Turkish Recipes: Spicy Chickpea and Aubergine Stew

It wouldn’t be surprising if just about every town and city in the UK had one. I’m talking about those book clearance shops that you just can’t resist entering in the hope of a little bargain.

Many years ago, we were in Wigan’s clearance store, no doubt looking for a cheap Christmas present for someone, when we came across what was to become one of our favourite cookbooks: The Best Ever Mediterranean Cookbook, by Jacqueline Clark and Joanna Farrow. I can’t remember if we bought a Christmas present for someone, but we certainly bought a present for us.

I know. We too are suspicious of any item that calls itself ‘the best ever’ – but this book is just packed with quality photography and recipes from the shores of Southern Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.

It’s huge, it’s colourful, the recipes are tempting and easy to follow…and that includes its Turkish recipes.

Turkish Recipe for Spicy Aubergine and Chickpea Stew

This dish is popular throughout the Middle East as well as Turkey and we love to make it because it’s really easy, very healthy and filling. The recipe is adapted from the book – well, we just had to copy their topping for the stew. Take a look.

Spicy Chickpea And Aubergine Stew

We serve our chickpea and aubergine stew at room temperature

This is a quick recipe that we eat at just above room temperature in the summer months. In winter, served hot, it’s really hearty and warming.

  • Gently heat a couple of decent glugs of olive oil in a large pan. Peel and slice 1 and a half large onions into half moons and add to your pan. (Keep the remainder of your onion to one side for the garnish.)
  • Peel and crush 3 cloves of garlic and add that to the pan also and give it a stir. Sautee the contents of your pan until the onions soften.
  • Add salt, pepper, a good pinch of ground cumin, a sprinkling of ground coriander and chilli flakes. For a more Middle Eastern flavour, you can also add a tiny bit of cinnamon. We do this in winter.
  • Now chop 3 aubergines into bite-sized chunks and add to the pan. Stir it all up so the aubergine pieces become coated with the oil and spices and let them cook for a few minutes.
  • Roughly chop 4 large summer Turkish tomatoes (or use 3 tins of chopped tomatoes) and add them to the pan.
  • Drain the juices from a tin of chickpeas, add to the pan, stir everything up, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes, until your aubergine goes soft.

For the Garnish
This topping for your stew is optional but it really does make a difference. It’s about the contrast in texture and flavour.

  • Add a little olive oil to a frying pan and get it really hot.
  • Slice your onion into half moons as thinly as possible.
  • Take 2 cloves of garlic, peel and slice those thinly, too.
  • Add to the pan and fry till dark and crispy.

And to serve…
Serve your spicy chickpea and aubergine stew on a bed of Turkish rice or bulgur wheat. Sprinkle freshly chopped parsley over the dish and then top it all off with your crispy onion and garlic garnish.

We also can’t resist a side serving of good quality, Turkish süzme yoghurt whilst we’re eating this.

If you love to cook at home, take a look at our list of other recipes from Turkey

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  1. Looks lovely – you can never get enough recipes for aubergines and chickpeas at this time of year.

  2. @ Italian Notes: There haven’t been many days recently when we haven’t had aubergine in our meals. Just love them.

  3. This dish is one of those comforting dishes I wait for at the tail end of the growing season when egplants and tomatoes are abundant.

  4. I looove chickpeas. And what a coincidence …. I’m having a chickpea salad right now! This sounds really good and I can imagine the sweetness of the eggplants in the stew. Will make this soon. Thanks for sharing!

  5. @ Bellini: We love it tomatoes are just dominating Fethiye markets at the moment so it makes for a cheap meal.

    @ ping: Ohhh, we looove chickpea salad, too! 🙂 Yes, it’s a lovely meal. The eggplants have a great smooth texture too.

  6. I cooked this for lunch today: loved it! Thank you.

  7. @ Celine: Glad you found and enjoyed it. We make it quite a lot and always enjoy it. 🙂

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