Baked Eggplant with Chickpeas and Green Chilli
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
- 3 eggplants (800g) cut lengthways into 1cm-thick slices
- ½ tsp Himalayan salt, plus 1-2 tsp extra
- 1½ tbsp organic extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large brown onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 tbsp grated ginger
- ½ green chilli, finely diced
- 1 tsp organic cumin powder
- 2 tsp sweet paprika
- 400g tin organic diced tomatoes
- 400g tin organic chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses*
- Freshly ground organic black pepper
- 1 tsp sumac powder
- 1 tsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1 tbsp chopped mint leaves
- Sprinkle the eggplant slices with extra salt, place in a colander and leave for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat a frying pan over medium heat. Once hot, add a drizzle of olive oil, the onion, garlic, ginger, chilli, paprika and cumin. Cook, occasionally stirring, until the onion is translucent, approx. 5-6 minutes. Add a little water as necessary.
- Add the diced tomatoes along with half a tin of water (used to rinse the tomato tin with), chickpeas, pomegranate molasses, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir and cook for a few minutes, then turn off and set aside.
- Turn the oven on to 200°C and prepare a casserole dish ready (Approx.15 cm x 26 cm x 5 cm).
- Rinse eggplant well to remove the salt and pat dry with a paper towel. Heat a large frying pan over medium heat.
- Lightly brush both sides of the eggplant slices with olive oil. Add a single layer to the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side until golden brown. Set aside and repeat with the remaining slices.
- Line the bottom of the casserole dish with one-third of the eggplant slices. Pour half the tomato mixture over the eggplant layer, and then cover with another third of the eggplant. Pour over the remaining tomato mixture and then cover with the remainder of the eggplant.
- Transfer to the oven and bake for 20 minutes. The eggplant should be brown and crispy on top.
- When cooked, sprinkle top with sumac, parsley and mint.
- Serve with cooked quinoa and steamed greens on the side.
*Pomegranate molasses is made by crushing pomegranate seeds to obtain the dark reddy purple juice. The juice is then simmered for hours to create a sweet/sour molasses syrup. Great in salad dressings and tomato-based dishes. It also makes a great garnish drizzled over food like slow-roasted meats, dips and salads. Available in fruit and vegetable shops or Middle Eastern outlets.