Armenian Aubergine Stew

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About 500 grams aubergine (I used 3 smaller ones), cut into small chunks
1 onion, finely chopped
1 red or green bell pepper, seeded and cut into chunks
1-2 garlic cloves, peeled (optional)
2 Tbsp olive oil
400 grams crushed tomatoes or 500 grams tomato passata
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried mint
coarsely ground black pepper
200-300 ml boiling water

fresh basil or/and mint, to garnish

Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan, add onion and bell pepper and fry gently for about
5 minutes, until they start to soften. Add whole garlic cloves, season with basil, mint, salt
and pepper. Saute for another few minutes.

Now add tomatoes (either crushed tomatoes or tomato passata), aubergine chunks and hot
water. Give it a stir, then simmer on a low heat for about 30 minutes, until aubergine is meltingly soft, but still holds its shape. Stir every now and then, adding more water, if the stew looks too dry.

Season to taste, garnish with fresh herbs and serve.  Serves 4.


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