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Spiced Aubergine Stew with Chicken and Chickpeas



INGREDIENTS 

2 large aubergines 
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
1 tbsp honey 
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar 
1 tsp dried oregano 
2 onions, peeled, halved then finely sliced 
500g chicken breast or thighs cut into really small (kuşbaşı) 2-3cm pieces
1 tsp smoked paprika 
1 tsp pul biber 
1 tsp cumin 
1 tsp paprika 
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped 
1 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped 
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
Good pinch salt and pepper to taste
1 heaped tbsp tomato or red pepper paste 
1 can drained and washed chickpeas 
1 can chopped tomatoes

METHOD

Preheat the oven to 210C (fan). 

Peel strips off the aubergine, quarter lengthways then slice 2cm thick. Place in a large bowl of salted water for 10-15 mins. 

While the aubergines are in the water, mix together the olive oil, pomegranate molasses, honey, balsamic vinegar and oregano and leave to one side.

Drain the aubergines, pat each one dry and lay them all on a large baking tray. Pour over the olive oil mixture, coating each one, then roast in the oven for 20-25 mins, turning once or twice throughout so that they don’t burn (and turn bitter).

While the aubergines are cooking, put a large sauté pan on a medium heat with a little olive oil, then add the onions and soften for 8-10 mins.

Add the chicken to the onions, seal for 5-10 mins before adding the garlic and thyme, cook for a minute more, then add the spices, salt, pepper, parsley and garlic and stir everything well (don’t forget to keep checking on the aubergines in the oven). 

Add the tomato and pepper pastes to the onion and chicken mixture in the pan, stir well, then add the chickpeas and stir well. 

Take the aubergines out of the oven, carefully toss them a little in the tray then add them to the pan, again, stirring gently. 

Add the chopped tomatoes then a canful of water to the pan, give everything a gentle stir then simmer on a low heat for around 10 minutes until the majority of the liquid has evaporated and the sauce, thickened

When plated, drizzle the stew with a little pomegranate molasses and fresh parsley, and serve with rice and a dollop of garlic yoghurt. 

Even better the next day when it’s warmed up and the aubergines go even softer and give a wonderful texture to the sauce. Delish. 

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