Aubergine & chickpea stew

Aubergine & Chickpea Stew
Aubergine & Chickpea Stew

Why does everyone need to see me before Christmas? It’s not like I’m going to spontaneously combust in the New Year. It’s only a few days into December and already I’m in such a constant state of hangovery I could cry – and then I did…
“… it’s because you weren’t paying attention and now look what you’ve done!” The customer behind me pointed to the box of eggs that had fallen off the conveyor belt and smashed all over the floor.
“Why should I pay attention? It’s not a test!” I said as I attempted to scrape up raw egg with my bare hands into a 5p plastic bag… “and besides, they’re not even YOUR eggs, they’re MINE, so why do you care?”
“I care because now someone has to come and clean up YOUR mess, simply because you weren’t paying attention,” he spat angrily down at me.
“SO??!!! It’s not like I’m running around Waitrose throwing eggs about the place you grumpy old sod.”
“Would you like me to get you another box of eggs madam?” asked the rather bored looking cashier.
“No, no, it’s fine,” I say angrily brushing my hair back from my face, forgetting my hand was coated in raw egg. “I’m worried if you do, this man might murder me… ” The man didn’t murder me, but he looked like he was about to – especially when I wished him a Merry Christmas on my departure.
Feeling smug, I got into my car and rang Jamie, ready to have a good old rant but, as soon as he answered the phone, something peculiar happened. I started squeaking and sobbing down the phone, about the mean egg man in Waitrose.

Anyway, enough about eggs – I broke mine, so this aubergine and chickpea stew is eggless. With warm cinnamon and spicy undertones, this stew is definitely one to curl up on the sofa with on a cold winter’s eve.

Psst… Christmas just came early. Want a variety of delicious extra virgin olive oils delivered direct to your door all year round? Well now’s your chance. For a limited time only, I’m offering you an exclusive 25% off your first quarter when you adopt an olive tree with Pomora. Just enter the discount code CRFXMAS25 at the check out and you’ll receive a quarterly shipment of 3x250ml tins of oil from your tree, alternating between plain and flavoured oils from one of our award winning growers, so what are you waiting for? Treat yourself or someone you love this Christmas with Pomora.

Aubergine & chickpea stew

Serves 4 / Hands on time 30 mins / Total time 1 hr / V Vn Gf Df 
1 tsp olive oil
1 white onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 aubergines, cut into large chunks
6 medium sized tomatoes, cut into eighths
1 can tinned chickpeas, drained
500ml vegetable stock, I use Knorr stock pots
3 bay leaves
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp dried parsley
100ml *vegan red wine
To serve 
Handful of fresh mint leaves
Greek or dairy free yogurt (optional)
Drizzle of Pomora extra virgin olive oil
Serve with crusty bread or couscous

1. Finely chop the onion and the garlic and add them to a large cooking pot with a teaspoon of oil. On a medium heat sweat the onions and garlic for around 5 minutes or until softened. (If the onions are getting a little too much colour, add some water to allow them to steam rather than burn).
2. Add 1 tsp of cumin, turmeric, smoked paprika and 1 and a half tsp of cinnamon then give it a good stir. Add a little water to the mix if again it’s looking a little dry and to allow the be spices to release their lovely aromas.
3. Cook the spices for a couple of minutes before adding the freshly chopped tomatoes, 500ml of vegetable stock, 100ml red wine, the aubergine chunks, drained chickpeas, 3 bay leaves and 1 tsp of dried parsley. Give it a good mix and season well with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil.
4. Turn the heat down to a simmer, pop the lid a jar and cook for 15 minutes stirring occasionally. After 15 minutes, take the lid off, give it another stir and continue to cook without the lid for a further 15 minutes (this allows the sauce to thicken).
5. Take the stew off the heat and carefully pick out the bay leaves. Divide into bowls and top with fresh mint, yogurt, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Serve with either bread or couscous.

Aubergine & Chickpea Stew

If you’ve had a go at making any of my recipes, I’d love to hear from you. Follow me now @corrieheale and tag your recipe pictures using #corriesrabbitfood.

V– Vegetarian    Vn– Vegan    Gf– Gluten free    Df– Dairy free   – Cool fully before freezing. Consume within 3 months. 
*Most wines are unfortunately not vegetarian or vegan, due to products used in the ‘fining’ process. Wine makers are also under no obligation to disclose if they have used animal products on the label. Vegetarian and vegan wines are available in most supermarkets.

Jamie’s halloumi & chickpea stew

Halloumi & Chickpea Stew
Halloumi & Chickpea Stew

“I’ve cut my hand Corrie!” Jamie screamed down the phone.
“Oh no! On what?”
“I slipped and fell on some glass”
“Oh my god! Are you okay?”
“Yeah… But I don’t think I’ll be able to do any washing up for a while…”
“Well it better be a bloody big cut!”
And it was. In fact it was super gross, poor Jamie. I actually didn’t mind doing the washing up for a while but I did miss his cooking, so I thought it would be nice to make one of his recipes, boy was I wrong! Not because his recipes aren’t delicious, but because my mad boyfriend is the worst backseat chef ever.
“Oh, you chop onions like that? Interesting”… “Don’t crush the garlic chop it!”… “Why are you using the big ring on the cooker, use that one”… “Oh just let me stir it, you’re doing it wrong”… “How many tablespoons of yogurt did you put in?… Corrie?… Corrie?… Corrie…”
“… You were only supposed to put in one… I’ll leave you to it.”

Halloumi & chickpea stew
Serves 2 / Hands on time 35 mins / Total time 35 mins /
V Gf 
1 tsp olive oil
225g vegetarian halloumi, cut into chunks
1 red onion, finely chopped
20 cherry tomatoes, halved
3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1 red pepper, sliced
1 knob ginger, grated
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp chilli flakes
1 tbs tomato puree
250g passata
1 tsp brown sugar
1 can of chickpeas
4 handfuls of spinach
2 tbs of greek yogurt + extra for garnish
Large handful parsley, chopped
Bread to serve (optional)

1. In a large pot over a medium heat, cook the onion, cherry tomatoes and roughly a quarter of the halloumi chunks in the oil for 15 mins, stirring occasionally – adding a dash of water if needed.
2. Mix in the chopped garlic, red pepper, fresh ginger, cumin, smoked paprika, chilli flakes and a dash of water to loosen the spices a bit. Cook for a further 5 mins.
3. Add the tomato puree, passata, sugar, chickpeas and the rest of the halloumi chunks. Give it a good stir and gently simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Mix in 2 handfuls of spinach. Once wilted, add the other 2 handfuls and stir in the yogurt. Finally, sprinkle over the chopped parsley and season with black pepper (halloumi is very salty so you don’t need to add extra salt). Serve immediately topped with yogurt and bread for dipping.

Halloumi & Chickpea Stew
Halloumi & Chickpea Stew
Jamie not trusting me to cook his recipe properly

If you’ve had a go at making any of my recipes, I’d love to hear from you. Follow me now @corrieheale and tag your recipe pictures using #corriesrabbitfood.