With fall upon us and prices for Eggplant the lowest I've seen in a while, a good eggplant stew studded with protein rich chickpeas and flavored with wonderful spices was just what I wanted to make for my parents when they were visiting last weekend. Considering it was a crockpot meal, it was a no brainer!
The recipe does call for dried chickpeas, but I think if you just use canned (about 2 cans?) and cook it on the stove or in the crockpot for less time, that you'll be just fine. I will say, though -- now that the cooler weather has come and I'm not as leery to turn on my oven or crockpot, I'm going to be making most of my beans from their dry form to cut down on costs since we eat so many of them! This was a great meal for me to see how easy it really was to use dry beans! It just takes a little planning!
I served this with some nice bread and a big hearty salad and banana cream pie for dessert!
Eggplant Chickpea Stew
- 2 large eggplant (3 lbs total)
- 2-3 T OO
- 2 large onions - thinly sliced
- 2 T minced garlic (about 6 cloves)
- 8 oz box of mushroom (baby bellas are my favorite) - sliced
- 1 T dried basil
- 2 t dried oregano
- 1 (2-3 inch) cinnamon stick
- 1 t marjoram
- 1 t salt
- 1 t pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup dried chickpeas - rinsed and soaked overnight and then drained
- 28 oz diced tomatoes - undrained
- 4 cups prepared brown rice
--Meanwhile, heat some more OO (about 1 T) in a skillet and saute the onion until transparent - about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, mushrooms, and spices and stir until fragrant. About another 3 -5 minutes.
--Add the chickpeas and 1 cup of water and bring to a boil. Cook for 5 minutes and then transfer to the crockpot.
-- When the eggplant is done, transfer it to the crockpot as well and stir to combine.
--Cover and cook until the chickpeas are done/tender. 4 hrs on high, 7-8 hrs on low.
--Add tomatoes in 30 minutes before stirring (right after you start making your rice).
NOTE: if using canned chickpeas, I would reduce cooking time in half.