This is a Lebanese dish that's full of the spicy flavours of the Middle East.
3 large aubergines, cubed
200 g/7 oz/1 cup chick-peas, soaked overnight
60 ml/4 tbsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 large onions, chopped
2.5 ml/l/2 tsp ground curnin
2.5 ml/l/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2.5 ml/l/2 tsp ground coriander
3 x 400 g/14 oz cans chopped tomatoes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the garnish
30 ml/2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, sliced
1 garlic clove, sliced
Sprigs of fresh coriander
Place the aubergines in a colander and sprinkle them with salt. Sit the colander in a bowl and leave for 30 minutes, to allow the bitter juices to escape. Rinse the aubergine with cold water and dry on kitchen paper.
Drain the chick-peas and put in a saucepan with enough water to cover. Bring to the boil and sirnmer for 1- 1 1/2 hours, or until tender. Drain.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the garlic and onion and cook until soft. Add the spices and cook, stirring, for a few seconds. Add the aubergine and stir. Cook for 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and chick-peas and season with salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
To make the garnish, heat the oil in a frying pan and, when very hot, acid the sliced onion and garlic. Fry until golden and crisp. Serve the stew with rice, topped with the onion and garlic and garnished with coriander.