Persian Chickpea Stew

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Oh so fragrant, and perfect for sharing. This Persian Chickpea Stew is the perfect way to incorporate more chickpeas into our diets. A great source of protein and fibre, combine chickpeas with Crystal margarine and you’ll also have a boost of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D. Try something new in your kitchen tonight, with Crystal margarine!

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 to 45 minutes
Yield: 6 to 8 servings


  • 71 g / 5 tbsp Crystal margarine, divided
  • 1 large eggplant, peeled, cut into 1/2 in (13 mm) rounds, then cut into quarters
  • 450 g / 3 cups yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 9 g / 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 g / 1 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
  • 4 g / 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 g / 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 g / 1 tsp dried tarragon
  • 2 g / 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 g / 1/2 tsp dried dill
  • 2 g / 1/2 tsp dried coriander
  • 1 g / 1/4 tsp dried mint
  • 1 g / 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 250 g / 2 small zucchini, cut into 1/2“ (13 mm) rounds
  • 3 cloves / 3 tsp garlic, minced
  • 30 ml / 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 15 ml / 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • zest of 1 lime, finely grated
  • 796 ml / 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 600 ml / 3 cups vegetable broth, low sodium
  • 1080 ml / 2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 60 ml / 1/4 cup lime juice, freshly squeezed

For the Garnish (Optional):

  • fresh flat leaf parsley
  • fresh chives


  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Melt 3 tablespoons (43 grams) of Crystal margarine. Brush one side of the sliced eggplant with the melted Crystal margarine. Place, oiled-side down, in a single layer into the hot pan. Fry for 2 to 3 minutes; until brown.
  2. Before flipping, brush the tops of each slice with the remaining melted Crystal margarine. Fry until browned. The eggplant may need to be fried in two batches. Remove eggplants from the skillet and drain on paper towels.
  3. In a large stock pot or dutch oven, over medium heat, melt the remaining two tablespoons of Crystal margarine until hot and bubbly.
  4. Add onions and sautée, until translucent; 3 to 5 minutes. Add in the salt, ground turmeric, black pepper, cumin, tarragon, cinnamon, dill, coriander, dried mint and paprika, stirring to combine. Add in the zucchini, garlic, tomato paste, pomegranate molasses and lime zest. Sautée until garlic becomes fragrant; do not burn. Stir in the can of diced tomatoes.
  5. Pour in the vegetable broth. Add in the fried eggplants. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir in the drained and rinsed chickpeas and lime juice. Bring back to a boil and simmer; 10 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and allow to sit for about 10 minutes, with the lid, in order to allow flavours to meld.
  7. Serve immediately and garnish with fresh chives or parsley.

Chef’s Notes

  • To make this dish more authentic, replace the lime juice and zest with a dried lime. Add the whole lime into the dish when adding the vegetable broth. Dried limes can be found in specialty bulk stores, Middle Eastern, or some Indian grocery stores.
  • Lentils, kidney beans or split peas may be substituted for the chickpeas.

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