I’ve been following SusanV of Fat Free Vegan for years now. She always has great ideas for making delicious, healthy food. Recently, she posted a recipe for an eggplant and chickpea curry, which looked divine. She admits that she pretty much made baingan bharta and just added chickpeas for protein, which I loved–it gives this delicious, traditional Indian dish a dose of protein to make it a well-rounded vegan main dish.
AK loves baingan bharta, so I thought I’d try this recipe. Most Fat Free Vegan recipe don’t use any oil, but I don’t like cooking with non-stick so I use just a tablespoon of olive oil. I did make a few adaptations, most notably that rather than asafetida, I threw a whole head of garlic in the oven to roast with the eggplant, then squeezed out the soft, golden cloves and chopped them up. My favorite part of this recipe is the brightness and spiciness the the ginger, it really bring the whole dish to a new level. Plus, this is a very inexpensive and wonderfully fragrant, filling meal.
Baingan Bharta w/ Chickpeas
Adapted from Fat Free Vegan’s Eggplant & Chickpea Curry
1 large eggplant (about 1 1/2 lbs)
1 head garlic
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 tsp whole cumin (or 1/4 tsp dried)
1 tsp whole coriander (or 1/4 tsp dried)
1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 14-ounce can fire-roasted tomatoes
1 15-ounce can chickpeas
1/2 cup water or vegetable stock
salt to taste
- Prick eggplant with a fork several times. Slice the top off the garlic head. Place both on a baking sheet (the garlic cut-side up) in a 400 degree oven for 40 minutes, until eggplant skin is very soft and the skin is wrinkled and cracked. Set aside to cool.
- Heat oil in a large skillet. Add onions and cook 8 minutes. Add red pepper and cook 4-5 minutes more. Make a hole in the center of the pan and pour in cumin and coriander and toast 3-4 minutes. Stir in ginger, turmeric, and garam masala.
- Meanwhile, cut eggplant in half lengthwise, and with a spoon, scrape the eggplant flesh out of the skin. Discard skin. Chop eggplant into bite-sized pieces. Squeeze garlic out of head and chop. Add to skillet along with tomatoes, chickpeas, and stock. Bring to a boil, then turn down and simmer 30 minutes covered, 10 minutes uncovered. Season with salt to taste.
- Serve over rice.
eggplant: 1.48 (on sale 10 lbs for $10)
fire-roasted tomatoes: 1.25
pantry items: <1.00
Grand total: $6.43; serves 4-6 over rice ($1.61 or less per serving)