Curried eggplant, tomatoes and chickpeas make for a satisfying and flavorful summer meal. I like to serve it with a quick, homemade chickpea rice flatbread!
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 cook them together with spices.
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. That’s how the flatbread came to be.
I have a feeling that these simple chickpea and rice flatbreads (which remind me of savory pancakes) are going to be a staple for .e. 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.
The curried eggplant, tomatoes and chickpeas are easy to make in advance. Their flavor seems to deepen over the course of a day or two.
Because the dish is brothy, you can also mix in some cooked grains, like quinoa or millet. It will become more of a stew, and it’s a nice way to breathe new life into leftovers.
This recipe is especially good to make while eggplants and tomato are in season. But even after fresh tomatoes become more scarce, the dish will work with canned tomatoes as well. There are instructions included in the recipe for that!
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.
To prepare the curried eggplant, tomatoes and chickpes, heat the 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 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 eggplant, tomato, and chickpea mixture into bowls. Serve with cooked whole grains or flatbread (below). Directly before serving, sprinkle each bowl with a tablespoon or two of parsley or cilantro. 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. You can also 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 avocado 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.
Serve the flatbreads with any soup or stew, or enjoy them with a dip. The flatbreads will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.
I look forward to trying these flatbread with daal, among other dishes. 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.