Hot, Sweet, and Sour Chickpeas with Eggplant



Quick. Easy. Healthy. Cheap. Tasty. It’s rare that all five of those descriptors find their way into one meal, and I’m happy to report that this one does the trick. It does require a few unique ingredients, but we had most of them on hand already – so, yay!

This will definitely be a regular recipe for us on weeknights. So many great things about it! It really does have a nice spice, a bit of sweetness (maybe a bit too much – next time I might reduce the sugar a wee bit), and the sourness is a really nice touch. A truly great blend of flavours for an interesting dish worth making again.

Recipe courtesy of Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian.


  • 2 tablespoons neutral oil (like grapeseed or corn)
  • 1 medium eggplant, cut into bite sized chunks
  • 1 tablespoon peeled & grated ginger
  • 2 hot fresh chilies, seeded and minced (or use a nice helping of hot pepper flakes if that’s all you have)
  • 1 sprig fresh curry leaves, or a few dried (we used about 6 dried)
  • 3 cups cooked chickpeas, with about 2 cups of cooking liquid (we used two cans of chickpeas + liquid, with about 1 cup of chickpeas reserved for later uses).
  • 1 tablespoon Sambar Powder or curry powder (yeah, we used curry powder)
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • Pinch of asafetida (optional – which we opted out of, since we couldn’t find it anywhere)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind paste or freshly squeezed lime juice to taste (we used lime juice)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Chopped cilantro (for garnish)
  • Chopped roasted peanuts (for garnish)
  1. Heat oil over medium-high heat. When hot, add the eggplant and cook for 5-10 minutes. Add ginger, chiles, and curry leaves. Stir and cook about a minute more.
  2. Add the chickpeas with liquid, curry, turmeric, brown sugar, asafetia if you’re using, and lime juice/tamarind. Sprinkle with salt & pepper.
  3. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes until thickened and eggplant is tender.  Taste and add more of whatever to taste (I added more lime juice).
  4. Garnish with cilantro and peanuts as you serve.

We served it over white rice.



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3 Responses to “Hot, Sweet, and Sour Chickpeas with Eggplant”

  1. Revisiting Recipes « Life at No. 71 Says:

    […] Hot, Sweet, & Sour Chickpeas with Eggplant – We’ve made this one twice already, and I would happily make it again in a week or two. Again, it’s super quick to make, and we tend to have most of the ingredients on hand at all times, except for eggplant – which is easy to buy. It’s also a fairly interesting dish – it’s essentially just a simple curry, but with really interesting flavours going on. […]

  2. End of the Week Sundae « Life at No. 71 Says:

    […] a fairly rare thing these days, so we decided we wanted to make it somewhat nice. Our dinner was a weeknight meal we’d had planned but had put off, and while it’s a meal we really enjoy – it […]

  3. 2010 Food-In-Review « Life at No. 71 Says:

    […] Hot, Sweet, and Sour Chickpeas with Eggplant – we’ve made this one a number of times in 2010, and it’s relatively easy to throw together with just a few key ingredients – but is complex enough to taste like something special. […]

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