Light a wood / charcoal fire, or preheat the barbeque on high – this is to char the eggplant, but you can also do the same over a gas burner on the stovetop.
Meanwhile, drain the chickpeas and place in a large saucepan with the bay leaves.
Cover with cold water, season with salt and simmer over medium heat for about 30 minutes until tender, skimming off any scum that rises to the surface. Drain over a bowl to retain the cooking liquid and set aside to cool.
Once the flames have died down and the coals have a coating of white ash, cook the eggplant straight on the coals, turning regularly. When the eggplant is soft to the touch and charred, remove it from the fire. Discard the stalk and leave the eggplant to cool a little in a bowl to catch all the syrupy juices.
Discard the bay leaves and add the chickpeas to a food processor with the oil, tahini, garlic, lemon juice and ground cumin.
Add the eggplant, skin and all, along with any juices in the bowl and blitz. You want it to be smooth, so slowly add some of the cooking liquid to achieve the right consistency.
Season with salt and pepper, then transfer to a serving bowl.
Drizzle over some oil, sprinkle with a little paprika and cracked cumin seeds and serve with your choice of flatbreads on the side.