Eggplant and Chickpea Stew
This dish draws inspiration from a traditional Middle-eastern Eggplant and Chickpea stew but I have added a few of my own twists to it. I make this stew or a variation of it quite often. For one, I love eggplant and my husband loves chickpeas so this is one stew that works for both of us. Also, it is a dish that can be used as the main course (works perfectly for Meatless Mondays) and if you omit the addition of feta cheese at the end, it is can work for those following the vegan diet and it can be a great side dish. I like to serve it as a bed for grilled fish and the flavors of both combine really well. The last time I made it, I ate it with a bowl of boiled Quinoa and it made for a very filling and nutritious meal. It is packed with lots of flavor because I add aromatics like garlic, onion, sun-dried tomatoes, coriander and cumin during the cooking process and at the very end I add olives, fresh mint, Feta cheese and pomegranate seeds.
1. 1-1.5 lbs of eggplant (I used a Sicilian eggplant but you can use any kind of eggplant)
2. ½ medium sized red onion
3. 4 cloves of garlic
4. 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
5. 2 tablespoons of honey
6. Salt and pepper to taste
7. 1 tablespoon of coriander seeds
8. 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
9. ½ teaspoon of red pepper flakes
10. 1 16 oz can of chickpeas
11. 1 16 oz can of tomato sauce
12. 1 bell pepper (I used a yellow one, you can use any kind)
13. 2 tablespoons of sun-dried tomatoes (I buy the jarred one from Trader Joe’s which are preserved in olive oil)
14. 3-4 tablespoons of small sized olives (I had a mix of Nicoise and small green olives)
15. 3-4 tablespoons of cubed sheep’s milk feta
16. A few sprigs of fresh mint
17. Some fresh pomegranate seeds
1. Peel and chop the onion in small diced pieces.
2. In a large heavy bottomed pan, add the olive oil and start heating it on medium heat.
3. Add the onions to the pot and stir.
4. Peel and slice the garlic cloves and add to the pot and stir.
5. Dice the eggplant in about ½ inch cubes.
6. When the onion pieces look a bit translucent, add the eggplant to pieces to the pot and stir. Cook the eggplant for about 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently.
7. Chop the flesh of the sweet bell pepper (take out the stem and the seeds) in bite sized pieces and add the pot and stir.
8. Open the can of chickpeas. Place them in a colander and wash the chickpeas under a stream of cold water. After the water is drained from the chickpeas add them to the pot and stir.
9. Add the pieces of sun-dried tomatoes and stir.
10. Coarsely grind the coriander, cumin and pepper flakes in a spice grinder and add them to the pot.
11. Also add salt and pepper to taste. Cook for another 3-4 minutes.
12. Open a can of tomato paste and add to the pot and stir.
13. Add honey and stir and allow the stew to cook over low heat for 4-5 minutes.
14. Check for a balance of savory, sweet and tart and if needed adjust according to your preferences.
16. Wash and coarsely chop the mint leaves and add them to the stew. Turn the heat off.
17. At the very end, add some cubes of feta cheese (if you are going for the vegan option, omit this step).
18. Serve the stew while it is piping hot, with a liberal sprinkling of pomegranate seeds on top. You can serve it with flat bread of any kind (like pita bread or focaccia) or with some saffron rice or fluffy couscous or some boiled quinoa.
Looks great! I have one last eggplant, and I think I know what I will be doing with it.
Hey Mary Jo – I’d love to know what you think of this recipe… Shakeb and I love it (we love anything with eggplant in it)…and it goes well with a lot of things. I hope you are well 🙂 Send me feedback – xoxo
Hi Shabnam, Very nice! There are layers of flavor and more flavor! And it is very pretty with the mint and pomegranate seeds at the end. Leftovers will be perfect for lunches this week. I am having a good fall here– Hope all is well with you and your lovely family. xo Mary Jo
Great!!! So happy that you liked the stew. This has become my new staple for the days when I don’t feel like eating meat (which happens often when Shakeb is traveling and I am alone at home). The good thing is that it freezes well too, so I have frozen small one-serving sized packages and intend to take them out when I don’t feel like cooking for just one person. It’s good to hear from you. BTW your pics of the fall flowers were beautiful – xoxo – Shabnam