I love when small eggplants are in season. I find them so much tastier and easier to cook with then the large ones. I use the same skillet when cooking the veggies and meat in this recipe as I find it gives a nice flavor to the dish. Sauteing the eggplants in olive oil makes a much healthier version and taste as if they were grilled. Cooking canned chickpeas on high and with a peppers gets the bitter taste away and makes them taste fresh.
3 pounds small eggplants, washed
1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup chickpeas
1 green chili
1 cup tomato sauce
2 tomatoes, diced
1 onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, mashed
1 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon coriander
salt to taste
1. Cut most of the top green part of the eggplants, leaving just the tip of the stem. Divide each eggplant lengthwise in two, sprinkle with salt and leave aside to sweat. In a 1-quart pan on medium-high heat add chickpeas, cover 1 inch above chickpeas with water, add pepper. Cook for 20 minutes, drain.
2. In a 9-inch skillet on medium heat add 1 tablespoon olive oil, onions and garlic. cook until tender. Add allspice, cinnamon and cumin. Mix, and remove from heat. In a large mixing bowl add contents of skillet. In the same skillet add meat. Cook until no longer pink, drain and add to bowl as well. Add chickpeas into bowl.
3. In the same skillet on medium-high heat add 4 tablespoons olive oil. Place eggplants cut side down. Allow to cook until insides are soft and the bottom is brown adding a tablespoon of oil between new batches. About 10 minutes. Drain on paper towel.
4. Pre-heat oven to 350F. Scoop insides of eggplant onto a cutting board and chop. Add to bowl. Add tomato sauce and mix together. In a baking dish place eggplants skin down and carefully scoop meat mixture into eggplants. Cover top with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes covered, uncover and bake an additional 15 minutes.