Chickpea Eggplant Rice Pilaf

Chickpea Eggplant Rice Pilaf is deliciously gratifying and gluten-free. Garnished with crunchy nuts and scented with warm spices.
20 minutes
30 minutes

About this recipe

Introducing Chickpea Eggplant Rice Pilaf, a vegan twist on the classic Arabian lamb rice. This dish is perfect for any gathering, whether it’s a fancy dinner party or a cozy family get-together. Its deliciously gratifying and gluten-free nature ensures everyone can enjoy it.

With tender eggplant, hearty chickpeas, and fluffy basmati rice, this pilaf offers a delightful texture that will leave you satisfied. The addition of crunchy nuts and warm spices adds an extra layer of flavour, making it a truly irresistible combination.

To complete the meal, consider serving this rice pilaf with a refreshing herb salad or some natural yogurt. The vibrant flavours of the rice beautifully complement the freshness of the salad or the creamy coolness of the yogurt.

Chickpea Eggplant Rice Pilaf is a vegan masterpiece that celebrates the wonders of plant-based cuisine. So, gather your loved ones, relish in its flavours, and let this dish be the star of your next gathering.



Watch it here


  • 3 medium eggplants
  • vegetable oil for deep frying
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 3 tablespoons slivered almonds
  • 1 onion finely diced
  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • ¾ tablespoon Bharat/7 spice blend
  • 1 can chickpeas (400 grams)
  • 1 tablespoon Vegeta or salt to season
  • 2 ½ cups boiling water
  • a handful of chopped parsley

Notes from Rouba

  • You can find Bharat/7 spice blend at Middle Eastern grocery stores and various supermarkets. Otherwise, you can substitute with 5-spice or allspice.
  • The eggplant can easily be baked instead of fried. Simply salt and oil the eggplant pieces. Spread onto an oven tray lined with baking paper and roast for approximately 40 minutes or until golden in colour.
  • The pine nuts and almonds are optional. If you don’t have them, don’t stress, the dish will still be delicious.
  • Be mindful of adding extra salt – In this recipe, we are using Vegeta instead of salt 


Step 1.

Cut the eggplant into 2-3 cm thick rounds. Salt in a colander for about 5 minutes or so (do not wash), pat dry with a paper towel. In a wok or a deep pot, heat vegetable oil. Deep fry the eggplant pieces in batches until golden brown. Transfer onto a paper towel to drain. 

Step 2.

Wash the rice under cold water.

Add olive oil to a non-stick pot and fry pine nuts until golden brown. Remove the pine nuts and drain on a paper towel leaving the oil in the pot. Repeat the process with almonds. The almonds can be drained together with the pine nuts.

Step 3.

Using the same oil, sauté the onion until translucent. Add the rice and mix in the Bharat spices, chickpeas and season with salt. Then add boiling water. Bring the rice to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer and cover the pot. After 7 minutes give the rice a stir. Again, after another 7 minutes give the rice another stir, making sure you stir the rice from the bottom to the top. Cook for a further 7 minutes or until rice is cooked.

Step 4.

Once the rice and chickpeas are cooked, add the chopped parsley. Gently stir through.

To serve, scoop half of the rice with chickpeas onto the platter, layer with ¾ of fried eggplants and layer again with the remaining rice. Place the remaining eggplant pieces on top. Garnish with pine nuts and almonds.

Sahtan - Enjoy in Good Health

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Creating magic and happy memories with food are my gift for you!
xx Rouba

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