From the AICR Test Kitchen
Week of August 27, 2012
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Contact: Alice Bender, (202) 328-7744

Summer Eggplant Stew

from the
American Institute for Cancer Research

This wonderful stew captures the earthy flavors of summer thanks to the star ingredient, eggplant, which readily absorbs its companions’ flavors.

Eggplant, also known aubergine, is in the nightshade family along with potatoes, tomatoes and peppers. It is believed to have been domesticated in southeast Asia – perhaps India, China, Burma, or Thailand – as long as 4000 years ago. Its early use was probably as much medicinal as it was for a food. Examining eggplants carefully at the market will help you avoid getting one that is bitter. For eggplants, bigger is not necessarily better. Look for small to medium fruit; these have milder flavor, tender skin and fewer seeds. Choose eggplants that are heavy for their size and with blemish-free skin. They should feel firm, have no tan patches or bruises and the fuzzy caps on the stem should be green with no mold.

These purple gems pair well with garbanzos, which add a pleasing texture and protein to make it a one-pot meal. The cinnamon, mint and cilantro mixture creates great flavor with a bit of zest.

Serve on a bed of rice so the vegetables’ sauce will be partially absorbed by the rice. The recipe makes a great light meal by itself or you can add a slice of roasted chicken breast and a green garden salad to make it even heartier.

Eggplant Stew

Summer Eggplant Stew

  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh mint, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium eggplant (about 1 lb), partially peel in strips and cut into 1½ inch cubes
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (15-oz) can garbanzos, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15-oz) can no salt added diced tomatoes, not drained (the equivalent of fresh tomatoes may be substituted)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 4 cups cooked brown rice

Combine salt, pepper, cinnamon, mint, cilantro and parsley in small bowl and set aside.

In large skillet heat olive oil over medium heat. Add eggplant, onion and garlic and sauté until golden brown, about 5 minutes.

Add garbanzos and tomatoes and continue sautéing for an additional 5 minutes.

Sprinkle with herb mix. Add water and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for about 30-40 minutes.

Top with a sprinkle of fresh mint and serve over bed of brown rice.

Makes 6 servings. Yield: 1 cup stew with 3/4 cup rice.

Per serving: 295 calories, 7 g total fat (1 g saturated fat), 51 g carbohydrate,
9 g protein, 9 g dietary fiber, 117 mg sodium.

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