Maghmour (Eggplant-Chickpea Stew)

If you like a delicious blend of eggplant and chickpeas, cooked in a savory tomato sauce and flavored with warm spices, Maghmour will be your new favorite dish. Based on a few simple ingredients, this stew comes together effortlessly and makes the perfect midweek meal. Let me show you how to make it.

Maghmour

Maghmour vs. Moussaka

You might have heard of Maghmour as Lebanese Moussaka. Let me briefly explain to you the differences between these two dishes.

Both dishes originate from the Mediterranean region. Moussaka is a traditional Greek dish, while Maghmour is Lebanese. Both Maghmour as well as Moussaka have eggplant as one of their key ingredients. However, in terms of other ingredients, seasonings and preparation method, there are notable differences.

Unlike Greek Moussaka, Lebanese Maghmour doesn’t contain meat. Instead, it’s a vegetarian stew that has chickpeas. Another key difference between the two dishes is that Moussaka is made in layers, while Maghmour is usually prepared in a large casserole dish or saucepan, like classic stew.

Given the differences between the Greek Moussaka and Middle Eastern Maghmour, it comes as no surprise that the ingredients list and preparation are very different too.

Maghmour Ingredients

Let’s have a look at the ingredients that you need to make Lebanese Maghmour.

  • Eggplant: Eggplants are the key ingredient to this Middle Eastern eggplant dish. You’ll need medium-size dark purple eggplant for this dish (see picture below). That’s the most widely used eggplant variety in Middle Eastern cuisine.
  • Chickpeas: To make this dish quick and easy, we’ll use canned chickpeas for this recipe. You could use dried chickpeas as well, but keep in mind that they need to be soaked overnight and cooked beforehand. Using dried chickpeas makes sense if you intend to prepare a large batch of Maghmour. If you happen to have leftover cooked dried chickpeas, it’s a good way to use them. Half a cup of dried chickpeas equals one cup of cooked/canned chickpeas.
  • Onion: Regular yellow onion will be the base for your stew. It’s usually finely diced, but you could also roughly chop it if you love onions.
  • Tomatoes: Tomatoes will be the base of your sauce. Roma tomatoes work great. Be sure they are fully ripe and fresh.
  • Tomato Paste: In addition to fresh tomatoes, I usually add some tomato paste to enhance the flavor.
  • Garlic: Garlic pairs wonderfully with all components of this dish. It should definitely not be missing in Lebanese Maghmour! Fresh garlic cloves yield the best result.
  • Water: Regular tap water to thin out the sauce. You can adjust the amount of water to your liking.
  • Seasonings: The stew has a handful of warm seasonings. You’ll need the following ground spices: coriander powder, cumin powder, paprika powder (optional), salt and pepper.
  • Olive oil: Olive oil is used to fry the garlic and onions to create the base of your stew. Olive oil also contributes to the taste. That’s why I recommend that you use olive oil for Maghmour instead of any other vegetable oil.

Note: Quantities can be found in the recipe card at the end of this recipe and can be adjusted according to the amount of servings you’d like to make.

Eggplant dishes

How to Make Maghmour (Step-by-Step)

Ready to make Maghmour? Yallah, let’s get started!

Step 1: Prepare the eggplant

In the traditional recipe, the eggplant is deep fried in oil first, and later added to the stew. To make this recipe a lighter, I chose to oven-roast the eggplant instead. You can choose whether you’d like to deep-fry or oven-roast it. Just be sure to roast/fry it before you add it to the stew (don’t add the raw eggplant to the sauce).

Before you start preparing the vegetables, preheat the oven to 200°C (400 F).

Peel the eggplant lengthwise, removing every other stripe to create a “zebra pattern”. This improves taste and texture. Cut the peeled eggplant into slices (lengthwise), then cut into bite size cubes.

Arrange the eggplant cubes on a layer of kitchen paper. Sprinkle it with salt and let sit for 5 minutes. The kitchen paper will absorb the excess moisture of the eggplant (this is optional, but recommended).

Step 2: Roast the eggplant

Arrange the eggplant cubes on a baking sheet with parchment paper and roast for 30-35 minutes until tender.

Step 3: Prepare the remaining vegetables

While the eggplant cubes are roasting in the oven, prepare the remaining vegetables for Maghmour.

Peel the garlic cloves. Crush with a mortar and pestle, or finely chop using a knife. Peel an onion and finely dice. If you’d love onions and would like to see some larger chunks of onions in your stew, you could chop it into large cubes, similar to the eggplant.

Remove the core of the tomatoes and finely chop them. Some people like to remove the peel of the tomatoes for their stew, but I generally keep it.

If using canned chickpeas, drain them in a colander. Rinse them with cold water to get rid of the brine. Set aside.

Step 4: Fry garlic and onions

Depending on the amount that you’re making, use a medium to large saucepan. Heat olive oil over medium heat. Once it’s heated, add the crushed garlic to the oil and fry it for 30 seconds to release its flavor.

Then, add the chopped onions to the saucepan, stir with the garlic and fry for another 3-4 minutes until the onions are translucent and tender.

Step 5: Add tomatoes and seasonings

Add the chopped tomatoes (including the juice), the tomato paste and all seasonings (coriander, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper) to the saucepan. Mix well to combine all ingredients. Cook for about 5 minutes (still on medium heat) until the tomatoes are tender. You should have a thick tomato gravy before you add the remaining ingredients. Stir occasionally.

Step 6: Add chickpeas and water

Add the chickpeas (from the colander) and hot water from the tab to the saucepan. Be sure to add hot water (instead of cold water) to bring the chickpeas to a boil faster. Cook for about 10 minutes on low-medium heat. Although canned chickpeas are essentially ready to use, cooking them in the tomato sauce for about 10 minutes makes them softer and allows the flavors to blend.

By the way, the amount of water depends on your liking. The default servings in the recipe card below give a consistency which is great if you’d like to eat Maghmour with either bread or rice. You can add a little less water if you’d like a thicker consistency (more tomato flavor) which is great if you intend to serve Maghmour with bread. If you’re making rice (e.g. Lebanese butter rice) as a side, you can add a little more water.

Step 7: Add eggplant

Meanwhile, the eggplant should be ready. Remove it from the oven after 30-35 minutes (regardless of where in the recipe you are) and set aside until you reach this step.

Once the chickpeas have cooked in the tomato sauce for about 10 minutes (as outlined in the previous step), add the roasted eggplant to the saucepan. Stir well to combine all the ingredients. Simmer on low heat for about 5 minutes to allow the eggplant to absorb the flavors of the tomato gravy.

And that’s it, your Maghmour is ready! Read below on how to serve it.

Maghmour Eggplant Chickpea Stew

How to Serve

Maghmour is traditionally served cold. In the Middle East, it’s often served as a mezze (appetizer) alongside other small dishes. It’s often served with Lebanese bread, which is a type of flatbread, similar to pita bread.

To serve as a main dish, you can also serve Maghmour warm. It pairs wonderfully with rice. As Maghmour is very rich in flavors, it goes best with either plain white rice or Lebanese butter rice (a type of white rice with vermicelli). That’s usually how I serve this dish for my family when I make it for dinner on a busy weekday. A simple green salad or Fattoush (Lebanese salad with roasted bread) and some plain yogurt make great sides.

Make Ahead & Storage

Maghmour can be perfectly prepared ahead of time. In fact, it’s one of those dishes that often taste better the next day! I often make a large batch of Maghmour to eat over several days, as a main dish (with rice) on day one, and as a cold appetizer with bread the next day.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge and consume within 2-3 days. You can reheat the stew on the stovetop or in the microwave (add a bit of water or olive oil when reheating the dish).

Any Questions or Feedback?

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Maghmour Eggplant Chickpea Stew

Maghmour (Eggplant Chickpea Stew)

Kitty Ramasamy
Maghmour is one of the most popular vegan stews in Middle Eastern cuisine, often referred to as Lebanese Moussaka. A delicious blend of eggplant and chickpeas, cooked in a savory tomato sauce and flavored with warm spices
Rate this recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Main Course, Mezze
Cuisine Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Lebanese
Servings 6 people
Calories 185 kcal

Ingredients
 

  • 2 eggplants medium
  • 250 g (1.5 cups) canned chickpeas (drained weight) (1 small can = +/- 250 g chickpeas, see notes)
  • 4 Roma tomatoes
  • 1 onion yellow, medium
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • ½ tsp cumin powder
  • ¼ tsp paprika powder optional
  • 1 tsp salt for step 9
  • ½ tsp salt for step 3
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 500 ml (2 cups) water

Instructions
 

  • Before you start, preheat the oven to 200°C (400 F).
  • Peel the eggplant lengthwise, removing every other stripe to create a “zebra pattern”. This improves taste and texture. Cut the peeled eggplant into slices (lengthwise), then cut into bite size cubes.
  • Arrange the eggplant cubes on a layer of kitchen paper. Sprinkle it with salt and let sit for 5 minutes. The kitchen paper will absorb the excess moisture of the eggplant. This step is optional!
  • Arrange the eggplant cubes on a baking sheet with parchment paper and roast for 30-35 minutes until tender.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the vegetables. Peel and crush the garlic cloves. Peel the onion and finely dice. Finely chop the tomatoes. Set aside the vegetables.
  • Drain the canned chickpeas in a colander, rinse with cold water and set aside.
  • Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Once the oil is heated, add the crushed garlic and fry for 30 seconds.
  • Add the onions and fry for another 3-4 minutes until translucent.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato paste and seasonings (coriander, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper) to the saucepan. Mix well to combine. Cook for about 5 minutes until the tomatoes are tender. Stir occasionally.
  • Add the chickpeas and hot water from the tab to the saucepan. Cook for about 10 minutes (low-medium heat).
  • Meanwhile, the eggplant should be ready. Remove it from the oven. Once the chickpeas have cooked in the tomato sauce for about 10 minutes (see previous step), add the roasted eggplant to the saucepan. Simmer for another 5 minutes to allow the flavors to combine (no lid required).
  • Serve warm, right after cooking, with rice or bread. Alternatively, enjoy cooled as an appetizer/side dish with bread.

Notes

  • Chickpeas: Most people use canned chickpeas for this recipe which are essentially ready to use. You could use dried chickpeas as well. Dried chickpeas need to be soaked and cooked beforehand. That makes sense if you intend to prepare a large batch of Maghmour. If you happen to have leftover cooked dried chickpeas, it’s a good way to use them. Half a cup of dried chickpeas equals one cup of cooked/canned chickpeas.
  • Eggplant: Traditionally, the eggplant is deep fried in oil for this recipe. I prefer to roast it in the oven which is a much leaner alternative (but just as delicious). You could also airfry it.

Nutrition

Calories: 185kcalCarbohydrates: 21gProtein: 5gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gSodium: 772mgPotassium: 639mgFiber: 8gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 552IUVitamin C: 13mgCalcium: 53mgIron: 2mg

Nutrition information is only a rough estimate and may vary depending on factors such as the cooking method, exact weight, type, and brand of ingredients used.

Keyword Maghmour, Eggplant Stew, Chickpea Stew, Eggplant Chickpea Stew
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