Drain the chickpeas that have been soaking overnight and rinse thoroughly with cold water. Place in a large saucepan and cover with water (no salt), boiling over medium heat for 40 minutes until they start to soften, adding a tbsp of salt at the last minute. Drain, keeping 1 cup of the liquid, and set aside.
In the meantime, cut the eggplants into 2 cm cubes. Soak in a bowl of cold salted water for 30 minutes so they don’t absorb too much oil when cooking. In a broad saucepan, heat the olive oil over high heat and lightly sauté the garlic for 1 minute at most. Add the onions for 2 minutes, then the tomatoes, salt and pepper, and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon. Drain the eggplants, gently squeezing out the excess liquid by hand, and add to the sauce.
Mix once and add the chickpeas with ½ cup of the water in which they were cooked. When it comes to the boil, reduce heat to medium, cover and cook for 20-30 minutes until the chickpeas are soft. If the mixture starts drying out, add more of the cooking water.
Remove from the heat, mix in the herbs and serve.
- 2 cups dried chickpeas (soaked overnight in cold water)
- 8 Tsakoniki eggplants (approx. 1.2-1.3 kg)
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and slightly bruised (optional)
- 1 onion, cut into thin rounds
- 3 medium-size overripe tomatoes, diced
- 1 bunch mint leaves, roughly chopped (or 1 tbsp dried mint + 4 tbsp finely chopped parsley)
- Freshly ground pepper