily Reflections, Justice and Peace, Lent

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