Eggplant, Tomato, and Chickpea Curry with Chickpea Rice Flatbread
July 22, 2015

I’m excited about this post for a bunch of reasons. First, I love the fact that a single recipe turned into two while I was preparing this dish. To make a long story short, I had eggplant and tomatoes on hand yesterday, and I thought that I’d put them together in a summery curry dish. I was super happy with the results, but I realized that I didn’t have anything handy to scoop up the fragrant broth at the bottom of each bowl. I usually serve curries over rice or quinoa, but since Steven is a huge fan of naan, I thought I’d make something that, while decidedly not naan, is great for scooping and soaking.

I have a feeling that these simple chickpea and rice flatbreads (which I debated labeling as pancakes instead of flatbreads–I think they’re sort of a hybrid) are going to be a staple for us. They’re so easy to prepare, and the batter can be mixed up to a day in advance. The recipe is loosely inspired by a chickpea crepe recipe from Myra Kornfeld’s wonderful cookbook, The Voluptuous Vegan. I used rice flour in place of all purpose, and I added both cumin and chopped parsley for extra flavor. The resulting flatbreads definitely aren’t as delicate as crepes, but they’re sturdy and have a great, chewy texture.

This dish is easy to make in advance, and like most curries, its flavor seems to deepen over the course of a day or two . I had leftovers for lunch today, and they were fabulous. Because the curry has all of that delicious, aforementioned broth, I actually mixed in some of my leftover quinoa today as well. It turned into a thicker curry, almost a stew, and though different from the original dish, it was also really tasty.

It’s ideal to try the curry now, while eggplants and tomato are both in season. But even after fresh tomatoes become more scarce, the dish will work with canned tomatoes as well (I usually use fire-roasted, canned tomatoes from the Muir Glen brand).

I recommend playing around with the spice combination, adjusting the quantities a little to fit your tastes, and even adding different veggies, if you like. I’d love to try adding potatoes.

Eggplant, Tomato, and Chickpea Curry with Chickpea Rice Flatbread (Gluten Free)

Author - Gena Hamshaw
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Yields: 6 cups curry, or 4-6 servings; 8 flatbreads

Ingredients

For the Curry:

  • 2 teaspoons olive or coconut oil
  • 1 medium sized white or yellow onion diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1 medium eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 7-8 cups, or 1 - 1 1/4 pounds)
  • 3 cups beefsteak or Roma tomatoes, cut into 3/4-inch cubes (about 3 cups, or 1 pound--alternately, you can use 2 cans of diced tomatoes, draining some of the liquid beforehand)
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas, or 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed, chopped parsley or cilantro leaves (for topping)

For the Chickpea Rice Flatbread:

  • 1 cup chickpea flour
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
  • Olive oil

Instructions

  • To prepare the curry, heat the olive or coconut oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion. Cook the onion until it's clear and tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic. Continue cooking the garlic for 1-2 minutes, or until it's very fragrant. Stir in the cumin, curry, turmeric, garam masala, and salt, as well as a few tablespoons of water, to help mix everything together and create a kind of slurry.
  • Add the eggplant, tomatoes, chickpeas, and broth. Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce it to a simmer. Cover and cook for fifteen minutes. Uncover the curry and cook it for another 15-20 minutes, or until the liquid has reduced and the eggplant is melt-in-your-mouth soft. Check the mixture and adjust seasonings to taste. Divide the curry into bowls and serve over a cooked whole grain or with flatbread. Directly before serving, sprinkle each bowl with a tablespoon or two of parsley or cilantro. Curry leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days.
  • To make the flatbread, whisk together the chickpea and rice flour, salt, and cumin in a medium or large mixing bowl. Add the warm water and whisk until you have a smooth batter, making sure to catch any lumps. (To make super easy work of this, use an immersion blender or a regular blender instead of a whisk.) Then, stir in the parsley. Cover the bowl and allow the batter to rest for 30 minutes, or transfer the batter to an airtight container and let it rest in the fridge for up to 24 hours before you make the flatbreads.
  • Heat a small amount of olive oil (about a teaspoon, or use a mister or spray oil for convenience) in a medium sized frying pan or skillet (I used a pan that was about 10 1/2 inches across at the top and 8 inches across at the bottom, but I could have used something even a bit smaller) over medium heat. Add the batter to the pan by the heaping 1/3 cup. Allow the batter to cook until small bubbles are forming evenly across the top, and then gingerly use a spatula to loosen the flatbread from the pan and flip it. Continue cooking the other side for 1-2 minutes, or until it's cooked through and can be easily removed from the pan. Continue this process with all of the remaining batter. As with pancake-making, the flatbreads will probably get more consistent as you continue to use up the batter with confidence!
  • Serve the flatbreads with any soup, stew, or curry, or enjoy them with hummus spread on top. They're versatile. If you'd like to make a simpler version, you can omit the parsley and cumin. The flatbreads will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.

I look forward to trying these flatbread with red lentil daal, curried yellow split peas, and chana masala. I’d also love to try them for breakfast, maybe with a savory tofu scramble. Lots of possibility, and again, I love that the batter can be stirred and stored in advance.

I hope you try and enjoy the recipe–let me know what you think!

On Friday, I’ll be back with a new cookbook giveaway, as well as a terrific smoothie/shake recipe. Stay tuned.

xo

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    34 Comments
  1. 1 star
    Bland!!! I had to triple all the spices (minus garam masala, which btw you should add only at the end), add ginger and cumin seeds roasted in a separate pan and it was barely good. This is Americanized curry. Not real curry. Should’ve known. If you’ve absolutely never had curry in your life before, this may be ok for you. Otherwise, skip it.

  2. 5 stars
    Gena – this was wonderful! New to me but old to the blog I realize. Made perfect use of some aging local tomatoes and eggplant. I added in some raisins, inspired by your butternut squash curry! The pancakes were similarly divine – adored by my man, my 3year-old and good friends. It was the perfect late summer meal to celebrate his first day of pre-k. Thank you! Will go in rotation for sure.

  3. You made great use of that bowl with the blue floral design!!! (Happened to see it on the “more recipes” feature under your cauliflower tandoori post. 😉

  4. I have chickpea flour, but not brown rice flour. Can I sub another flour for the brown rice flour? Oat? Or maybe quinoa would be a better sub? Or can I just double the chickpea flour?

      • Thank-you for your quick replies. I’ll try it and let you know! It’s not going to end up being more like a chickpea omelette than a flat bread with double the chickpea flour I hope..?

        • It might end up more like a chickpea omelette. Since I haven’t tried it, I’m really not sure. You could also try spelt flour or millet flour, but I’m not familiar enough with quinoa flour to say how it will work.

  5. It looks so delicious!! But I am finding myself so utterly confused trying to switch to a raw vegan diet, yet finding recipes for food that is cooked.

  6. I’m not an eggplant fan, but buried within the curry, I bet it would be pretty good! And I love that the chickpea flatbread is gluten free. A wonderful sounding dish Gena!

  7. This was delicious. I had some trouble with the flatbreads and eventually ended up getting it to work on the third pan lol. The key to get it to work for me was to use some extra oil and wait longer than I thought it was necessary, and that got it to work out.

    • I’m so glad the recipe worked well! And thanks for your notes on the flatbreads–good to know. Definitely a lot like pancake-making in that some trial and error is necessary 🙂

  8. Gena, this is SO delicious! We enjoyed it for dinner last night. Very easy to prep and so rich in flavor. I love one pot dishes that simmer for a bit – by the time dinner is ready the kitchen is spotless! 🙂 The leftovers were even better after the flavors had more time to mingle together. The flatbread was also incredible – a definite go-to!

    Thanks for another great recipe!

  9. This was fantastic!! I’m currently traveling and I loved being able to make this simple, but delicious dish in our hostel kitchen in Valparaiso, Chile. The eggplants here are TINY so I ended up using about 4. I also couldn’t find broth, so I just used water and upped the amount of spices & salt. Rice & chickpea flour aren’t readily available here, so I just served it over couscous. I definitely want to try the flatbreads though! Thanks for a great recipe!

    • So glad it was a success, Tracey, and way to go with adapting the recipe creatively! I think couscous would be great to serve it with.

  10. Thank you; this was delicious! I was worried the flavors might be too bright, but I was wrong–it’s great. I’ve been searching for ways to use up garden eggplant; I’m the only eggplant lover in the family. Everyone liked this. This is going into my permanent repertoire, including as a freezer meal. Yay! I made a few minor tweaks: extra oil, a smaller dice, more chickpeas, and rice instead of flatbreads, at least this time.

    • So glad you liked it, Wynne. All of your modifications sound fine, including the tip about a smaller dice. And I’m happy your family enjoyed it, too!

    • Most definitely pancake-y! But I like the firm texture — it makes them awesome for scooping up anything, hummus included 🙂

  11. For someone who cooks and bakes often, I’ve never felt confident with savory pancakes/flatbreads — I guess it’s some weird barrier to entry. This looks SO easy though, and I have chickpea flour on hand. I’m totally trying it! Thanks Gena 🙂

  12. I could eat Indian cuisine every night, regardless of the hot weather. I just adore spicey, hearty meals like this. (Motivating myself to turn on my oven/stove to cook in July is yet another thing…) Still, I’m excited to stock up on my weekly bounty from the farmer’s market and put this delicious-looking meal idea together – sure to yield ample leftovers to enjoy all week long. And, thanks for the kick-in-the-pants to finally order Richa’s cookbook, which has been sitting in my Amazon cart for too long.

  13. This looks amazing! I make chickpea bread often but have never paired it with curry. I’m going to try that. Lately it’s been so hot it seems the only thing that sounds good is smoothies, ice cream and guacamole;)

    • Ha. We’re finally getting a break from the heat, and I’ve been using it as an opportunity to load up on batch cooking 🙂 Stay cool, Sarah!