December 13, 2012 by Meg G.
I was going to just jump into this recipe adapted from Linda Fraser’s Vegetarian: The Best Ever Collection, but I can’t resist editorializing for a moment.
I’m usually a fan of adapting recipes to suit your taste, what’s convenient, or in your pantry. You may read this recipe and think to yourself, do I really need to make that garnish? Believe me – you DO. The combination of the caramelized onions & garlic and the fresh cilantro pretty much makes the meal. If you are one of the people in the world who hates cilantro (do you think it tastes like soap?), I’m so sorry. Its bright flavor is a perfect balance to this stew’s earthy eggplant, spicy flavors, and crunchy onions & garlic.
Okay, here goes!
- 1 large eggplant, peeled and cubed
- 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- salt and pepper
- 1 cup dried brown rice or 2 cups cooked rice
- 1 Tablespoon grape seed oil (or another oil good for high heat)
- 1/2 onion, sliced
- 1 garlic clove, sliced
- sprigs of cilantro
- Place the eggplant in a colander and sprinkle with salt. Set the colander in a bowl or in a clean sink and let sit to allow the bitter juices to escape. After 30 minutes, rinse the eggplant with cold water and dry on paper towels or a clean dish towel.
- Start your rice, following package directions.
- Heat the oil in a large pan. Add garlic and onion and cook until soft.
- Add the spices and cook, stirring, for a few seconds.
- Stir in the eggplant and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes and chickpeas and season with salt and pepper.
- Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Heat the grape seed oil in a frying pan and, when very hot, add the sliced onion and garlic. Fry until golden and crisp, stirring occasionally. (Be patient! It’s worth the wait!)
Serve the stew with rice, topped with the onion and garlic and garnished with fresh cilantro.