Moroccan Aubergine & Chickpea Stew

moroccan_aubergine_stew_1

Here is a dinner suggestion in case you are looking for a new recipe to try over the weekend. We first made this stew for lunch a few days ago. I’ll admit that it was slightly over-ambitious as a lunch project, but it did tick all the right boxes for a late november meal and we are pretty sure it is something you will appreciate as well. Both Luise and I are obsessed with Moroccan flavors. Our approach is rarely strictly traditional, we usually just throw a whole bunch of Moroccan-ish ingredients, like mint + cinnamon + cumin + raisins + pomegranate seeds + lemon + almonds into the same dish and then blindly call it Moroccan. That is also what we have done with this Aubergine & Chickpea Stew. It is a little bit like a winter version of our (favorite) Moroccan salad recipe from Green Kitchen Travels. It’s warm and comfy with large chunks of slow-cooked aubergine, super flavorful with sweetness from cinnamon, saffron and raisins, has crunchy toasted almonds on top and freshness from mint, yogurt and pomegranate seeds. If you skip the yogurt on top, it’s also entirely vegan. We have had it for lunch and dinner three times this week and we are still not tired of it. Ok, maybe just a tiny bit. Especially Elsa. She always tells us that “we are the worst parents ever” whenever we serve repeat-meals and photo shoot leftovers for dinner.

moroccan_stew_2

Saffron is actually used as a Christmas spice in Sweden, so in case you are looking for an untraditional Christmas dinner, I think this would be a pretty great option. Especially with those pretty jewel-like pomegranate seeds on top. Our recipe is perfect for 4 persons but it can easily be doubled if you are cooking for a crowd, just use a large saucepan.

In case you haven’t cooked with millet before, it is time to add it to your repertoire. It is a gluten free seed that is soft and flavourful and works perfectly as an alternative to couscous or bulgur. It also has a comfortably short cooking time.

moroccan_stew_3

Moroccan Aubergine & Chickpea Stew
Serves 4 

2 tbsp coconut oil or olive oil
2 onions, peeled
3 garlic cloves, peeled
1 large chunk fresh ginger
1 aubergine
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground paprika
1 tsp sea salt
3 tbsp tomato paste
1  x 14 oz / 400 g tin crushed tomatoes
3 cups vegetable stock
1/4 tsp / 0,5 g crushed saffron or approx. 6 saffron threads
1 x 14 oz / 400 g tin chickpeas / garbanzo beans (or 200 g cooked chickpeas)
3/4 cup / 100 g yellow or brown raisins
1 lemon, zest (save the rest of the lemon for the salad) 

Cooked Millet
1 cup / 200 g uncooked millet
2 cups / 500 ml water
1/2 tsp sea salt

Lemon, Avocado & Herb Salad
2 large ripe avocados, cut in half, destoned and flesh scooped out
1 large handful flat-leaf parsley (or coriander/cilantro), coarsely chopped
1 large handful mint leaves, coarsely chopped
1 lemon, juice
2 tbsp cold-pressed olive oil
sea salt & ground pepper

To Serve
1/2 cup / 75 g toasted almonds*, coarsely chopped
1/2 pomegranate, seeds
1/2 cup / 120 ml Turkish yogurt (optional)

Add oil to a large saucepan on medium heat. Cut the first onion in large chunks and the second one finely along with the garlic and ginger. Add them all to the saucepan and let sauté for about 10 minutes or until soft. Meanwhile cut the aubergine into bite-size chunks. Add it to the pan along with all the spices and tomato paste. Let fry for 5-6 minutes, stirring frequently. Add a splash of water or oil in case the spices begin to burn against the bottom of the pan. Then add the crushed tomatoes, 2 cups of the vegetable stock and the saffron, stir around until it boils and then lower the heat. Put a lid on the sauce pan and let slowly simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chickpeas, 1/2 cup of the raisins and the last of the stock (if it looks like it’s needed) and let simmer for 15 minutes more or until the aubergines are soft and tender, stir in the lemon zest right at the end of the cooking. Meanwhile, add the millet to a medium-sized sauce pan and dry-toast on low heat for 2-3 minutes, then add water and salt, increase the heat and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and let simmer for about 8-9 minutes. Take it off the heat and let sit for a few minutes to absorb all the water. Add the remaining raisins and use a fork to integrate the raisins and fluff the millet. Prepare the salad by cutting the avocado into chunks, coarsely chopping the herbs and placing them in a bowl along with the pomegranate seeds. Whisk together lemon juice, oil, salt and pepper, add it to the bowl and toss. Serve in bowls with the stew scooped on top of the millet, the salad on the side and almonds, pomegranate seeds and yogurt on top. Enjoy!

* We toast almonds by soaking raw almonds in heavily salted water for 20 minutes and then draining the water and roasting/toasting them in the oven on 300°F / 150°C for 20 minutes. But you can also toast them in a pan. Or simply use store-bought dry-roasted almonds.

56 Comments

  • Gaelle
    Wow, so delicious! I just made it for dinner, I am sure I will make it again!
  • Roeline
    I just made this and it was AMAZING! I am quite a recent follower all the way from South Africa and this was the first recipe of yours that I tried. I will most definitely work my way through. I also used couscous instead of millet (had it in the house) and it worked beautifully.
  • Really appetizing and really looks so flavorful! The aubergine is one of my faves, I love eating it just plainly fried, baked, and stew! Great recipe.
  • I can't wait to make this! Perfect for a typical Pacific Northwest rainy afternoon. Photos are stunning, as always :) -Renee
  • Tera
    Did a stew for tonight dinner. Such a treat! Well balanced, flavour-full, grounding and delicious. It was easy to make and I had great time in kitchen. Thank you for sharing and constant inspiration!
  • I am rather obsessed with Moroccan flavours as well and this looks delicious. My homegrown aubergines will find their way into this dish I feel. Thank you for sharing.
  • This looks absolutely delicious! Just what you need to warm you up on a cold winter night. Gorgeous photos as usual! Thanks for the inspiration!
  • Kathy Rodwell
    I just made this for dinner. Very delicious! I substituted cous cous for millet as I didn't have that in the pantry. I may have missed something but when do you add the piece of ginger to the dish?
  • This looks so divine! Forever feeling inspired by your photography and accessible recipes <3 Love all the colours and flavours in this dish - definitely going to try this soon , Gabriella x
  • leonie
    hello, just wondering about the chunk of fresh ginger. I'm going to sauté it with the garlic and onions as a guess...or did I miss where it is described in the instructions? Many thanks, this looks a delicious dish to graze on over coming days.
    • leonie
      ...oh, and also the lemon zest doesn't seem to be mentioned in the instructions. I'm going to add it in at the end, or near enough to.
  • This looks so warm and hearty, exactly what I want to eat as it gets colder and darker!
  • I love everything about this dish and these photos are just gorgeous! Coconut yoghurt would be fantastic for the vegan version:)
  • Josie
    Hi I've made literally 100's of your recipes and thank you, they are always easy to follow and successful in my kitchen but this one is a little confusing! No indication of saffron amount and What does it mean in the ingredients list next to the aubergine (splash water) Some help pleae
    • Hi Josie, So glad you like our recipes. We must have accidentally deleted the saffron from the ingredient list while editing the recipe. But we have added it again now. We have tried it both with saffron threads and crushed saffron and have written the amounts for both alternatives. And I have no idea why it said "splash water" after the aubergine in the ingredient list – our computer must be trolling us. It's fixed now. Sorry about that! /David
  • Mindy
    Lovely recipes and flavors! Again, a request to please add a "printer friendly" button to your website! The grayscale print is very difficult to print! Thanks!
  • Charlotte
    Wonderful, as always. Only thing is, you don't seem to mention in the ingredient list how much saffron is needed? I always struggle with the amounts of saffron, so an indication of how much would be very helpful :)
    • Sorry, it must have been deleted in the editing. It's back in there now. Thanks for letting us know! /David
  • I didn't know that saffron was a Christmas spice in Sweden! It's so fascinating to see how food is used culturally throughout the world. I'd love to hear more tidbits about your traditions :)
  • Belle-
    Thank you for sharing. It sounds perfect for this season. Will be making it this weekend!
  • You had me at aubergine. Or was it chickpeas? Two of my favorite things. Anyway, the way I get Moroccan auras is to pick up a bag o ras el hanout, which, by definition, is a house mix and different in every little Moroccan (or Tunisian or Algerian--I like them all!) shop that you enter. If variety is the spice of life, just imagine what a variety of spices is! Quite separately, I tried to develop a relationship with millet, but it just didn't work out. I couldn't get past the feeling I was eating bird seed. It doesn't cut it as a replacement for semoule or bulgur, IMHO. If you have magical ways to make it better, please share! I know it's healthy (I don't have gluten problems, but I'm for diversifying monoculture), but it is just too CHEWY.
  • This looks so appetising! A great way to use up the can of chickpeas I bought for making roasted chickpeas with. - Charmaine http://charmainenyw.com
  • Sammy
    That looks amazing! you two can even make a stew look good, incredible. def gonna try this!!

Leave a comment