Baked Gingered Chickpea Stew with Eggplant and Spinach

Visit the Indian Food Glossary for information on the ingredients in this recipe
Baked Gingered Chickpea Stew with Eggplant and Spinach

A variation of this textured chickpea stew can be found in every kitchen in North India, where it is a favorite for Sunday dinners. Very much like a baked chana masala with eggplant and spinach, "kabli chana baigan tarkari" is almost always served with pooris, but it is also very delicious served on a bed of fresh cooked white rice with a green salad or a potato dish on the side.

Baked Gingered Chickpea Stew with Eggplant and SpinachBaked Gingered Chickpea Stew with Eggplant and Spinach
Recipe by
Cuisine: Indian
Published on October 26, 2007

Simple and delicious gingery baked chickpea stew with a spiced tomato sauce, spinach and fried eggplant

Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 55 to 60 minutes

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  • 3/4 cup dried chickpeas (2 cups cooked or 1 19 oz can)
  • 8 tablespoons ghee or olive oil
  • 1 medium eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
  • handful of green chilies, to taste, seeded and minced
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon asafetida
  • 2 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 lb (450 g) fresh spinach, trimmed and coarsely chopped
  • small handful fresh coriander or parsley, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • Rinse the chickpeas and soak for 8 hours or overnight in several inches of water with a drop of yogurt whey or lemon juice. Drain and rinse, then transfer to a large saucepan and cover with several inches of fresh water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1 hour or until the chickpeas are tender. Drain and set aside.

  • Preheat an oven to 325°F. Meanwhile, heat 6 tablespoons of the ghee or oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. When hot, add the eggplant and fry, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes or until the cubes are well-browned. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

  • Add the remaining ghee or oil to the pan. When hot, add the ginger, chilies and cumin seeds and stir for 2 to 3 minutes or until the seeds turn dark brown. Toss in the asafetida, wait a few seconds, then stir in the tomatoes. Add the coriander, paprika, turmeric and cayenne and stir for 10 minutes or until the tomatoes reduce to a thick sauce.

  • Add the water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the chickpeas, eggplant and spinach. Remove to a casserole dish, cover, and put in the preheated oven. Bake for 30 minutes. Stir in the parsley, garam masala, salt and pepper before serving.

Makes 4 to 6 servings
Baked Gingered Chickpea Stew with Eggplant and Spinach


sunni said...

Oh my, that sounds just wonderful! I'll definitely file this one away.

Regarding the cookbook you so enthusiastically recommend, does it have recipes for things like "moth whole" (also spelled "muth") and "horse gram"? My boyfriend loves to get unusual things at an Indian store in The Big City, and I've not been able to find any recipes for them.

Lisa said...

Thanks for dropping by Sunni. It was a tasty dish indeed. I couldn't recommend this book more highly. I received a copy as a gift shortly after I cut meat out of my diet. It was my introduction to the art of Indian cuisine and a perfect cuisine it is for a spice loving vegetarian looking to eat something other than tofu. I especially like the authentic quality of the recipes and the variety of Indian dishes and ingredients that are presented. The recipes are perfect and I've not yet tried one that didn't turn out to be a tantalizing treat for the taste buds and tummy.

I might add that the book contains extensive descriptions of Indian cookery techniques and ingredients.

As for your questions ... Yamuda Devi's cookbook does include a couple of recipes for muth dal, but seeming not for horse gram. I did a bit of research on the web, as I hadn't heard of either of these beans until now. Wikipedia has more info here.

I also checked google and if you do a search using the words horse gram recipes, or muth dal recipes (and the multiple variations on the name of the bean) you will find a few ideas.

urban vegan said...

Looks so warming and wonderful.

sunni said...

Lisa, thank you so much for your detailed assistance! I had checked online for recipes several months ago ... interesting how quickly things change.

(BF came home last week with yet another bag of mystery stuff! Guess I really need to buy that book!)

Lisa said...

You are most welcome Sunni. What did your boyfriend bring home this time? I'm curious.

Michelle said...

Hi, This looks great. I am looking for a recipe with eggplant to feature on my blog, but every time I cook with eggplant it comes out a little bitter. Any tips for this? Do you salt yours?


Laura said...

I'm not usually a huge fan of eggplant, but as I am trying to expand on my indian cooking at home, tried this recipe. This is one of the best spinach dishes I've ever had! So tasty, and if the chopping and measuring spices is done in advance, pretty fast to put together. I'll be making this again, thanks!

Caroline said...

Hi Lisa, what a lovely recipe. I altered it just a little - instead of frying the aubergines in so much oil, I tossed the cubes in a little oil and salt and roasted them for 15 minutes in the over, then proceeded as you describe. I reasoned that they were going to cook well in the oven, anyway. I'll be making this a lot more. Thank you for your beautiful recipes, best wishes, Caroline