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Vegetarian Lebanese Eggplant Moussaka

This is a comforting and delicious Lebanese style eggplant casserole recipe with chickpeas. It is packed with tons of flavor with the addition of warm spices and pomegranate molasses.
Author: Pavani
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Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 45 mins
Total Time: 55 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: lebanese, middle eastern
Servings: 6 Servings

Ingredients

  • 1 Medium Globe Eggplant*
  • 4 tablespoons Olive Oil, divided use
  • 1 Medium Onions, finely minced
  • 3~4 Garlic cloves, cut into thick slices
  • 1 15 oz. Chickpeas, rinsed and drained (1½ cups of cooked chickpeas)
  • 1 tablespoon Pomegranate Molasses*
  • 1 14 oz. Can of Diced Tomatoes*
  • ½ teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon Ground Allspice
  • To taste Salt & Pepper
  • As needed Fresh Mint & Feta cheese (for garnish)

Instructions

  • Trim the stems off of the eggplant and peel lengthways stripes about ½” wide. Then chop into ½” cubes.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large saute pan over medium heat, add the chopped eggplant and saute until golden brown, about 5~7 minutes. Remove to a plate and set aside.
  • In the same pan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and add onions and the garlic. Saute until onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the cooked chickpeas and cook for 5 more minutes.
  • Next add the pomegranate molasses. Mix well.
  • Return the eggplant to the pan along with the tomatoes, salt, ground cinnamon, allspice and pepper. Mix well and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add 1 cup of water and simmer for 20~30 minutes until eggplant is completely tender and cooked through. Cooking time depends on which eggplant was used. Cubed globe eggplant cook much faster than the whole baby ones.

Notes

  • I feel globe eggplant suits best for this recipe because they cook into a creamy consistency in no time. Also they tend to absorb the flavors more easily. But you can substitute them with 8~10 baby eggplants. Make sure to cook them a little longer, may be around 40 minutes until very tender and creamy.
  • Chickpeas can be substituted with small white beans like cannellini, navy etc.
  • Pomegranate molasses is an optional, but highly recommended ingredient. If you don't have it, add some lemon or lime juice and a pinch of sweetener (honey or agave nectar).
  • Instead of canned tomatoes, use 3~4 fresh medium size tomatoes.
  • Dish can be stored in an airtight container for 3~4 days in the refrigerator. You can also freeze it for up to 2 months.

Nutrition

Calories: 252kcal
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