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Lebanese-Style Eggplant and Chickpea Stew

4 Servings

40 minutes

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This spiced stew of eggplant, onion, chickpeas and tomato paste is a simplified version of Lebanese maghmour, a dish also known as moussaka (but is different from Greek moussaka). The eggplant for maghmour often is fried before it meets the tomatoey base, but by broiling it instead, along with the onion, we save time as well as oil (spongy eggplant readily soaks up fat during frying). While the eggplant is in the oven, we brown an entire can of tomato paste on the stovetop—a step that, in a few brief minutes, helps build deep, rich, slow-simmered flavor. A garnish of cilantro and toasted almonds adds fresh herbal notes, color and texture. Serve this vegan stew warm or at room temperature with flatbread or rice. To simplify cleanup, line the baking sheet with foil before spreading the eggplant on top.




Don’t drain the chickpeas. The starchy liquid is added to the skillet along with chickpeas and helps create a thick, velvety, stew-like consistency.

40 minutes


  • 2

    tablespoons ground cumin

  • 1

    teaspoon ground allspice


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Anthony R.
August 28, 2022
Another winner from milk street! This is absolutely delicious. Make sure to take time to cook down the tomato paste in the beginning. I didn’t have cilantro so I added a little coriander in the spice mix. Don’t skimp on the lemon juice.
Nabeel I.
August 21, 2022
Whole family loved it
This was a great vegan dish. Even the kiddo who claims to hate eggplant really liked this dish. I used freshly ground spices and didn't think that the tomato paste was overpowering like other reviewers have noted. Be cautious with the vague cilantro measurement. The California farmer's market bunch of cilantro that I had was enormous, and I opted to only use half a bunch. That was plenty. Also, the cilantro is a non-traditional addition, but it brought nice brightness to the dish. We ate this with Arabic bread (aka pocket bread) because it was quite thick. You could also thin it out with more water and eat it with rice or quinoa.
Roger R.

This dish was incredible! The onions became very crispy in the oven. The sauce made by blooming the spice mix with the oil and the cilantro stems, then caramelizing the tomato paste, made a mouth-watering glaze for the whole mixture. It reminds me of a mole sauce but comes together much quicker. Definitely a new favorite recipe.

Nicole B.

We enjoyed this one! Husband who doesn't like eggplant went back for seconds.

Kevin F.

We enjoyed this, although I've never had a dish with so much tomato paste in it and having that flavor dominate the dish was a new experience. Not bad, just different. Probably explains why Nicole's eggplant-disliking husband liked it... you can't taste the eggplant hardly at all!

For those who may be curious if home-cooked beans work the same way in this recipe: they do. I cooked a pound of beans yesterday in a slow cooker, used half to make hummus, 9 ounces (cooked weight) for this recipe, along with 1.5 cups of the cooking liquid (to replace the canned bean liquid and the 3/4 cup of water in the recipe). Worked perfectly.

Barbara S.

Loved it! Two of us polished off every last forkful.

Jennifer B.

Not my cup of tea, was not a hit with my family.

John V.

Tasty new flavors for using up an eggplant. Recipe says "4 servings," but I'd say 3 servings and we were still hungry. Might throw a second can of chickpeas in there?

Deirdre C.

That is a giant amount of tomato paste. To much for us.

Becky W.

The spices didn't shine through like I hoped. When you can't taste 2 tablespoons of cumin, that's a strong bit of tomato paste. I'm hoping the leftovers will be more interesting.