Aubergine and Chickpea Stew

In times of stress, I crave comfort food.  When adrenalin courses through my veins and my heart beats a tattoo against my ribs, my stomach roars and swells at the thought of all those foods which have seen me through the most difficult periods of my life. The chicken soup with matzo balls my Bubbie made for me after I was stung by a jellyfish when I was five.  The ramen noodles with dashes of soy sauce I’d inhale when I was a student and living off 50p a day. The lamb hotpot my Dad would serve up when I was cold, lonely and depressed, and the world felt like a very cruel place indeed.  Right now, as I hurtle towards my wedding with the speed of Usain Bolt hurtling down an athletics track (only two weeks to go!)  I find myself craving the food equivalent of a bearhug – steamed puddings, pies, crumpets laden with melted cheese. Wedding diets be damned, I’d rather be curing my hen night hangover with a giant burger than a macrobiotic wholegrain salad.

And then there’s my old steadfast. Stew. I could go on at length about how much I love making stew – that relaxing art of chopping everything you can find, dumping it into a pot with some stock and tomatoes and letting it all bubble away for a few hours. Stew is the ultimate hug in a bowl, irrespective of what that chemically-laden-upstart Cup-a-Soup may tell you. And while it may not be the most seasonal of suppers considering the unexpected dose of Summer we’re experiencing at the moment,  it is one of the tastiest, simplest and most satisfying.

This Aubergine and Chickpea Stew sees silky, meaty aubergines paired with chickpeas, crunchy fried onions and the warming hit of cinnamon and cumin. I’d like to think that it’s influenced more by Morocco than ‘what I found at the back of my fridge’. It goes really well served over couscous, or just on its own with a healthy dollop of natural yoghurt on top. Best of all, it’s just the thing to chase the Summertime blues away – regardless of whether you’re getting married or not.

AUBERGINE AND CHICKPEA STEW (Makes three large portions)

You will need:

  • 1 large aubergine, diced into chunks
  • 3 fat cloves of garlic, crushed and chopped
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tin of chickpeas
  • 1/2 tbsp cumin seeds (you can use ground cumin if you like, but I prefer the flavour you get from toasted cumin seeds)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper to season

To garnish

  • A handful of chopped mint leaves
  • A handful of chopped coriander leaves
  • 1 onion, sliced into rounds

Make It!

  1. Season your aubergines and fry them for five minutes or so. Feel free to add more olive oil if needed (the aubergines will soak it up like a sponge). Once the aubergines have turned soft, add a touch more oil, and sauté the garlic cloves until they turn brown at the edges.
  2. Toast the cumin seeds in a small pan for thirty seconds until you can just begin to smell them (take care not to burn them!) Grind them to a powder in a pestle and mortar, and add them to the pan along with the cinnamon and chilli flakes. Cook your spices for 30 seconds. Add the tinned tomatoes and chickpeas, cover the saucepan with a lid, and simmer for twenty – twenty five minutes.
  3. While the stew is simmering, fry the onions in a tablespoon of olive oil until they have turned brown, caramelised and slightly crunchy at the edges. Take the stew off the heat and serve garnished with the crispy onions, chopped mint and coriander. This goes really well with warm pitta bread, or couscous flavoured with saffron.
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35 thoughts on “Aubergine and Chickpea Stew

  1. lottoden says:

    Looks so brilliant. Hope it tastes brilliant as well.

  2. Floyda Foley says:

    Mouthwatering! Yum!!! Congratz! You’re on freshly pressed!

  3. cedricreyes says:

    This looks delicious and congratulations!

  4. Vicky says:

    This sounds great! I’ve saved this recipe to try it out!

  5. It took me a Google to figure our what an Aubergine is but I could tell from your picture- an Eggplant!! This sounds like a wonderful recipe and though I’m not quite sure where you’re from yet- will do more browsing for sure- I can tell that you have created an Italian delicacy in disguise- for your Aubergine and Chickpea Stew is similar to the Italian Melanzan e Cicci.

    Great post and great recipie and I’m proud to wordpress this onto my blog
    which is all about Italian Americans- food included.

    Pat M

  6. Reblogged this on pattytmitchell and commented:
    Now that I know that and Aubergine is an Eggplant, I must post this recipe- sounds wonderful and Italian- now 🙂

  7. Mmm- always excited to find new ways of using chickpeas! This looks wonderful!

  8. Dulcetduckie says:

    Thank you for the recipe. Not many vegetables grow successfully in my garden as it has so much shade but I got great results with aubergines at my front door. I had been looking for good recipes for them. Looks like I’ve found one.

  9. hermosausaadmin says:

    I love aubergines and chick peas but never had them together! This recipe sounds divine! Thank you for sharing. Congratulations on your upcoming wedding and being FP! ^_^ ~Marianne

  10. […] Little Red Courgette >> Share this:FacebookTwitterMoreEmailPrintDiggLinkedInStumbleUponPinterestRedditTumblrLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. Posted by Mr Asideg Filed in Food & Drinks Leave a Comment » […]

  11. thehungrymum says:

    Oh, YUM! Adore eggplant & chickpeas – what a fab dish x

  12. blackboardandbrush says:

    This recipe sounds amazing! I’ve tried the cinnamon-chickpea combination before and it’s wonderful! Can’t wait to try it this week!

  13. Great recipe and very timely – my aubergine plants are laden!!

  14. Red Toenails says:

    That looks good. You know it looks healthy too. I’m having to rework my diet due to health issues. I’m gonna keep this one in mind. Thanks.

  15. shejj says:

    Yumm! I’m an awful cook but I’m going to try this. Let’s hope for the best! 🙂

  16. Perfect timing as eggplants come in season in the US. Looks tasty and easy.
    And “Little Red Courgette”?…. Best. Name. Ever.

  17. Anne Bingham says:

    Looks as if you don’t peel the aubergine. That certainly simplifies the prep! Thanks for posting; we’ll try it this week!

  18. Looks great. Will definitely give it a try! Thx for the inspiration. 😉

  19. This was absolutely delicious! Just for fun I added some pineapple I had in the fridge to add a contrast to the heat of the spices. It was wonderful. Coconut flakes would be good too. I’ll try that next time.

  20. Victoria says:

    Yum, I have an aubergine in my fridge and was wondering on what to do with it! I’ll be making this soon, sounds delish 🙂 Also, aubergine is our British word for what you guys like to call eggplant whoever mentioned it above. It always makes me smile how many differences we have within one language! Congrats on being freshly pressed!

  21. Bauer says:

    we plants and cook with aubergines and pumpkins. My favorit food 🙂

  22. Looks Delicious, Yumm Yumm Yummyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

  23. Sounds like a delicious hearty meal! I’ll have to give it a shot!

  24. This sounds delicious! I love eggplant and chickpeas, so I’m really excited to try this. Thanks!

  25. Alyssa says:

    Beautifully prepared. Look so delicious, I sure would want to try this. Thanks. 🙂

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  26. The Grubworm says:

    Oooh, i love a good aubergine and chickpea stew – i also find it very comforting (particularly the aromas that waft around the kitchen as it slowly cooks). I’m not sure there’s anything more comforting food-wise than soft silky aubergine. It’s incredibly forgiving too, so if you don;t have those ingredients, you can add so many others. Great recipe. And I hope the wedding goes brilliantly!

  27. julieruns says:

    Love the name of your blog! Really love it…Prince and veggies-what a great combo. Embarrassingly, although I knew what aubergine is, I could not recall what a courgette is…and i write a blog on veggies…This sounds delicious. I had a huge failure with eggplant a few weeks ago, but I am sure this will be successful and yummy!!

  28. johnolarnic says:

    Reblogged this on Johnolarnic's Blog and commented:

  29. […] while now but couldn’t decide what to make with them. Luckily, I discovered  this recipe for aubergine and chickpea stew over on Little Red Courgette. Looks like the chickpeas can venture out of the cupboard and be eaten […]

  30. i love stew. and chickpeas. but…i had a bad experience with eggplant and i can’t bring myself to use it. think this could be just as good with zucchini?? or squash of some kind? x

  31. […] This recipe is accidentally allergen-free, and sounds great for the fall.  Or, you know, any temperature below “I’m melting”: […]

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  33. […] hummus etc this is an exciting development. The basic recipes were found on good food and little red courgette which I have adapted […]

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