Aubergine Chickpea Stew with Fresh Flatbreads
May 2, 2020
An insanely satisfying chickpea stew, inspired by North African flavours and packed with warming spices, served with soft, fluffy flatbreads. It’s ideal for a cold wintery day and is perfect for sharing with a bunch of friends.
- Yield: Serves 6 1x
For the Stew
- 2 T olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely sliced
- 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
- 1 t fresh parsley stalks
- ½ t ground cumin
- ½ t ground coriander
- ¼ t ground nutmeg
- 1 t ground cinnamon
- ½ t smoked paprika
- ¼ t ground cloves
- 2 aubergines (eggplant) (approx 600g), halved lengthways then sliced into 1cm semicircles
- 1x 400g tin chickpeas, drained (keep the liquid to use for aquafaba in another recipe)
- 2x 400g tins peeled plum tomatoes
- 1 T light brown sugar
- 500ml vegetable stock
- Juice of 1 lemon
For the Flatbreads
- 130g strong white bread flour
- 350g plain white flour
- 1 t fine sea salt
- 300 ml lukewarm water
- 2 t quick yeast
- 1 t sugar
To Make the Stew
- Preheat the oven to 200c (fan).
- Place a cast-iron dutch oven (with lid) over a medium/low heat and add the oil.
- Once the pan is to temperature, add the onion and fry lightly for a minute. Add the garlic and parsley stalks before frying for a further 2 minutes. Do not allow the onions or garlic to brown.
- Add the spices and stir well to coat the onion. Add the aubergine, chickpeas, tinned tomatoes, brown sugar, and vegetable stock. Stir well.
- Cover the pot with the lid and place in the preheated oven for 90 minutes, removing to stir every half hour.
- While the stew cooks, make the flatbreads.
To Make the Flatbreads
- Combine the flours and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. If you don’t have a stand mixer, just use a medium sized bowl.
- Place 100 ml of the water into a small bowl and add the sugar and yeast. Mix well and set aside to allow the yeast to bloom.
- Mix the yeast mixture into the flour along with the rest of the water. If using a stand mixer, knead using the dough hook attachment for roughly 8-10 minutes, until the dough is smooth. If kneading by hand, sprinkle a counter with flour and knead vigorously for 8-10 minutes.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a damp tea-towel and leave to proof somewhere room temperature for at least one hour.
- Once proofed, punch down the dough to remove the larger air bubbles.
- Lightly flour a rimmed baking tray. Turn the dough out onto a clean surface and slice the dough into 8 even pieces. Roll them into tight balls and place on the floured tray to prove, covered with a damp tea-towel. Leave to proof a second time for around 40 minutes.
- Once proofed, roll out each ball to around 15cm. Place a dry, cast-iron skillet over medium heat.
- Place one flatbread in the skillet and cook until puffed and bubbly. Flip after around 3 minutes, making sure the bottom isn’t burning. Cook for a further minute or two on the second side before removing. Repeat with all of the flatbreads. Wrap the cooked flatbreads in a clean tea-towel to keep them warm.
- While still hot, use a pastry brush to glaze each chick’n strip with the hot agave.
- Split open the bread rolls and spread a little house sauce on each side.
- Fill each bread roll with fried chick’n strips and sliced gherkins, before sprinkling with salt and fresh thyme.
- Top with a little more house sauce before serving.
The full recipe for this chickpea stew is below, but there are a fair few steps to the process, so here’s a quick break down.
Keywords: Chickpea stew
Keep your aubergine (Eggplant) big
It can be tempting to chop everything finely when making a stew, but try not to! Particularly when it comes to your aubergine. I tend to half mine lengthwise and then chop into thick semicircles. You want the aubergine to soften completely but keep some shape, so keep it chunky!
Be bold with your spices
The spices are the main source of flavour here. They’re what’s going to make this dish taste like a real winter warmer, so don’t scrimp. This isn’t a spicy dish, by any means – you’re unlikely to burn your tongue, so go crazy!
Take your time!
This is not a quick meal, but it’s certainly a low maintenance one! Once the veg is in the pot, there’s very little for you to do, besides check and stir occasionally. Try to stir gently or you’ll break up the aubergine too much, and that’s about it! The oven will do the rest of the work!
Proving the Flatbreads
The flatbreads are super easy to make but do take a little time. You’ll need to proof the dough twice, which means leaving it to rise. Be sure to leave the dough somewhere room temperature but not too warm. You can’t rush a good dough!
Don’t fuss with them!
It can be tempting to fuss with the flatbreads while they’re in the skillet. It’s important that you refrain! As they cook, the dough releases its moisture as steam, which is what helps them to puff up. If you flip them too many times or remove them from the pan too soon, you’ll disturb the process and end up with a rather sad, doughy bread.
Keep them warm
Reheating these flatbreads is a bad idea. They’ll go crispy instead of fluffy and light, so do your best to keep them warm. The best way to do this is wrap them in a napkin or clean tea-towel as soon as they’re out of the pan.