Eggplant Balls with Chipotle Yoghurt

first published May 2016

Here’s a great vegetarian recipe I found on one of my favorite websites, Arthur Street Kitchen.  There are lots of fantastic “veggie-centric” recipes on this site so I encourage you to visit


Photo from Arthur Street Kitchen

Authors Notes:  are super simple to make. The cubed eggplant is simply boiled in big pot of salted water before combined with egg, breadcrumbs, garlic and pecorino cheese. My tip is to use a big pot of water as the eggplant tends to float up to the top – use a wooden spoon to push the pieces under the water as it boils. I use two types of ‘breadcrumbs’ – one is simply stale bread, which I tear up into small chunks; the other type is simply dried breadcrumbs you get from the supermarket.  I serve these mouth-popping eggplant balls with a fiery chipotle-laced yoghurt which, incidentally, pairs wonderfully with char-grilled eggplant or roasted cauliflower. Make it as hot or mild as you wish. If you prefer a vegan accompaniment, try a tomato relish or marinara sauce.

Eggplant balls with chipotle yoghurt

Makes 15-18 1-inch balls / Serves 3 as a main or 4 as a side

  • 700g/1.5 lb eggplant, unpeeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 3 slices stale bread, torn into small pieces
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup tightly packed) chopped flat leaf parsley
  • ¼ cup (tightly packed) grated pecorino cheese
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • ¾ cup dry breadcrumbs
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 2-3 big handful of rocket/arugula leaves, to serve
  • flat leaf parsley leave, to serve

Chipotle Yoghurt

  • ½ – 1 dried chipotle chilli, soaked in boiling water for 30 minutes
  • 1 small clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 cup greek yoghurt
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt

Bring a large pot of water to boil and add a two big pinches of salt. Add the eggplant cubes and boil, uncovered for 10-15 minutes, until tender. During this time, use a wooden spoon to fully submerge the eggplant in the boiling water. When cooked, drain in a colander and use a wooden spoon to press out any excess water.

Place the drained eggplant to a medium bowl and add the torn stale bread, garlic, parsley, egg and pecorino. Season the mixture with sea salt and black pepper. Using your hands or large spoon, press the mixture together until well combined. Roll into one inch (2.5cm) balls and roll each ball in the dry breadcrumbs.

Heat a medium fry pan over medium heat. Add a big glug of olive oil, enough to coat the bottom of the pan. Add the eggplant balls and shallow fry until golden all over. Drain on absorbant kitchen paper.

To make the chipotle yoghurt, remove the chilli from the soaking water and finely chop. Stir the chilli and garlic into the yoghurt and mix well. Add a drizzle of olive oil, season to taste with sea salt and stir together until smooth.

To serve, place chipotle yoghurt onto a serving plate. Scatter big handfuls of rocket/arugula leaves on top of the yoghurt. Place the eggplant balls on top and finish with a scatter of parsley leaves.