1/2teaspooncayenne or other hot red pepper(less or more, to taste)
115-ounce cancooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained (or 1 1/2 cups)
1/4cupminced parsley or cilantro
1/4teaspoongaram masala(start with less and add more to taste)
Preheat oven to 400F. Prick eggplant with a fork several times and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until eggplant is sunken and soft all the way through. Remove from oven and set aside until cool enough to handle. Peel and chop the eggplant flesh.
Heat a non-stick skillet. Add the onion and cook until it begins to turn golden. Add the bell pepper and cook for a few more minutes. Clear a spot in the center of the skillet and sprinkle the cumin seeds directly on the hot surface. Stir and toast them for about a minute, until they become fragrant. Stir them into the onions and peppers and add the coriander, turmeric, asafetida (or garlic), tomatoes, ginger paste, and red pepper.
Add the eggplant and cook over medium heat, pressing eggplant with the back of a spoon to break up large pieces, for about 10 minutes. Add the chickpeas and enough water or chickpea cooking liquid to keep the mixture moist, cover tightly, and turn heat to low. Cook for at least 15 minutes, stirring periodically, until sauce has thickened and flavors have blended. (You can hold this dish on low for up to 45 minutes while you prepare the rest of your meal, but add additional liquid as needed and don’t forget to stir, scraping the bottom.)
Just before serving, add parsley (or cilantro), garam masala, and salt to taste. Serve with rice or Indian bread.
I used freshly-made garam masala, which is more flavorful than most store-bought blends; depending on your spice blend, you may need to add more to get the right flavor. Garam masala recipes vary, but my current favorite is to combine 1 tablespoon black cardamom seeds, 1 cinnamon stick (about 2 1/2 inches long), 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, 1 teaspoon whole cloves, 1 teaspoon black peppercorns. Grind in coffee or spice grinder until powdered. Heat a small, dry pan. Add spices and toast just until fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove from heat, transfer to a bowl, and allow to cool. Once cool, store in a sealed jar for future use.This recipe alone (no rice) is zero points on Weight Watchers Freestyle program.