Chickpea Bechamel with Eggplant

April  8, 2014
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  • Serves 2
Author Notes

This recipe is inspired by a popular Moroccan lamb tajine made with chickpeas, cooked in a tomato sauce and topped with fried eggplants. It also has some link to Karantita, a street food in the Eastern region of Morocco where I was born. —Silly Apron

What You'll Need
  • Fried Eggplants
  • 2 pieces medium purple or Italian eggplants, peeled (If skin is thick) and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 2 tablespoons table salt
  • 1/4 cup chickpea flour (Bob's Mill)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon curcumin
  • 1/4 cayenne peper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • Chickpea Bechamel Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chickpea flour (I used the leftovers from the eggplants coating)
  • 2 cups milk, heated
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin (If you didn't use the leftovers from the eggplants coating)
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup canned chickpeas
  1. Fried Eggplants
  2. Save 1/4 teaspoon of salt and use the rest to sprinkle the slices of eggplants both sides. Then spread them on a cooling rack. Let them sweat for 1/2 hour.
  3. In a shallow bowl combine the chickpea flour with the spices and salt (1/4 teaspoon).
  4. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
  5. Wash the eggplants' slices with cold water and squeeze the water out of them gently, then place them on paper towels to dry them.
  6. When the oil is hot, dip each eggplant slice in chickpea flour mixture, both sides, and place in oil. Fry 1 to 2 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Depending on the size of the skillet, you might need to do several batches. Drain on paper towels.
  1. Chickpea Bechamel Sauce
  2. Pour the oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan on medium heat. Stir in the flour and cook. Continue to stir until the paste bubbles. Add the milk all at once, continuing to stir until you bring it to a boil. Add salt and cumin, lower the heat, and let it thicken while stirring from time to time. It should take about 10 minutes more.
  3. With the help of a spoon, layer some bechamel sauce at a bottom of an oven safe dish. Layer eggplants slices. Sprinkle some chickpeas. Then start again with sauce, eggplants, chickpeas. Top with sauce. Sprinkle salt, cumin and cayenne pepper.
  4. Place the dish on a top rack in a 400°F preheated oven and bake for 5 minutes. My favorite way to eat this dish is with bread or sandwiched in a baguette like you will eat a Karantita, warm or at room temperature.

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