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 mussa3a (this is also called maghmoor) of my childhood swimming in oil is now a faded memory.
INGREDIENTS: 6 servings
- 2 large eggplants or 1 1/2 lb of smaller eggplants, peeled (can leave a ribbon of skin unpeeled for looks), sliced into 1 cm pieces or chunks, or sprinkled with salt for 30 minutes then dried with a towel
- 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 large onions, peeled and sliced
- 6 large tomatoes (or 1 large can of excellent quality tomatoes), cut into chunks
- olive oil, as needed
- spice mix: salt, dash of white pepper, 1 tsp of dried mint (optional) and a dash of sugar or a trickle of honey if desired, can also use some Aleppo pepper or a bit of chili powder to taste (if you like a little heat)
- 6 to 12 garlic cloves left whole and 4 cloves cut-up and mashed with salt
- Place the eggplants on a cookie sheet lined with foil and preheat the oven to 350F. Drizzle the eggplants with some olive oil (or brush) and roast for 30 minutes or until the pieces are soft and golden. Set aside.
- Heat 3 tbsp of olive oil in a pot and fry the onions until soft and golden. Add the garlic cloves and fry them for a few seconds until light golden; add the chickpeas and the tomatoes. Simmer 15 minutes, then add the eggplants and the spices (including the mashed garlic). Let the stew simmer very gently another 40 minutes until thick. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve warm or at room temperature with bread.
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