Brinjal and chickpea stew

This vegetarian stew is sure to be a winter favourite. Quick and easy, packed with spices and flavour.

More than 1 hour

Serves 4


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  • 2 punnets (200g each) baby brinjals 
  • 1 Tbsp (15ml) olive oil 
  • 2 onions, chopped  
  • 4 cloves garlic, grated 
  • 4cm knob fresh ginger, grated 
  • 1 Tbsp (15ml) each crushed cumin seeds and coriander seeds
  • ½ Tbsp (7ml) mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp (10ml) smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp (5ml) fennel seeds (optional) 
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 1 packet (50g) tomato paste
  • 1 can (400g) PnP Mediterranean-style chopped tomatoes
  • 2-3 cups (500-750ml) vegetable stock
  • Grated peel of 1 lemon 
  • ½ cup (125ml) mixed dried fruit


  • 1 Tbsp (15ml) olive oil 
  • 1 can (400g) chickpeas, drained 
  • Juice (60ml) of 1 lemon
  • ½ tsp (3ml) each ground coriander and cumin 
  • Handful chopped herbs like mint, parsley or coriander

For serving:

  • Flaked almonds, pomegranate rubies, mint and coriander
  • Couscous, rice or bulgur wheat


  1. Halve baby brinjals and grill in a smoking-hot pan until charred on both sides. 
  2. Heat olive oil in a pot and fry onions until soft and golden.
  3. Add garlic cloves, ginger, crushed spices, paprika and cinnamon sticks  and fry for 2 minutes to create a fragrant paste.
  4. Add tomato paste and cook for 1 minute. 
  5. Pour in chopped tomatoes, vegetable stock and simmer. 
  6. Add brinjals, lemon peel and mixed dried fruit. 
  7. Simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  8. For chickpeas, heat a separate pan with olive oil and fry chickpeas with lemon juice, coriander and cumin until crispy and golden. 
  9. Remove from heat and toss in a handful of chopped herbs.
  10. Stir chickpeas through stew just before serving.
  11. Serve stew topped with flaked almonds, pomegranate rubies, fresh mint and coriander, a dollop of yoghurt with couscous on the side.


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