Spiced Chickpea and Eggplant Spread

Spiced Chickpea and Eggplant Spread

Hi there! How is everyone doing? It feels good to writing again after almost 3 weeks! I was swamped with house chores, fighting a nasty flu and preparing for the arrival of a childhood friend from Dubai who is going to be moving here for good! Finally her and I will be living in the same city, with the same grocery shops to shop from, the same restaurants to hang out at and the same malls to have fun at! It will be awesome to not have a 12 hour time difference again after a decade! Is this exciting or what??! I think so too!

Getting into the recipe of the day, this is something I discovered in my kitchen few weeks ago and my husband and I really enjoyed it. It was a planned accident.The accident or rather the successful accident was adding the chickpeas. I thought the recipe could use a bit creaminess from mashing up plump chickpeas which turned out really good. The planned part was me getting into the kitchen with my sleeves rolled up, hair tied into a messy bun, balancing a cutting board with a knife and a large eggplant in one hand while also holding a pen and my curry-stained notepad with burned corners where I record every pinch of ingredient for my recipes on the other. When my husband sees me entering the kitchen with my notepad he knows I mean business and he probably also knows by now to except to hear dishes clanging, water drops on the floor (because I like to wash my hands between almost every cooking step), smoke…sometimes…and maybe a few tears. It is all part of a new recipe being born. See how I went off on a tangent? One of my goals for this year, starting today, is to be consistent with my writing so that I don’t end up writing an essay instead of a blog post after a long break.

I am not entirely sure if this recipe fits better as a spread or under the category of a dry curry. I think it falls somewhere in between. To make it into a curry you can perhaps add some water or better, some coconut milk. Ooh! that will taste yum! If you ever get a chance to try that out, do let me know 🙂

I am not sure how many of you are familiar with Nigella seeds or Onions seeds or Kalonji. They look like not-flat black sesame seeds but they taste completely different. You should be able to find it in any Indian grocery. They have a very unique flavour which is like a cross between the flavours from caraway seeds and red onion with an earthy hint to it. I would highly recommend not skipping this spice for this recipe.

One of my favourite meaty vegetables after kale and mushrooms (I know, not technically a vegetable!) is eggplant. This vegan recipe is very “meaty” , spicy and protein-packed with chickpeas. I like to eat it with toasted pita bread triangles as a spread, with naan or with rice and plain yogurt…amazingly good!

Spiced Chickpea and Eggplant Spread

Serves 4-5
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 25 minutes
Total time 35 minutes
Dietary Gluten Free, Vegan
Meal type Appetizer
Misc Freezable, Serve Hot

Ingredients

  • 600g Eggplant (cubed (1X1 inch))
  • 200g Chickpea (cooked)
  • 2 cups Tomato (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup Passata
  • 6 cloves Garlic (grated)
  • 1/4 cup Cilantro (chopped)
  • 8 tablespoons Oil
  • 1 tablespoon Sea Salt

Spices

  • 1 teaspoon Cumin Seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Fennel Seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Nigella Seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Mustard Seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Red Chilli Flakes

Directions

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread eggplant cubes coated with 2 tablespoons of oil and 1/4 tsp sea salt. Bake at 400 degree Fahrenheit for 20 minutes. After baking, using the back of a wooden spoon, mash the roasted eggplant.
Grind all the spices to a fine powder and set aside.
Using a fork or a masher, mash up the cooked chickpeas and set aside.
While the eggplant is roasting, heat the rest of the oil in a pan on medium heat and throw in the ground spices and saute for 45 seconds or just until you can smell the spices. We don't want to burn them.
Add in the garlic; saute for a minute and mix in the chopped tomato. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes or until the tomatoes dissolve and become a paste. The smaller your tomato pieces the quicker this step gets.
Now, add in the mashed eggplant and chickpeas along with the rest of the salt.
Let this cook on high heat for 5 minutes, stirring constantly, just to let all the flavours marry well.
Sprinkle the chopped cilantro leaves and give it a quick stir before serving.

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