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Looking for a new vegetarian recipe to savor for lunch or dinner?

Since we are cooking more at home during the pandemic, it can be challenging to find different recipes to try. We can fall into eating “the same ol’ thing” and find ourselves bored with it. I’ve been scouring my cookbooks for inspiration and found an easy vegetarian dish that is delicious and so nutritious. It’s full of fiber — both soluble and insoluble, as well as spices from India. Serve it with some brown basmati rice and raita, and you’ve got a meal and great leftovers.

Helpful tip: I use my instapot to cook my dried garbanzo beans and store them in the freezer for whenever I need them. They come out much creamier when done this way. I just defrost them (they take no time) and use them to make a hummus or this fantastic curry. I always have a variety of spices in my pantry to jazz up any dish like turmeric, cumin, garam masala, smoked paprika and Baharat, to name a few. It takes about one hour to make the entire dish.

Eggplant and Chickpea Curry (servings: 4)

Ingredients:

1 large eggplant- do not peel
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion- diced
4 cloves fresh garlic- minced
1 green chili-minced
3 cm of ginger- grated or minced
1 tsp coriander
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp turmeric
1 tsp garam masala
1 can chopped/diced tomatoes
12 oz of chickpeas- fresh or canned
1 can coconut milk
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

 Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 F. I start by prepping my eggplant. I’ve always salted the cut up eggplant to draw out any bitter juices. For this recipe I cube the eggplant, salt it, and set it in a colander for 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile I chop the onions, garlic, ginger, and chili pepper. I use my mini chopper and just combine it all together to a fine chop (but not mush).

I heat the EVOO in a good enamel or stainless steel pot and add the onions when hot. Careful not to burn the onions! Cook until just transparent. Add the onion, garlic, ginger, and chili pepper, and cook for 1-2 minutes.

Then add all the spices to the pot, and stir to cook for 30 seconds. Next add the tomatoes, coconut milk, and chickpeas, and turn the mixture on low to slowly simmer. Your eggplant is now ready to be rinsed, dried with a paper towel, and placed in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper, and drizzle with olive oil — not too much.

Place on a sheet pan, and roast in the oven until they are slightly browned. I turn them midway in the process to evenly brown. They should be soft but not mushy when cooked. You then add it to the chickpea-tomato-coconut mixture and let it simmer for approximately 40 minutes. Be careful not to let it dry out. It should maintain a stew-like consistency.

I serve it with raita, chopped cilantro, and brown rice. It’s heavenly!
You will have some left over, so enjoy for a couple of days.

 

Reach Out to Dr. Maria

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Eat Well: Eggplant & Chickpea Curry Recipe

by Dr. Maria Belluccio time to read: 5 min

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