Slow Cooker Pomegranate Eggplant Chickpea Stew

Slow Cooker Pomegranate Eggplant Chickpea Stew

This stew smells so good while it's cooking.  It filled our kitchen with a beautiful bouquet of spices. This recipe took a few tries to get right, but I am very pleased with this final result.  The secret to it's delightful flavor?  The interplay between ground cardamom, fresh ginger, garlic, and pomegranate molasses.  It is warming, slightly tangy, and totally comforting all at once. It tastes delicious served over a bed of short grain brown rice or winter wheat berries.  

Pomegranate molasses is a common ingredient in Persian and Mediterranean cuisine.  Everything about it is AMAZING.  As I have mentioned in previous posts using pomegranate molasses, you can use store bought or make your own from scratch for this recipe.  I am always looking for excuses to use it.  I love it in stews, salad dressings, and drizzled on top of food.  When it feels like a time I would want to use lemon juice, I throw in some pomegranate molasses instead.

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Slow Cooker Pomegranate Eggplant Chickpea Stew

1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced

3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped

½ tsp ground cardamom

½ tsp ground cinnamon

½-1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

½ tsp garlic powder

1 14 ounce can of diced tomatoes

½ cup water

1 cube bouillon (fake chicken or vegetable)

⅓-½ cup pomegranate molasses

1 15 ounce can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 large eggplant, cubed

1 bunch of red chard, torn into pieces

Pomegranate Molasses-Tomato Sauce

1. In a large, heavy pot or dutch oven, add onions, garlic, olive oil, and a pinch of salt.  Sauté over medium heat for 7 minutes or until onions are golden.  Add the fresh ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, and crushed red pepper flakes, and sauté another 2 minutes over low heat.  Add the garlic powder, tomatoes, water, bouillon, and pomegranate molasses.  Simmer over medium heat for 3 minutes.

Slow Cooker Pomegranate Eggplant Chickpea Stew

2. Add everything else listed in the recipe to a slow cooker.  Pour the sauce over it, and stir it all together.  Cover with the lid, and cook on HIGH for 4-5 hours.  Remove the lid, taste, and adjust seasonings (more salt?  more pomegranate molasses?)  Serve over brown rice or wheat berries.

Slow Cooker Pomegranate Eggplant Chickpea Stew