There are a lot of reasons why this dish is one of my favorites: is colorful, tasty, low in fat, easy to make and everybody likes it, even the most traditional palates because it has just the right amount of spices.
This recipe serves four people, but don't worry about the leftovers in case you're two, it tastes even better the day after. To complete the meal, serve with pita bread and some hummus as an appetizer.
Preparation time: 35 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes for the chickpeas and vegetables + 30 minutes for the eggplant.
Ver la receta en español.
Ver la receta en español.
1 big eggplant (about 500g/1,10 lbs)
1 small leek or 1/2 big
2 garlic cloves
1 handfull (about 75g/ 2,50 oz) green beans
200g squash (butternut or acorn)
1 medium carrot
50g (1,70 oz) shelled pistachios
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
300g (10,50 oz) cooked chickpeas
1 can whole peeled tomatoes (750g/28 oz)
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
A handfull of parsley and a little more to serve
2 tablespoons minced fresh mint
400 ml (1 and 3/4 cups) water or vegetable stock
1 Cut the eggplant into 1 centimeter (0.40 inches) slices. Add salt and let rest in a colander for 30 minutes.
2 Chop the leek and cush the garlic cloves. Peel and dice the squash. Cut the zucchini lenghtwise and into 1 centimeter (0.40 inches) slices. Peel the carrot and slice as the zucchini. Cut the geen beans into 3 parts.
3 Roast the pistachios on a skillet without oil at medium heat. Stir frequently until done. Once cooled, chop the pistachios and set aside.
4 Preheat the oven to 200º C (400º F) and press every slice to soak up the water using paper towels. Grease a baking sheet with EVOO, place the eggplant slices in one layer and brush them with 3 tablespoons of EVOO. Add a little more salt if necessary. Bake until tender on the inside and golden on the outside, for about 30 minutes depending on the oven. While the eggplants bake, make the stew.
5 In a large pot or casserole, add 3 tablespoons of EVOO, the leek and the garlic. Cook over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the pumpkin, zucchini, carrot and green beans and cook for 2 minutes on medium-high heat. Stir in the spices until warm. Add the chickpeas and the liquid from the canned tomatoes. Dice the tomatoes and add them to the vegetables with the mint, parsley and the water or vegetable stock. Season to taste, cover the pot and bring to a boil.
6 Cook the vegetables on medium heat for 30 minutes, until done. If you want to stir the vegetables, make circular movements with the pot, don't introduce anything like a ladle or wooden spoon, it would break the vegetables.
7 Cut the roasted eggplant slices in half (or quarters) and add gently with the chopped pistachios to the cooked vegetables. Cook for 5 minutes on medium heat. Serve with more parsley and a drizzle of EVOO.
- Increase the amount of spices if you want a deeper flavor. And if you crave for hot food, use cayenne peper, dried chiles or my favorite: a tablespoon (or two...) of Sambal Oelek.
- If you want to use dried chickpeas, soak them in hot water the night before and cook them in a pressure cooker for 17 minutes on medium heat. Make sure the chikpeas are covered with enough water and count the 17 minutes once they started boiling.
- The original recipe goes for adding spinach in the last step. If you want, add two handful of baby spinach with the eggplants and pistachios.
- Despite the flavor of this stew is better the day after (and the other...), the texture turns mushy when freeze. You can keep it in the fridge for 4 days without problems.
Recipe adapted from Cocina Vegetariana. Editorial Susaeta.