Chicken Aubergine Stew
So the idea of this stew stems from the fact that stews were an integral part of my entire childhood . Basically my father would make this lip smacking stew with a host of vegetables , chicken and a few spices. Later on when I read about Tagines from Morocoo I found a lot many to be using spices which were known to me and even though the flavours are not really Indian because Indian food is more spicy it does remind me of the stews made by my father which would use the spices sparingly to simply add a touch of flavour.
The other reason why I made up this stew was to use up Aubergines. Here is the difficult part about aubergines, they taste great but take up too much oil when they are cooked. The other healthy option is to make Baba Ghanoush and so here is a recipe which uses them but doesn't require too much frying.
3 slim aubergines
400gm chicken Leg + thigh
1 tsp Homemade Harissa Paste
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
2 plump tomatoes blanched , skinned and chopped
Salt as per taste
2 to 3 tbsp black currant (dried black grapes)
1 tbsp olive oil
For the harissa substitute
50gm dried chilies
1/4th tsp Caraway seeds (in case you don't have Caraway seeds use Shah Jeera which isn't really caraway but gives a nice flavour )
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tbsp Olive Oil
Soak the chilies in luke warm water for 1 hour 30 minutes and then de-seed them . (I advice using gloves else your hands will have a painful sensation) reserve some of the water for blending.
Now blend it with the spices after dry roasting the spices , salt and add the oil. Add the reserved water bit by bit till you get a smooth paste. Let it sit in your jar for 1 day and its ready to use. Beware, this stuff is hot so use sparingly. The flavours develop more and more with passing time.
Now for the stew start by blanching the tomatoes, skinning them and chopping them. Now simply heat the oil and add the chicken and seal its juices on high heat for a minute on both the sides and add the chopped aubergine and cover and cook on low heat for 7 minutes to 8 minutes and add the chopped tomatoes and mix well and the spices , currant and then the water and simmer it on low heat for 20 minutes. Check and add salt as per taste, garnish with parsley and serve with some flatbread or couscous or brown rice.