Vegetable moqueca

Vegetable moqueca

Cabana The Cookbook
Martin Poole

We were interested to find this vegetarian version of moqueca on the menu in a Bahian restaurant in Rio. It reflects a gradual change in the country’s diet, and the increasing popularity of vegetarian versions of classic dishes.


Quantity Ingredient
2 tablespoons olive or palm oil
1 white onion, chopped
1 green pepper, deseeded and thinly sliced
1 red pepper, deseeded and thinly sliced
4 spring onions, trimmed and finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1/2-1 teaspoon chilli powder, (to taste)
400ml coconut milk
100ml vegetable stock
2 large tomatoes, deseeded and chopped
2 tablespoons tomato puree
1 aubergine, cut into 2.5 cm chunks
2 large courgettes, cut into 1.5 cm chunks
1 lime, juiced
handful coriander, roughly chopped
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper


  1. Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat and fry the onion and peppers for 4–6 minutes, until softened. Add the spring onions, garlic, paprika and chilli powder and cook for another minute. Add the coconut milk, vegetable stock, chopped tomato and tomato purée, bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Add the aubergines and cook for 2 minutes before adding the courgettes. Simmer for another 3–4 minutes, until the vegetables are just tender, but not overcooked and mushy. Add the lime juice, then taste and adjust the seasoning. Take the pan off the heat and add the coriander. Serve in warmed bowls, with coconut or biro-biro rice and toasted farofa on the side.
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