This Flavorful Eggplant, Chickpea Stew Recipe Will Get You Through Fall

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“I’ve worked with great people who took me seriously and appreciated the skills I brought to their restaurants,” Eliz explains. Proving herself came easy because she never let challenges get in the way. At Kirksey’s restaurant, Girin, she worked as the only female chef at the grill station.  

Eliz soon became known for her grilling skills and learned to butcher different types and cuts of meat. “I had the feeling that I could never call myself a chef if I couldn’t slaughter,” she says. Today, Eliz can manage a kitchen, cook a meal from start to finish, bake and assemble her own pastries and desserts, butcher an entire pig, and more. 

It all led to her landing a chef position at Ciudad. As a multiracial chef, she creates modern takes of traditional foods, developing seasonal menus that are big on flavor. At Ciudad, she oversees every aspect of the kitchen, from the grill where she cooks ribs of lamb basted with her own harissa barbecue sauce to the dark chocolate pudding with tahini crème served for dessert. 

“In the fall, I feel like the menu really reflects more of me and my personality,” Eliz tells CircleAround. “I do what feels nice, the best food I can do. If it leans one way culturally, I want to feel that it’s been done with great respect.”

Eliz shared her recipe for Lebanese moussaka, a rich stew made of eggplant, chickpeas, red pepper, and tomatoes. It’s a low-lift recipe made of ingredients you likely already have in your kitchen. The flavor packs a punch and is perfect for transporting your senses on a rainy, fall day.

Lebanese Moussaka, Eggplant, and Chickpea Stew


  • 2 eggplants
  • 30 oz. soaked and cooked chickpeas
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 large onion, small diced
  • 5 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 red pepper
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 30 oz. canned crushed tomatoes (or 2 15 oz. cans)
  • 1 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 ½ cup water


  1. Dice and fry eggplants and put them to the side.
  2. Heat a pot and add olive oil, diced onions and garlic. Sautee nicely and add tomato paste
  3. Add red pepper and cook for another minute or so
  4. Add crushed tomatoes, chickpeas, water, and salt to taste and allow that to cook for another 15 minutes
  5. Fold in fried eggplant
  6. Garnish with chopped parsley and a drizzle of olive oil. Serve with warm bread.

Tags: Healthy Eating, Healthy Recipes, International Cuisine

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Written By

Katka Lapelosová

Katka is a writer from New York City, currently living in Belgrade, Serbia. See Full Bio

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