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Braised Harissa Eggplant with Chickpeas

Braised harissa eggplant with chickpeas is an easy vegan and gluten-free main course. Meaty eggplant, simple tomato-y broth, and spices.
Course Main Course, Side Dish, Soup, Stew
Cuisine Dairy-free, Nut-Free, Sugar-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Diet Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword chickpeas, chili, eggplant, fall, garlic, harissa, herbs, lemon, summer
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Resting Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 244kcal


  • 1 large eggplant
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt, plus extra
  • 3 tablespoons olive or avocado oil, plus extra if needed
  • 1 medium cooking onion, small dice
  • 1 small chili (such as cayenne or fresno), seeded and minced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground caraway
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup chopped flat leaf parsley


  • Remove the stem of the eggplant and chop into 1-inch cubes. Place the cubes in a colander and toss them with the tablespoon of salt. Set aside for an hour in the sink.
  • After an hour, rinse the eggplant (to remove excess salt) and thoroughly pat the cubes dry with paper towel or clean kitchen towels.
  • Set up a dinner plate with a couple paper towels on top. In a wide, deep braiser-style pot or deep skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. In batches, sear the eggplant until it’s golden brown on all sides and softened. As the eggplant finishes, remove it from the pot with a slotted spoon and place it on the paper towel-lined plate. Set aside.
  • If necessary, add more oil to the pot and lower the heat to medium. Add the onions and hot pepper to the pot and sauté until onion is translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic, cumin, caraway, and coriander to the pot and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the chickpeas, some salt and black pepper to taste, and then stir to coat the chickpeas in spices. Add the tomatoes and vegetable stock to the pot.
  • Bring the braise to a boil and simmer, uncovered and stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Add the eggplant back into the pot and bring the braise up to a boil once more. Stir in the lemon juice and parsley. Serve the braised harissa eggplant hot over millet or rice (or any other starch of choice).


  • You can get away with salting the eggplant for a minimum of 30 minutes, but I really recommend giving it the full hour (or up to 1 ½ hours). This looks like a lot of salt, but you’ll be rinsing a lot of it away before the cooking starts.
  • I left the peel on my eggplant, but feel free to remove yours if you prefer it that way.
  • I like a wide and deep braiser-style pot, but a regular soup pot or even a deep skillet will work for this recipe.
  • This braise/stew is an excellent base for all kinds of small-dice summer vegetables like zucchini, green beans, or bell peppers. You could add up to 2 cups along with the onions. You might need an extra few splashes of vegetable stock, but otherwise the recipe should remain the same.
  • I grind the caraway seeds in my spice grinder for this recipe. Not 100% sure if you can buy ground caraway in stores. You can also just leave them whole!


Serving: 0.25recipe | Calories: 244kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 12g | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 7g