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Spicy Aubergine & Chickpea Stew Recipe – Flavours From Around The Med

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Throughout the Middle East and around the Mediterranean, the combination of aubergines and chickpeas has been enjoyed for generations.

One of four favourite ways to use these two ingredients together is to make one version of a spicy aubergine and chickpea stew.

A clue up shot of chickpeas and chopped aubergines on a bed of rice. The dish is topped with crispy fried onions.
We love this spicy stew

In Turkey, a version of the dish is called nohutlu patlıcan yemeği. In Morocco, aubergine and chickpeas are combined to make a tagine.

Over to Lebanon and the tomato-based aubergine and chickpea stew is maghmour – also described as a Lebanese moussaka.

Not be confused with the famous Greek version, images of maghmour more resemble the Turkish musakka but, in place of the meat, we of course have the chickpeas.

Whether you’re vegetarian, vegan or you’re like us and you love all types of food, this aubergine and chickpea stew recipe can be used to make up a main meal.

Or you can have it as a cold dish on your meze table. We’ll be making it into a main meal for this article.

Bargain Basement

The recipe we use is based on one from a book we bought around 20 years ago.

It was from one of those pop up book clearance stores that appear in the empty units of UK shopping centres. Always a bargain to be found in those places.

This certainly was a bargain because it still sits on our bookshelf and the pages are very well-thumbed!

Not much dust-gathering goes on with our Best Ever Mediterranean Cookbook.

Aubergine And Chickpea Stew Recipe
Our spicy aubergine and chickpea stew served over rice

‘Best Ever’ might sound a tad ambitious – but a large paperback book filled with scores of glossy images and step-by-step photographic instructions – and recipes that actually work. It is a great book.

All these years on, we’re far more accomplished in the kitchen than we were back then – but that book is still way up there for us.

The book is by Jacqueline Clark and Joanna Farrow and whilst you might not be able to find that particular title in shops anymore (it’s sometimes still available on Amazon, click the link above to check), they have a collection of titles which are in a similar format and cover the same geographical areas.

That means you get some recipes from Turkey, too.

Fresh Or Tinned Tomatoes

Anyway, let’s get back to the spicy aubergine and chickpea stew…

We’re going to be using huge, ripe summer Turkish tomatoes. If you can’t get good tomatoes, you can use tinned tomatoes.

For time-saving purposes we’ll be using tinned chickpeas.

For your aubergines, buy the best quality aubergines you can find. Here in Fethiye, when possible, we try to buy local field grown aubergines from the local markets.

Spicy Aubergine & Chickpea Stew Recipe

The basic ingredients for aubergine and chickpea stew are similar in the Southern European, Middle Eastern and North African countries of the Mediterranean.

Herbs, spices, consistency will differ – but we’re still appreciating that perfect chickpea and aubergine pairing.

We especially love the recipe we’re about to share with you because of the distinctive garnish.

It can be tempting to skip the garnish. But we strongly recommend you take that extra few minutes to prepare it.

It takes your aubergine and chickpea stew to a whole new level.

How to Make Aubergine And Chickpea Stew

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

If you are having your stew as a main meal, you can serve it with Turkish rice or bulgur wheat.

Sprinkle freshly chopped parsley or coriander over the dish and then top it all off with your crispy onion and garlic garnish.

Aubergine And Chickpea Stew
The crispy garnish makes all the difference

We really hope you agree with us when we tell you the crispy garnish tastes as good as it looks.

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

Spicy Aubergine & Chickpea Stew Recipe

Versions of his healthy aubergine and chickpea stew are enjoyed around Southern Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. It is a recipe that can also be enjoyed by vegetarians and vegans and can be served as a main course or as a meze.
Course Main
Cuisine Mediterranean
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Resting Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 420kcal
Author Turkey’s For Life

Equipment

  • Large saucepan
  • Frying pan
  • Pestle & mortar

Ingredients

For The Aubergine & Chickpea Stew

  • 3 large aubergines (eggplants) cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 3 x 400 gram tins chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tin chickpeas 800 gram tin (400 grams drained)
  • large onions peeled & sliced into half moons
  • 3 cloves garlic peeled & grated
  • 1 small cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds toasted & ground
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds toasted & ground
  • 1 teaspoon chilli flakes or chilli powder
  • 3 tablespoons sunflower oil for frying
  • salt & pepper to season

For The Garnish

  • large onion peeled & sliced into very thin half moons
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled & very thinly sliced
  • 1 handful parsley or coriander, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower oil for frying

Instructions

For The Aubergine & Chickpea Stew

  • On a low to medium heat, gently heat your oil in a deep saucepan and add your onions.
  • Stir them around for 3-4 minutes until they start to sweat and then add your garlic.
  • Continue to sauté until your onions have softened.
  • Meanwhile, place a small frying pan on the heat and toast your ground cumin and coriander seeds for 2 minutes until they release their aroma. Give them a quick pounding with a pestle and mortar.
  • Now add your pounded spices, cinnamon, chilli and salt & pepper to the pan and stir.
  • Turn up the heat to high and add your aubergines.
  • Stir for a couple of minutes until they are coated with the oil and spices and they are starting to cook.
  • Now add your tomatoes to the pan, stir them around, bring to the boil.
  • Drain your chickpeas and add them to the pan.
  • Mix in the chickpeas, cover the pan and simmer on a low heat for 20 minutes or so until your aubergines are soft.
  • Remove from the heat, pour into a serving bowl and allow to cool to around room temperature.

For The Garnish

  • When you are ready to serve your aubergine and chickpea stew, prepare your garnish.
  • Heat your oil in a small frying pan on a high heat.
  • Add your onion and garlic, stir and fry until dark and crispy.
  • Sprinkle your fresh herbs over the top of your stew, followed by the crispy garnish and serve.

Notes

  • As with all of our recipes, the calorie count for our aubergine & chickpea stew is approximate and is based on the stew and the garnish without accompaniments. Calories are per serving, based on four servings.
  • In the recipe, we have used tinned tomatoes. However, if we make this dish in summer, we use 4 of the large ripe summer tomatoes that are so common in this area of Turkey.
  • 3 large aubergines is approximately 700 -800 grams in total.
  • You can enjoy your aubergine and chickpea stew as a main meal or as a meze (you will get more servings if it is served as a meze.)
  • If we have it as a main meal, we serve it with rice or bulgur wheat pilaf.
  • We like to eat this dish lukewarm or at room temperature but you can serve it hot if you wish.

Spicy Chickpea & Aubergine Stew – Afternotes

  • This stew is also a good addition to your meze table, if you don’t want to eat it as a main meal. Obviously, it will serve more than four people if you are all just eating small portions.
  • If you want to give your dish a bit more of a kick – we often do – stir in a tablespoonful of homemade harissa. It goes perfectly with both chickpeas and aubergines.
  • Variations of this dish are eaten around the Mediterranean, so you will find our chickpea and aubergine stew, along with other dishes from around the world, in our International Recipes section of the blog.
  • If you love to cook with aubergines, there are many easy Turkish aubergine recipes for you to try.

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Turkey's For Life

Sunday 20th of May 2012

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

céline

Sunday 20th of May 2012

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

Turkey's For Life

Wednesday 24th of August 2011

@ 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.

ping

Wednesday 24th of August 2011

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!

Elizabeth

Wednesday 12th of May 2021

HI...Haven't made this yet as I need to know first approximately how many cups (or grams) of aubergine you would get from the 3 large aubergines called for in the recipe....as I wouldn't be the first time I've ended up with too much! Looking forward to this yummy meal.

bellini

Wednesday 24th of August 2011

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.

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