These Middle Eastern chickpea aubergine flatbreads are prefect for a healthier ‘fakeaway’. They taste amazing, packed with flavour and are so easy to make!
I grew up eating something called ‘Lahm Bi Ajeen’, which literally translates to ‘meat in dough’. It consisted of a basic flatbread dough, topped with a tomato minced meat mixture. Like a Middle Eastern pizza, if you will, flavoured with Middle Eastern spices.
I’ve been making a vegan/vegetarian version for years, the toppings of which vary depending on my mood and what I had available at the time. However, chickpeas and aubergine are probably my favourite toppings for this recipe, so that’s exactly what I’m using today.
A Middle Eastern and Indian flavour fusion – I’m using some pomegranate and mango chutney to add some sweet and tangy notes to balance out the spiciness. I used Geeta’s pomegranate & mango chutney as it has the right sweet to sour ratio.
What you need to make these Middle Eastern chickpea aubergine flatbreads:
I’m using a basic flatbread dough recipe that combines plain white flour, yeast, salt and a bit of sugar to help the dough rise. A little bit of oil is added to make the dough easier to stretch, then I’m using a combination of water and milk to bring everything together. Ideally you want the water and milk to be slightly warm to help create the perfect temperature for the yeast to grow. If you use cold water and milk, it may take the dough hours to rise, if at all (especially on a cold winter day!). I heat them both in the microwave for a few seconds until they’re warm to the touch, but not too hot to kill the yeast.
If you want to make this recipe even easier and quicker, you could always use shop bought pitta bread, sliced bread or even tortilla wraps. You’ll need to reduce the bake time to around 5 minutes or the bread will over cook and turn too crispy.
For the topping, I used chickpeas and aubergine as the stars of the show, but really you can use any beans/vegetables you prefer. I flavoured the mixture with garlic, lemon juice, curry power and chilli powder. I also used chutney to add some sweet and tangy notes. Chutney is so versatile and is so much more than just a condiment to have on the side of curries.
Topped with pomegranate seeds and toasted pine nuts for some crunch and fresh coriander, because I LOVE the stuff!
Why you need to try these Middle Eastern chickpea aubergine flatbreads:
- They’re easy to make.
- Suitable for vegans/vegetarians.
- Dairy-free & egg-free.
- Can easily be made nut-free.
- Can easily be tweaked according to preferences/different diets.
- Freezer friendly, so you can batch cook and save leftovers for busy days.
- Packed with flavour and plant goodness.
- Makes a healthier ‘Fakeaway’ idea for the weekend!
You can enjoy these flatbreads as a starter, side dish or even a tasty savoury breakfast. To make it into a main meal, serve it with a side of Baba Ganoush and a salad/vegetables.
Middle Eastern Chickpea Aubergine Flatbreads
For the base*
- 220g plain flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp fast action dried yeast
- 1.5 tbsp olive oil
- 60ml almond milk slightly warmed**
- 60ml warm water
For the topping
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 onion finely sliced
- 1x (400g) can chickpeas drained and rinsed
- 1/2 large aubergine finely sliced
- 2 garlic cloves crushed
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp mild curry powder
- 1/2 tsp chilli powder
- 3 tbsp Geeta's pomegranate & mango chutney or chutney of choice
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Pomegranate seeds
- Fresh coriander
- Toasted pine nuts Omit for a nut-free version
- Mix the flour, salt, sugar and yeast in a large bowl, then add the oil, warm milk and water.
- Bring the dough together, then kneed for a few minutes. Add more flour if the dough is too wet or more water if it’s too dry. You want a dough that’s not dry or too sticky.
- Cover the bowl with a couple of tea towels, then leave to rise in a warm place (like the oven) for 1-2 hours. The dough should be double in size.
- In the meantime prepare the topping – heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large frying pan and sauté the onions for 5 minutes.
- Add the chickpeas, aubergine, garlic, spices and lemon juice. Cover and cook on a medium heat for around 10 minutes until the aubergine has softened.
- Take off the heat and mix in chutney. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Punch the dough down and divide the dough into 5 equal balls. Roll each one into a circle, then transfer onto a baking sheet lined with baking paper.
- Spread the topping mixture over the flatbreads and bake in a preheated oven at 220C/200C fan/428F for 10 minutes.
- Garnish with a sprinkle of pomegranate seeds, toasted pine nuts and fresh coriander.