A traditional vegan eggplant stew, this one is made with winter eggplants (which have very few seeds). In addition, the eggplants slices were merely roasted with a dab of oil, instead of fried as is the tradition. I am happy to report that foregoing the frying does not take away the flavor; the mussaka (aka maghmoor) of my childhood swimming in oil is now a faded memory.
INGREDIENTS: 6 servings
- 2 large eggplants
- 1 cup of chickpeas, soaked in 4 cups of water and 1/2 tsp of baking soda for 18 hours
- 2 large onions
- 4 large tomatoes (or 1 can of excellent quality tomatoes), sliced or cut into chunks
- olive oil, as needed
- spice mix: salt, dash of white pepper, 1 tsp of dried mint (optional)
- 6 garlic cloves (optional)
- Peel and cut the eggplants in thick slices then chunks; place on a cookie sheet lined with foil and preheat the oven to 350F. Drizzle the eggplant with some olive oil and roast for 30 minutes until the pieces are soft and golden. Set aside.
- Chop the onions; heat 3 tbsp of olive oil in a pot and fry the onions until soft. Add the chickpeas to the pot with 2 cups of water and simmer for 40 minutes or so. Add the eggplant chunks and the sliced tomatoes. Add the spices (and whole garlic cloves). Let the stew simmer gently another 40 minutes; if the stew has too much liquid, let it simmer until the water evaporates and keep just enough juices to sop up with bread. Serve warm or at room temperature with pita bread.