Thursday, November 11, 2010

indian chickpea stew

whenever kris is out of town, instead of smartly cooking for one, i do the total opposite and cook for 8*. it happens every time. during his most recent weekend trip my vat on the stove contained indian chickpea stew from the cafe flora cookbook. the stew is exactly what you would imagine hearty chickpeas and vegetables in a spicy tomato broth**. it's comfort food that comes together (relatively) quickly and easily and you can freeze the leftovers and reheat when you're feeling lazy.

i made a few tiny adjustments to the recipe: instead of 1 pound of potatoes i did half a pound and a zuccini. i also only added 1 teaspoon of salt instead of 2 and didn't feel like i needed to add any more later. you might want to but better to check it out first than have chickpea salty stew. oh and it also says to use a 3-quart or larger saucepan....go for larger, my 3-quart was full to the brim which made stirring in the greens difficult. and speaking of greens i added way more than 3 cups. maybe that's why the pot was so full......hmmmm. anyway, below is the recipes as it is in the book.

the cookbook recommends serving this with a side of green beans, asparagus or snow peas. i served it over rice.

indian chickpea stew

(from cafe flora cookbook)
15 oz. can canned chickpeas
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon brown mustard seeds
1 tablespoon whole cumin seeds
1 large onion, thinly sliced in crescents
1 (2 to 3 inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 jalapeno chili, finely diced
28 oz. can diced tomatoes in juice
1 tablespoon ground turmeric
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups water
1 pound small red potatoes
3 cups roughly chopped greens (i used kale)
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

heat the oil in a saucepan, add the mustard and cumin seeds and saute over medium heat until fragrant and the mustard seeds start to pop.

add the onion and saute until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. then add the ginger and jalapeno and saute for 2 minutes more.

stir in the tomatoes and their juice, turmeric, salt and water. bring the mixture to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 20 minutes.

while the sauce simmers, drop the potatoes into a small pot of boiling water to cover. cook them, covered, until they are barely tender, about 20 minutes. drain the potatoes and cut them in half. you cook the potatoes separately so they don't fall apart in the stew.

add the chickpeas, potatoes and greens to the tomato mixture. simmer, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are hot, 3 to 5 minutes. if you find the stew is getting thicker than you like, add more water to keep it saucy. just before serving, add the herbs, and season to taste with salt.

*the recipe claims 4-6 servings but seriously. i had one dinner. two lunches. and two full tupperwares in the freezer. i'll give you 6-8 but i'm still leaning towards 8.
**i notice that this picture does not look saucy at all but trust me, sauce is there.


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