Vegan “meatballs” with spicy roasted eggplants dip

Vegan "meatballs" with spicy roasted eggplants dip

If you are a meat lover, please dont tune out yet. Just because you love your meat doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy a good, clean, vegan dish. Sometimes, even the sturdiest of systems needs a reset. And for those occasions, or to serve to your vegetarian and vegan friends, I have just the dish: Vegan “meatballs” with spicy roasted eggplants dip. It’s to die for.

OK, maybe that was a poor choice of words.

After two weeks traveling, and two more weeks to be back home, I have subjected my digestive system to abuses that it rarely takes kindly. We all do that when we travel. For the last two days I’ve had to give it a break, I would like to get back home in one piece.

Dairy farm

One thing you’ll need to know if are coming to Denmark is that this is a cuisine that can be quite heavy on one’s system, especially to those of us who are not used to eating a lot of dairy and animal fat.

Old Mill

Cheese is big in Europe, we all know that. But Northern Europeans, especially Scandinavians, are the world’s largest population of lactose-tolerant people (it’s ironic that its actually lactose intolerant people who make up the vast majority of humanity). Dairy is a huge part of the Danish diet. And why not? They can digest dairy past weaning and into old age.

Vegan "meatballs" with spicy roasted eggplants dip

I have written about my “condition” before, and about Danes’ love for dairy.

Since I entered my 30s I have been mildly to moderately lactose-intolerant. I love cheese, and I can tolerate a bit, a bit more if I take it with lactase pills. But at some point I pass my body’s ability to tolerate dairy.

I can very easily reach this point by 11 AM here. And I did.

I’ll spare you the details. You can thank me now.


Luckily we are not talking Viking-times winter here, there are vegetables aplenty in today’s Denmark. So back to my beloved veggies, at least for a while.

So, give these delicious balls a try, they are tasty, crunchy, filling, and the dip is to die for.

Maybe I should stop using that expression.

Aunt Clara
Vegan “Meatballs” with Spicy Roasted Eggplants Dip Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Whether you are a meat lover in a search of good party food, or a vegetarian or vegan seeking a good alternative to meat dishes, these Vegan “meatballs” with spicy roasted eggplants dip will not disappoint.
Serves: 6 servings
For the balls
  • 2 cups of chickpeas, boiled soft
  • 1 cup of lentils, boiled soft
  • 3 slices of whole-wheat bread
  • 1 small white onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • ½ red bell pepper
  • 2 sprigs of parsley
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • ¼ teaspoon of pepper
  • ⅓ cup of olive oil
For the dip
  • 1 large eggplant (6" or 13 cm aprox), or equivalent
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped cilantro
  • 1 hot pepper of your preference
  • A pinch of nutmeg (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon of salt, or to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon of pepper, or to taste
For the balls
  1. Pulse the bread in the food processor until it has the texture of coarse sugar. Reserve.
  2. Mix bell pepper, onion, garlic, parsley, pepper and salt and pulse in the food processor until you obtain a coarse paste. Reserve.
  3. Pulse the chickpeas in the food processor just long enough to break them into smaller pieces (a quarter of their original size).
  4. Mix chickpeas, lentils, breadcrumbs and seasoning paste from step 2. Mix well. Taste and add salt to taste if you find it necessary.
  5. Make the paste into balls of about 1½" in diameter. Reserve.
  6. Heat oil over medium heat in a large frying pan.
  7. Pan fry balls long enough to turn brown on the outside. Rest on a paper towel to absorb excess oil.
For the dip
  1. Put the eggplants directly on the fire in your stove. When the side on the fire has blackened turn until the whole eggplant has turned black.
  2. Immediately soak in cold water. Using a spoon, remove and discard the peel.
  3. Heat oil over low heat in a skillet or pan. Cook and stir the onions until they turn transparent.
  4. Add the peppers, tomatoes and garlic. Cook and stir for a minute.
  5. Add the eggplants, nutmeg and cilantro and stir until the cilantro wilts. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature
  6. Season with pepper and salt to taste.
  7. Place in a food processor. Add hot pepper to taste.
  8. Serve balls with the dip.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 3 balls, aprox
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{ 12 comments… add one }

  • Joan December 15, 2014, 2:53 PM

    It will not allow me to print your recipe for Vegan Meatballs with spicy roasted eggplant dip. could you please email it to me? I would love to make this for dinner.

    • Aunt Clara December 15, 2014, 8:46 PM

      You should be able to print it now. Sorry, I cannot email recipes.

  • daphne October 22, 2013, 8:06 PM

    Can I bake these instead? Will it affect the taste or texture?

    • Aunt Clara October 22, 2013, 11:34 PM

      I am not sure, I haven’t tested it that way. You can try and see if it works.

  • Kristi Rimkus July 14, 2013, 11:26 AM

    These look terrific for meatless Mondays. I love the chickpeas and lentils.

  • Suzanne perazzini July 5, 2013, 5:01 PM

    Fortunately lactose is not my issue so I could happily eat in Denmark but I feel your pain, believe me. This dish looks so tasty but wouldn’t suit my issues – we are all so individual with our digestive systems. It makes you wonder what they did in the past when food was scarce and you had to eat what you could find. Or maybe the level of food intolerances in the world today didn’t exist back then.

    • Aunt Clara July 6, 2013, 5:38 AM

      Yesterday was another “Denmark is trying to kill me!” day. I have learned that asking before ordering is a must. Even a pasta dish that usually does not contain dairy appeared on my table with cream. I ended up leaving most of it, but even the bit I ate did me in.

      I think I will eat all my meals at the local Thai restaurant from now on. :0

  • Charlie Sommers July 5, 2013, 2:21 PM

    This sounds delicious! The meatballs sound like a version of falafel which I am very fond of and the eggplant dip is quite similar to baba ghanoush another Middle Eastern dish of which I am quite fond. I bet your recipe would lend itself to being stuffed in a piece of wholewheat pita bread along with some watercress, lettuce, or coleslaw and being eaten as a sandwich.

    • Aunt Clara July 6, 2013, 5:35 AM

      Yes, I was inspired by falafel, but I wanted something with a more dominican taste. The eggplant dip is basically berenjenas asadas, with the eggs left out.

  • Eileen Z. Fuentes July 5, 2013, 1:28 PM

    Any chance we can convince you to create a Dominican Cooking vegan cookbook??? That would make me very happy.

  • Nami | Just One Cookbook July 2, 2013, 10:07 AM

    Ohhhh yum! I love the spicy eggplant dip here. Never tried making “meatball” with chickpeas but they look and sound delicious!