Eggplant, chickpea and tomato bake


5 (1.25kg total weight) medium eggplants
120ml olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
6 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp chilli flakes
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp tomato purée
2 (200g total weight) green capsicum, deseeded, cut into 3cm pieces
400g can of chickpeas, drained, rinsed
400g can chopped tomatoes
1 1/2 tsp caster sugar
2 tbs coriander, roughly chopped, plus extra to serve
4 roma tomatoes, sliced 1 1/2 cm-thick


Preheat oven to 220°C fan-forced.

Use a vegetable peeler to peel away strips of eggplant skin from top to bottom, leaving the eggplant with alternating strips of black skin and white flesh, like a zebra. Cut widthways into round slices, 2cm thick, and place in a large bowl. Mix well with 75ml of oil, 1 tsp salt and plenty of black pepper and spread out on two large parchment-lined baking trays. Roast for about 30 minutes or until completely softened and lightly browned. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Reduce oven to 180°C fan-forced.

While the eggplant are roasting, make the sauce. Put 2 tbs of oil into a large saucepan over a medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for about 7 minutes or until softened and lightly browned. Add the garlic, chilli, cumin, cinnamon and tomato purée and cook for another minute, or until fragrant. Add the capsicum, chickpeas, tinned tomatoes, sugar, 200ml water, 11/4 tsp salt and a good grind of black pepper. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 18 minutes or until the capsicum have cooked through. Stir in the coriander and remove from the heat.

Spread half the roma tomatoes and half the roasted eggplant on the base of a large baking dish, about 20cm x 30cm. Top with the chickpea mixture, then layer with the remaining tomatoes and eggplant. Drizzle with the remaining tbs of oil, then cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 20 minutes or until the sauce is bubbling and the tomatoes have completely softened. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for about 20 minutes. Top with remaining coriander and serve either warm or at room temperature.