Fortunately, I read the reviews before making this dish, but it's easy to recognize that it would be bland just by reading the list of ingredients. I took many of the suggestions and put them together by adding chili, cumin and cayenne. I also diced the eggplant before roasting. Because it takes so much prep time on the stove top, I just made the entire dish on the stove rather than using the slow cooker. It came out great, and I'd make it again (but definitely not as outlined in the standard recipe).