This flavorful, spice-infused Mediterranean eggplant chickpea stew is easy-to-prepare with staples you may already have on hand in your pantry! It works well as a main dish, as a filler or dip for pita bread, and/or as a complementary side to other Mediterranean side dishes. Serve it simply alongside cucumbers, Greek yogurt, bulgur (as done here) or alongside Mediterranean classics such as tzatziki, baba ganoush, or hummus! This one-pot meal makes for easy cleaning. It tastes even better the next day after the flavors blend together more-so, so go ahead and prepare it in advance! It will keep in the fridge for up 3-4 days or can be frozen in freezer-safe containers once cooled.
Servings: 6-8 servings
Prep Time: 20-60 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes
1 large eggplant or 2 small eggplants, cubed
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped (or 1-1.5 cups diced frozen yellow onion)
1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced (or 1-1.5 cups diced frozen green bell pepper)
1 large carrot or 2 small carrots, chopped
5 large garlic cloves, minced
2 dried bay leaves
1 1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt (optional)
1 28-oz can no-salt-added diced tomatoes
2 15-oz cans low-sodium chickpeas (*reserve the canning liquid)
Parsley and mint for garnish (optional)
Place eggplant cubes in a colander over a large bowl or over sink and sprinkle lightly with kosher salt. Set aside for 20-60 minutes to draw the bitter liquid out of the eggplant. Rinse with water to remove salt. Pat dry.
Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
In a dutch oven or oven / stovetop-proof cooking pot, heat 1/4 cup olive oil over medium-high heat until shimmering but not smoking. Add chopped onion, peppers, and carrot. Cook for 2-5 minutes, stirring regularly. Add minced garlic, bay leaves, and spices. Cook another minute, stirring until fragrant.
Add eggplant, diced tomato, chickpeas, and reserved chickpea liquid. Stir to combine.
Bring to a rolling boil for 10 minutes, stirring regularly. Remove from stove top. Cover and transfer to oven.
Cook in oven for 45 minutes until eggplant is fully cooked through and tender.
Remove from oven when eggplant is tender. Remove bay leaves from stew and discard.
Garnish stew with fresh herbs (parsley or mint or combination of both) as desired.
Serve hot or at room temperature alongside cucumbers, Greek yogurt, feta cheese, bulgur, and/or additional Mediterranean sides. Enjoy!
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