Arabian Stew

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This recipe is for 6 serves.



  1. Peel and halve the chickpeas, set aside.
  2. Remove and discard 3 vertical strips of skin from each eggplant,, then cut the whole eggplant into 2½-inch chunks.
  3. salt the pieces and leave to drain in a colander for at least 1 hour.
  4. Rinse the eggplant, squeeze gently and pat dry with paper towels.
  5. Working in batches, lightly fry the chunks in 5 tablespoons hot oil until golden brown; drain.
  6. Sprinkle the eggplant with pepper and set aside.
  7. In a 2- or 3-quart casserole with a tight-fitting lid, warm the remaining olive oil and add the onions; sweat them over low heat 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until limp and golden.
  8. Add chickpeas and fry 2 minutes.
  9. Stir in the drained eggplant, unpeeled garlic, tomatoes and their juices, tomato paste and pepper.
  10. Cover tightly and cook over reduced heat without stirring 40 minutes.
  11. Carefully fold in the crushed garlic, parsley, vinegar, sugar and allspice.
  12. Cook 10 minutes longer until thickened (up to this point, the dish can be made one day in advance. Cool, cover and refrigerate so that the flavors will meld).
  13. To serve, return to room temperature, adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper and allspice and sharpen the taste with a few drops of lemon juice.
  14. Garnish with the mint.