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By Bill Granger

+ Ingredients

3 eggplants, cut lengthways into 1cm-thick slices
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1 green chilli, finely diced
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
400g tin diced tomatoes
400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses (or 1 tablespoon brown sugar mixed with 1 tablespoon lemon juice)
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon chopped mint leaves

2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds

+ Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Sprinkle the eggplant slices with salt, place in a colander and leave for 20 minutes. Rinse well and pat dry with paper towel.

Place two large frying pans over medium“high heat. Lightly brush both sides of the eggplant slices with olive oil. Add a single layer to each pan and fry for 4“6 minutes on both sides, until well browned. Set aside and repeat with the remaining slices. Place half the eggplant slices in a medium casserole dish.

Return a frying pan to the heat with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the onion, garlic, ginger, chilli, paprika and cumin, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent. Add the tomatoes, chickpeas and pomegranate molasses. Mix together and season well with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Pour half the tomato mixture over the eggplant slices in the casserole dish, cover with the remaining eggplant and then pour over the remaining tomato. Transfer to the oven and bake for 15 minutes.

Serve in the dish or allow to rest and serve warm or at room temperature dressed with parsley and mint, pomegranate seeds and sea salt.

Serves 4“6