My go-to snack ever since childhood has been a can of chickpeas with salt and pepper. I just cannot get enough chickpeas – I love them! When other kids were bringing peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to school, I was bringing hummus sandwiches on pita bread. When my college roommates bought cases of mac and cheese or ramen noodles, I was online ordering a case of chick peas from Amazon. That’s why a few years ago when I saw fresh, chickpeas in the pod on a cooking show, I knew I had to have them! I looked everywhere for the beans with no luck. Then this past week at my neighborhood Whole Foods, I saw none other than the beans starring at me from their almost hidden spot on the bottom shelf in the produce section.
After purchasing a few pounds of the chickpeas, I went to my kitchen to experiment. Eaten raw the chickpeas have a slightly sweet flavor with a tender crunch. They are everything I expected and more. While the beans are fabulous alone, combining them with these Mediterranean flavors brings out their whole flavor profile. This recipe has delicate, light flavors making it the perfect meal for any season.
Eggplant Chickpea Stew Recipe
1 cup shucked fresh or canned chickpeas
1 yellow onion
1 can chopped tomatoes
2 gloves garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon Charnushka (also called Nigella Sativa) (optional)
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Cover the bottom of a dutch oven or a crockpot with the oil. Next, layer the onion slices delicately, so they make a base for the pan. Cover the onions with the eggplant, garlic, and spices. Next, carefully cover with the can of chopped tomatoes (include the liquid). Finally, add the chickpeas on top.
Place the cover on the dutch oven or crockpot and heat on a low simmer until the eggplant is completely tender. If finishing on the stovetop cook for 1 1/2 hours or 3 1/2 hours in a slow cooker cook on high.
After the eggplant is completely tender, give the contents a delicate stir and serve!
I’d love to hear if you’ve ever tried fresh chickpeas, how you had them, and your thoughts!