Eggplant, Potato and Chickpea Stew

1/2 tablespoon mustard seeds
1/2 tablespoon grated fresh ginger root
3 medium tomatoes, chopped with their skins
1/2 cup dried chickpeas, soaked overnight and drained
5 cups water
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 1/2 pounds firm, ripe eggplant
1 1/2 pounds red potatoes
olive oil spray
1/2 tablespoon ground coriander
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil or melted butter

In a heavy, flameproof casserole over medium heat, dry fry the mustard seeds in a covered pan until they sputter and pop. Add the ginger, tomatoes, chickpeas, water, turmeric and half the cilantro. Bring to a boil; reduce the heat slightly and let the mixture bubble gently for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until the chickpeas are soft. Add more water during cooking if the chickpeas absorb the liquid before they are tender.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Roast the vegetables: Cut the eggplant and potatoes into 1-inch pieces. Spray two nonstick jelly roll pans with the olive oil spray. Spread the vegetables out in the pans and spray again with the oil. Sprinkle with coriander and bake for 45 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and golden. Sprinkle the hot vegetables with lime juice.

Add the vegetables to the chickpeas with salt and pepper, to taste. Add more water if the pan seems dry. Cover and continue cooking for 15 minutes. Add the remaining cilantro to the pan and drizzle the vegetables with the oil or butter before serving.

Serves eight.



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