Aubergine and Chickpea Stew

(serves 2)

While they’re in season, and growing lusciously in my garden, I find myself looking for different ways to prepare aubergines. This recipe has been adapted from Lynn Bedford Hall’s that I copied from one of my mother’s cookbooks in 2007 (according to my notes), and is certainly one of the most delicious ways to prepare this vegetable. The most important thing to have here is patience: the longer the aubergine cooks, the silkier it becomes.

Ingredients
30 ml olive oil, for frying
1 small onion, chopped
1 large aubergine, washed and chopped into cubes
1 clove garlic, crushed (about 15ml if using already crushed)
1 can good-quality chopped tomatoes (tastes even better if you use fresh tomatoes!)
2ml ground cinnamon
5ml tomato paste
15ml golden syrup or honey
1 teaspoon Ina Paarman’s vegetable stock powder DSCF2615
about half a tomato can water (200ml)
1 cinnamon stick
½ can chickpeas, drained (you can store the rest in a container in the fridge to use for hummus or other dishes later in the week, or put them in the freezer)
freshly ground black pepper
salt to taste
crumbled feta cheese, to serve

Fry the onion in the olive oil until soft.
Add the garlic and fry a few more minutes.
Now add the chopped aubergines, tomatoes, ground cinnamon, tomato paste,
golden syrup, vegetable stock powder, water and cinnamon stick. (Leave the chickpeas for later.)
Stir to mix, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes.
Add the drained chickpeas and simmer for a further 15-20 minutes.
Remove the cinnamon stick, and season to taste.

Dish up, top with feta cheese, and serve with some ciabatta bread and olive oil.

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