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  • Amy Minichiello

One-pan roast chicken, chickpea and eggplant kasundi


There is always at least half a dozen or so tinned varieties of pulses sitting on the shelf of our pantry. They are my go-to for adding into soups and salads and adding an extra layer of robust goodness and sustenance when needed most. They have also saved me more times than I dare to count when I have had hungry tummies to fill - a tin of beans, a tin of tuna, celery, carrot, chunks of avocado, parsley, mayonnaise and a splash of lemon juice often finds its way onto the menu for lunch.


They are there in times where you haven't had the forethought to soak the dried variety and I find it comforting to know that with a swift flick of the lid one can still enjoy these nutritional fillers. It is the humble chickpea that takes centre stage in this simple, flavour-packed one-pan meal. Partnered with kasundi coated chicken thighs, burnished in all the right places, before being showered with a handful of crumbled feta.

It is a meal that can be served just as it is, straight from the pan, allowing everyone to help themselves. You may well end up with some leftovers (perfect for lunch the following day) but in our house, we always seem to reach for a slice of buttered bread and inevitably pile a spoonful of tomato-encrusted chickpeas on top, to which then there will be no leftovers at all.



One-pan roast chicken, chickpea and eggplant kasundi

serves 4


2 tbsp olive oil

800g chicken thighs, skin on

1 brown onion, sliced

3 garlic cloves, chopped finely

1 tsp cumin seeds

2 400g tins of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

400g tin crushed tomatoes (I like to use Mutti)

1 cup vegetable or chicken stock

1/4 eggplant kasundi (recipe follows)

zest and juice of a lemon

1 tbsp olive oil

2 tsp honey

feta and flat-leaf parlsey for scattering over the top


Preheat your oven to 200 degrees celsius, fan-forced.


Heat oil in a large oven-proof frypan over a medium heat, place chicken skin side down and cook until golden, turn over and cook for another 2 minutes, remove from the pan and set aside. (If you dont have an oven-proof frypan you can just transfer into a large roasting pan when its time to put everything into the oven)


Add the onion and cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Scrape in the garlic, cumin and a pinch of salt and stir to coat, it will smell wonderfully fragrant. Add the chickpeas, tomatoes and stock and bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.


Meanwhile, combine the kasundi (as per recipe below or a shop-bought one) lemon zest and juice, olive oil, honey and salt and pepper.


Place the chicken on top of the chickpea mix, spread the kasundi mixture over the top of the chicken, scatter a little more salt and pepper over the top and a splash of olive oil and place into the oven for 30-40 minutes until golden and slightly burnished. Scatter over the feta and parsley and take it straight over to the table so that everyone can help themselves. It is quite lovely with a simple leafy green salad on the side. Dont forget the bread!


Eggplant Kasundi


2kg roma tomatoes, chopped

olive oil

1 medium eggplant, cut into 2cm cubes

1 brown onion, diced

3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

2 tsp mustard seeds

2 tsp cumin seeds

2 chillies

1 cup white wine vinegar

1 1/2 cups sugar


Pour in 2 tbsp of olive oil into a large saucepan, place over a medium heat and add the onion, garlic, mustard seeds, cumin seeds and eggplant and cook until softened. Add in the tomaotoes, chillies, vinegar and sugar and stir it all together. Bring to a boil then reduce heat a little so that it is bubbling away nicely. Continue to cook until it has reduced and thickened. This can take at least 45 minutes, but just keep an eye on it and stir every now and then. Once done, spoon into sterilsed jars. It will keep in a cool, dark spot for quite a while, once opened store in the fridge.


I love using it on ham and salad sandwiches, serving it alongside a vegetable tart and adding into soups.