Thursday, August 19, 2010
Mouth Watering Chickpea and Eggplant Stew
I was flipping through some magazines while waiting for Olivia at her Learning Rx session, and can't recall the magazine I found this recipe in but I jotted it down on a piece of scratch paper because it sounded delish. I had everything on had so I thought I'd give it a shot to use up some of the veggies in the fridge, and much to my surprise (not all of my 'try something new' recipes turn out they way I'd like) it was fantastic! The recipe is vegan though could easily be modified for the meat eaters in your family. Ian decided that I should skip the chickpeas (he's allergic to legumes and beans) and add stew meat instead, which didn't sound too bad. I'd rather stick to the recipe sans meat (it's easier, quicker and better nutritionally) HOWEVER I have to take into consideration who's eating my meals and if it's just me...well, then it's not very practical. So the recipe:
1 1/2 pounds eggplant, one or more varieties
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
6 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
1 large onion, diced in 1-inch cubes
1 large yellow or red bell or other sweet, thick-fleshed pepper, cut into triangles or strips
2 zucchini, cut into rounds 1-2 inches thick ( I cubed them)
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste (I used freshly pureed tomato flesh, with a bit of cider vinegar and salt)
1/2 cups or more chunks of tomato, peeled and seeded first, any juices reserved
1 15 ounce can chickpeas, preferably organic
8 sprigs cilantro, chopped
1. Cut the eggplant into hefty chunks, choosing a shape that works with the variety you have. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and set aside for 30 minutes to release the juices. Rinse quickly and pat dry.
2. Heat 4 tablespoons of the oil in a wide skillet over high heat until hazy. Add the eggplant and stir quickly. Reduce heat to medium and cook, turning the pieces every few minutes, until golden, about 10 minutes, then turn off the heat and set aside.
3. Warm the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion, pepper pieces, and zucchini and cook until the onions are lightly browned around the edges, 8 to 10 minutes. Toward the end, add the paprika, turmeric, and garlic, taking care not to burn. Stir in the tomato paste, then moisten the pot with a few tablespoons water and scrape up the juices from the bottom. Add the tomatoes, eggplant, chickpeas, 1 1/2 cups water (or the liquid from home-cooked or organic chickpeas), and 1 teaspoon salt. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 20 minutes, stirring once or twice. Stir in the cilantro. Serve over steamed white rice. Absolutely fantastic recipe! Nyla enjoyed it, Max didn't try it (of course), neither did Ian (though will with meat instead of chickpeas), Olivia spent the night at Nana's so missed the chance at a new recipe night. So, 2-3 out of 5 isn't half bad. Verdict..will make again and again and again.