Chickpeas Stuffed Eggplants Recipe
Simple, yet very rich and flavorful dish from Armenian cuisine: chickpeas stuffed eggplants. The original recipe belongs to my friend Susanna Arustamyan, a wonderful Armenian food blogger, whom I met on instagram. The one and only reason I like about some social media sites, is getting to know so many talented Armenian home chefs and food bloggers and being inspired after seeing their works. Susanna, has the most various recipes for eggplants, and me, as a huge fan of that specific vegetable, couldn’t pass by her blog. So here we go, delicious dish: chickpeas stuffed eggplants.
Armenian cuisine is full of amazing dishes that have eggplants as the main ingredient. We stuff them with spiced meats, grains, walnuts, other mixed veggies, you name it.
Couldn’t help to add a few extras to the original recipe, and would suggest to feel free and add any of your favorite spices to the dish, it’ll make it even more tastier.
Hope you try this dish and enjoy it as much as I did.
4-5 medium size Italian eggplants, washed, peeled (leave a thin strip of skin)
A bowl filled with cold salted water, (8 cups water + 1-2 tbs salt)
4-5 tbs olive oil, plus extra 2-3 tbs for making the stuffing
1 large onion, finely chopped
⅔ cup lecho or salsa (you can substitute it with tomato sauce), original recipe calls for 2 fresh tomatoes
4-6 garlic cloves, minced
1 can chickpeas ( garbanzo beans), rinsed, strained
⅓ cup quinoa + hot boiling water, wash the grains, place in a pot with hot water, bring to a boil and set aside, this is an optional ingredient
1 tsp ground black pepper
½ tsp ground cumin
⅓ tsp curry powder
½ tsp red chili flakes, optional, leave it out if you don’t like spicy
1-1½ cups vegetable stock or water
A few mini colorful bell peppers or 1 large bell pepper, optional
Fresh herbs to your choice, I used parsley and dill, cilantro and basil will work too
Salt to taste
Start by peeling and prepping the eggplants, place them in salted water and set aside
Meanwhile, you can boil water for quinoa, and set that aside too
Peel and chop the onion, herb, mince the garlic
As all the ingredients are prepped and ready, you can start preheating the skillet
*Remove the eggplants from salty water and tap dry with paper towel
*Drizzle with olive oil, lightly sprinkle with salt and fry until golden color, set aside
*In the same skillet sauté the onion until golden color
*Add all the ingredients, spices and seasonings, except for the vegetable stock and bell peppers
*Mix and cook everything over medium heat, 2-3 minutes, stuffing is ready
*Make a slit on each eggplant, leaving an inch uncut, from top and bottom
*Open the slit and generously fill with stuffing, you may have extra stuffing
*Pour the vegetable stock on leftover stuffing and place the eggplants back into skillet, or if baking in the oven, use a 9”x13” baking pan
*Be sure the liquid covers the eggplants at least hallways
*Remember to taste the salt before covering the skillet for final cooking
*Add the bell peppers in between the eggplants
*Cover the lid and cook on medium to low heat about 45-60 minutes or until the eggplants are cooked through
*It will be a good idea to open the lid and drizzle the eggplants with stock at least 4-5 times, during the cooking
*If baking in the oven, preheat it 425°F and bake covered 45-60 minutes
* Allow the dish to set at least 20-25 minutes before serving
Enjoy Your Chickpeas Stuffed Eggplants !