First the spices…
The Moroccan blend of spices ras el hanout is absolutely fabulous, making this dish not only Moorish, but also moreish! 😉
There is no one blend of ras el hanout, since everyone has or prefers their own (often secret) recipe. The blend I use was purchased from a local spice dealer who sells on the regional markets. It contains the following:
Cubeb pepper, monk’s pepper, Bengal pepper, coriander, ginger, black pepper, cumin, nigella seeds, grains of paradise, fennel, turmeric, nutmeg, galangal, ash berries (rowan berry), cloves, star anise, cardamom, cinnamon, bayleaf, jasmine flowers, lavender flowers.
No wonder it tastes so good!
And what I really love about this particular mix is that it does NOT contain chilli pepper or paprika! (I’m allergic…)
Now for the stew…
Chickpea and Aubergine Stew
- 1 aubergine (eggplant), cut into cubes
- 400g tin chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 400g tin chopped tomatoes
- 1 large onion
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- olive oil
- 1-2 tsps ras-el-hanout spice blend
- 1 tsp dried bear’s garlic or oregano
- pinch of salt
- plenty of freshly ground black pepper
- 4-6 slices white baguette
Preheat oven to 190°C.
Fry the onion in a little olive oil until soft. Turn heat right down and add the garlic. Cut the aubergine into small cubes, place in a covered microwave dish and cook on high for 4 minutes. It may need a little longer, so check if it’s tender.
Add the aubergine to the onion and garlic. Add the spices and chickpeas, tomatoes and tomato puree. Add 200ml water and herbs/salt. Turn up heat and simmer on a low heat for 10 minutes.
Transfer to an ovenproof dish. Place the slices of baguette on top and brush with oil. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the bread is brown and crispy, and the stew is bubbling.
This should feed up to four people. Serve with couscous and enjoy all those Moorish flavours blending together!
(P:S: It’s vegan too!) 😀