This is a delicious one-pot dish that’s great to eat all year around. The roasting of the peppers and aubergines intensifies their flavours and make the dish as special as it is. Don’t be tempted to skip this stage or all you’ll end up with is a slightly spiced ratatouille-esk meal! I like to serve it with lots of crusty bread (and butter!).
While we are at it, let’s consider the good and bad about chickpeas. On the good side, they are naturally low in salt, high in fibre (which leads to lower cholesterol), high in protein and they are high in iron, zinc, potassium, phosphorus and folates. On the downside, beware canned chickpeas which can be high in salt (!), remember chickpeas are calorific, and their high minerals and vitamins can be a problem if you have a medical condition. So, that’s clear as mud then! The bottom line is, if you have a medical condition think about what you are eating; if you don’t, remember the mantra – moderation in all things.
This is a vegan dish as long as the stock is vegan (and as long as you skip the butter with the bread!).
1 large red pepper
1 large yellow pepper
2 medium aubergines, thickly sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for brushing
2 medium onions, roughly chopped
2 large garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp dried oregano
¼ tsp cayenne
400g can chopped tomatoes
2 x 400g cans of chickpeas
450ml vegetable/vegan stock
2 tablespoonns red wine vinegar
Roast the peppers on the BBQ, turning occasionally, until the skins are black. Place them in a plastic bag for 8 minutes then rub off their skins. Remove the stalks and seeds and cut the flesh into bite sized pieces. Brush the aubergine slices with oil and lightly season with sea salt. Roast the slices on the BBQ, turning occasionally, until golden on both sides. Cut into bite sized pieces.
Heat the oil in a large pan and sauté the onions until soft and starting to colour, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute then add the cumin, coriander, oregano and cayenne and stir fry for a couple of minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and the peppers and aubergines and stir to mix well. Simmer for 35 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning adding more salt, cayenne and red wine vinegar as necessary. Cook for a further 10 minutes. This dish can now be cooled and stored in the fridge and reheated when needed.