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Moroccan Chickpea Eggplant Stew
The cinnamon adds an unusual,
slightly sweet flavor to this dish, making it a nice change from
the Italian pastas and Chinese stir-fries that make up my usual
dinner fare. I’m fairly fastidious about salting eggplant,
since the one time I decided to take the shortcut, the eggplant
was so bitter that my dish was inedible. If your eggplant is
very fresh, however, you can probably omit the salting step and
significantly reduce the preparation time. This dish, like most
stews, tastes very good as leftovers, so I recommend making the
quantity specified below even if you’re only cooking for two
people (if you’re cooking for one, you can either halve the
recipe or freeze extra portions). I like to eat it with
couscous, but it would also make a fine topping for long-grained
rice or pasta. Alternatively, you can scoop it up and eat it
with pita bread wedges.
1 small-medium eggplant
1 medium onion
3 cloves garlic
1 can chickpeas, drained
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
1 c. vegetable stock
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. ground cumin
salt and pepper to taste
25 minutes (plus optional 1 hour salting time for the eggplant)
1. Cut off the ends of the
eggplant, than chop into ¾" cubes. Sprinkle with salt and let
drain in a colander for 1 hour. Rinse well under water and dry between
paper towels. (You can omit this step if the eggplant seems very firm
and fresh – salting will eliminate the occasional bitterness you find
2. Chop the onion roughly.
Mince the garlic.
3. In a large skillet or a
saucepan, heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion,
chili powder, cumin and cinnamon. Stir well to coat evenly. Cook until
the onions have softened (approx. 4-5 minutes).
4. Add the eggplant, tomatoes and chickpeas,
along with the stock. Simmer over medium-low heat, covered, for fifteen-twenty
minutes (until the eggplant is tender).
5. Uncover and stir. If the stew
looks very soupy, let the liquid bubble away for a few more minutes.
6. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve
over cooked couscous.
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