Char-grilled Aubergine for a vegan braai

Now this is my kind of steak!

As mentioned to you all in a previous post, I am from a very Afrikaans family and in our household we braai at least once a week. I don’t mind the braai though, in fact, I love it! I always make a mean veggie dip for starters and pop a Fry’s sausage or Woolwoths’s vegan patty onto the grill with my favourite Jack Daniels basting sauce. To accompany my meats, I do a traditional braai broodjie, a potato salad, green salad and/or a pasta salad – all vegan of course! However, lately I have been craving a bit of a variety when it comes to our braai’s, so I was absolutely stoked when I saw this recipe in an old Women’s Health magazine.

- Source: Women's Health SA, September 2013

– Source: Women’s Health SA, September 2013

Why eat Aubergine? Aubergine (or eggplant) is one of my favourite vegetables and is also very nutrient dense. They serve as an excellent source of dietary fibre, vitamin K, vitamins B1, B3 and B6 and potassium. They also contain minerals such as copper, magnesium and manganese. Aubergines are also rich in antioxidants, specifically nasunin which is found in the skin – thus it is important not to peel the aubergine for cooking. Nasunin’s most important function is protecting the lipids (fats) in brain cell membranes and helping it to function. The lipids are responsible for protecting the cell from free radicals, letting nutrients in and wastes out, and receiving instructions from messenger molecules that tell the cell which activities it should perform. Another plus is that aubergines are super low in fat and actually help manage type 2 diabetes and weight problems.

People have this misconception that vegans can’t braai and they are often sceptical about inviting a vegan as they have no idea what to serve. This recipe will blow your vegan friends’ socks off! It is delicious, nutritious, inexpensive and so super easy to make as there is literally no prepping involved. I hope you like it as much as I did – it has earned its spot into the Roode braai ritual.

Char-grilled Aubergine for a vegan braai:


  • 1x medium aubergine per person
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh lemon Juice
  • Sea salt and ground black pepper


  1. Prick the aubergine numerously with a fork
  2. As is, grill the aubergine on the braai over hot coals until it becomes charred (black) on the outside. When you squeeze it, you will feel that the aubergine flesh is soft on the inside.
  3. Slash a cross on top of the aubergine and squish the four sides inwards (like you would do with a baked potato)
  4. Drizzle the aubergine with olive oil and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper according to taste
  5. Serve it as is or with toasted bruschetta

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