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2 Meat-Free Weeknight Meals

These two meat-free weeknight meals, brinjal ragu cheesy pap and okra stew with fragrant rice, are bound to satisfy all your needs.


Brinjal ragu cheesy pap


Meat-Free Weeknight Meals


For the brinjal ragu

Vegetable oil ¼ cup 

Large brinjals, cubed 2 

Onion, thinly sliced 1 

Cloves garlic, minced 3 

Tomato paste 1 tbsp 

Red wine ¼ cup 

Tin chopped and peeled tomatoes 1 × 400 g 

Chopped oregano 1 tbsp 

Bay leaf 1 

Water ⅓ cup 

Sugar 1 tbsp 

For the cheesy pap

Boiling water 4 ½ cups

Maize meal 1 cup

Butter 1 tbsp

Grated white Cheddar  ⅓ cup 



For the brinjal ragu

1. Heat up the oil in a pan over medium heat. Cook the brinjal until golden on all sides. Remove and set aside. 

2. In the same pan, add the onions and cook until softened and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the tomato paste and brinjal. Cook for 2 min, then deglaze the pot with the wine. Cook for 1 minute. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for 5 min. Season to taste.

For the cheesy pap

1. Place the water in a pot and whisk in the maize meal. Cook until thickened and cooked through. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and cheese.

To serve 

1. Spoon the cheesy pap into serving bowls and top with the brinjal ragu. Garnish with fresh coriander if desired.



Okra stew with fragrant rice

SERVES 4 //  TOTAL TIME 35 min

Meat-Free Weeknight Meals


For the okra stew 

Vegetable oil 2 tbsp

Onion, finely chopped 1

Cloves garlic, minced 3

Ginger, peeled and grated 3 cm piece

Green chilli, chopped 1

Okra, cut into 2 cm rounds 300 g

Cinnamon stick 1

Ground allspice 1 tsp

Ground coriander 1 tsp

Paprika 1 tsp

Tin chopped tomatoes 1 × 400 g 

Water ½ cup

Lemon juice 2 tbsp

For the fragrant rice

Butter 1 tbsp

Cumin seeds 1 tsp

Basmati rice 1 cup

Water 1 ½ cups

Salt 1 tsp

Chopped parsley 1 tbsp

Chopped coriander 1 tbsp

To serve 

Fresh coriander

Toasted pita 4



For the okra stew 

1. Heat the oil in a pot over medium-high until shimmering. Add the onions and cook for 3 minutes until translucent. Add the garlic, ginger and chilli and cook until fragrant. Add the okra and cook for 5 min. Add the spices, season well and stir for 1 minute until toasted.

2. Add the tomatoes and water. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat to low and simmer covered for 10–15 min. Uncover and stir in the lemon juice. Adjust seasoning if necessary.

For the fragrant rice

1. Melt the butter in a pot over medium heat. Toast the cumin seeds for 1 minute. Add the rice and cook until fragrant and is coated with butter. Add the water and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover and cook until the water is absorbed, about 12 minutes. 

2. Remove from the heat and let sit, uncovered, for 10 minutes to let the steam escape. Gently fluff with a fork and stir through the herbs.

To serve

1. Serve the stew with fragrant rice and toasted pita on the side.


Recipes & Styling: Jezza-Rae Larsen
Styling assistant: Kirsty Buchanan & Sjaan van der Ploeg
Photography: Chanelle Naudt/


Believe it or not, meatballs don’t have to be made out of meat! You can have tasty vegetarian ones too such as these lentil and aubergine ones.

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