Turkish Rice Pilau with Eggplant and Chickpeas
This fragrant dish was inspired by the Turkish method for making pilaf.
3 medium-sized eggplants, cut into 1-inch chunks
4 Tbs. olive oil
2 medium-sized onions, chopped ⅓ cup pine nuts
1 ½ cups basmati rice
1 tsp. ground allspice
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
1 24-oz. can whole peeled tomatoes, drained and chopped
1 15-oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
½ cup currants
1 bay leaf
½ cup chopped fresh parsley
- Place colander in sink or bowl. Place eggplant cubes in colander, and sprinkle generously with salt. Toss to combine, and let sit 1⁄2 hour. Drain on paper towel-lined plate.
- Heat 2 Tbs. olive oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add eggplant, and cook 10 minutes, or until browned, stirring occasionally. Transfer eggplant to plate lined with paper towels to drain.
- Add 2 Tbs. oil to skillet; reduce heat to medium. Stir in onions and pine nuts; cook 5 minutes, stirring, or until onions are translucent. Add rice, and cook 5 minutes, or until pine nuts begin to brown. Stir in allspice and cinnamon; cook 1 minute. Add eggplant, tomatoes, chickpeas, currants, bay leaf and 3 cups water. Add salt and black pepper to taste. Reduce heat to low; cover, and simmer 20 minutes.
- Remove pan from heat, and let sit, covered, 10 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley, and serve immediately.