Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Chickpea Stew with Six Vegetables

Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian cookbook has not disappointed me yet, and Chickpea Stew with Six Vegetables is no exception. This recipe is marked as a Moroccan dish, but the spices are subtle, and there is no cinnamon in it, a spice with which I have come to associate Moroccan cuisine. The result is a vibrant, colorful stew with a lovely blend of flavors. The addition of a few strands of saffron infuses both the look and the flavor with an extra shot of richness. I don't usually have saffron on hand, given the expense, but a little goes a long way and I am glad I used it here. It only takes a few threads to make a difference, and there really is nothing like it.

I took this to our work potluck lunch, and it was well received. I cooked a batch of whole wheat couscous in vegetable stock to serve with it, but it looked like most people were happy with the stew by itself. It's certainly hearty enough to stand alone.

The beauty of this recipe is that you do not have to use all of the vegetables. The first time I made it I totally glossed over the fact that I needed potatoes and sweet potatoes, so I had neither. I simply cut the cooking time of the chickpeas and spices and added the carrots after ten minutes instead of twenty.

I also only had canned crushed tomatoes the first time I made it, so I drained them as best I could, added the crushed pulp first, then the liquid. The second time I purchased canned plum tomatoes and used them. Each provided a different effect, but both worked equally well.
Home Cookin Chapter: Soups and Stews

CHICKPEA STEW WITH SIX VEGETABLES

3 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1 cup dried chickpeas, soaked and cooked, liquid reserved*
1 28-oz can plum tomatoes, finely chopped, liquid reserved
2 medium waxy potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
5 to 6 Tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
5 to 6 Tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro
3 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ginger powder
Saffron threads (optional)
1/4 tsp cayenne (optional)
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and halved lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1-inch thick pieces
3 small carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 large zucchini, halved lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces

Put the oil in a large pot and place over medium-high heat. Add the onion and stir and fry for 5 minutes, or until it begins to brown around the edges. Add in the garlic and stir for about 1 minute, or until it turns golden.

Now add the chickpeas, 1-1/4 cups reserved cooking liquid, the tomatoes, potatoes, parsley, cilantro, salt, cumin, turmeric, ginger, saffron, and cayenne. Measure the reserved tomato liquid and add enough
water to make 2-1/2 cups of liquid in total. Add to the pot and bring to a boil. Cover, turn the heat to low, and cook for 20 minutes.

Add the sweet potato and carrots. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce the heat again, and continue to cook for 10 minutes. Add the zucchini, bring to a boil once again, and cook, covered, on low heat for 7 to 8
minutes or until the zucchini is tender.

*You can use canned chickpeas, but if you do, be sure to buy organic beans so you can use the liquid.

from Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian, by Madhur Jaffrey (Clarkson Potter 1999)

Exported from Home Cookin 6.46 (www.mountain-software.com)

2 comments:

misslily said...

OMG, this sounds positively delicious! I was just thinking about what I wanted to do the on my first free night after "Romeo and Juliet" closes (on Sunday). I thought: hearty homemade soup, slippers, a comfy couch and trashy television. Bliss :-) I can't wait to try this!

dejamo said...

That sounds like a lovely evening, misslily! This dish should definitely fit the bill. It's my new favorite and our friend on the third floor is still eating the leftovers, I think, LOL.

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