Main Dishes — 29 January 2012

Adri’s fabulous stew for a cold day!

chickpea stew“Mmmm….Ahhh!” are the sounds that one makes after having a warm nourishing stew on a cold day. This Moroccan style stew has the potential for just that. With warming spices, hearty vegetables and chickpeas served with quinoa or couscous you will find that this dish is surprisingly light and very satisfying. You can make it the quick version, in 30 minutes, or via slow-cooking – depending on how much time you have.

Ingredients

serves 4
cooking time: 40 minutes

Sauce/ Stew base

80 ml vegetable oil
225 g onions, chopped
400 g tomatoes, cubed small
120 g carrots, grated
4 medium garlic cloves, crushed
50 g ginger, grated
1 tsp cumin powder
3/4 tsp paprika powder
1 turmeric powder
2 piece bay leaves
1 tsp thyme
1/3 tsp chilli (optional)
250 ml vegetable stock or water
bunch fresh parsely or coriander, chopped

Vegetables

300 g potatoes, cubed
250 g zucchini, sliced and quartered
250 g carrots, sliced and quartered
200 g chickpeas, dry (400g cooked)
350 ml water

Couscous

200 g couscous
300 ml vegetable stock or water

Preparation

Stew base

Fry onions over medium heat till soft. Add garlic and fry 1 more minute. Add the dry spices, stir well and fry for another minute. Add chopped tomatoes and fry over high heat for 5 minutes, stirring often. When the tomatoes start to dissolve add the grated carrots and ginger. Add water as needed to avoid sticking and cover. Let simmer over low-medium heat. In the meantime prep the vegetables.

Cooking the vegetables

1. Steam the potatoes and carrots in a medium pot using about 350 ml water (1.5 cups). They should be nearly cooked within 5 minues. Add the zucchini and steam till ready, i.e. 3-5 minutes. In the meantime puree the stew base with a blending stick (the puree gives the stew a nice texture, but this step is not a must). Add the vegetables and cooked chickpeas to the stew base and mix. Cook over low heat for further 5 minutes.

2. Sprinkle with chopped parsley or fresh coriander and serve with a wedge of lemon and with couscous or quinoa.
Cooking the couscous

1. Boil 300ml of water in a small pot. Add the couscous and a hint of salt to the boiling water. Mix well and set aside. After 5 minutes mix and fluff.

Tips

This vegetable stew can be prepared in two ways: flash cooking or slow simmer. The description here represents the quick version. If you have time you can make this stew over low heat. That is, allow the stew base to simmer slowly for at least 30 minutes by itself and then cook the veggies and chickpeas inside the stew also at low heat, over 30 minutes to an hour. Just make sure there is enough water so the bottom does not burn. When you cook in this way it is nice to add some pitted olives to the stew. it adds a nice flavor.

Red pepper effect
A very unique variation for this stew is to use red peppers instead of tomatoes. If you have ready-made roasted peppers, even better. It gives the stew a completely different twist. Use the same amount of peppers instead of tomatoes and you will probably need to add some water to give the base more liquid consistency, like a thick soup.

Vegetable mix
You can use any vegetable mix you like. The stew base is the key for this dish. As far as vegetables are concerned you can have your pick. You can use a single type of vegetable or a mix. Cauliflower, pumpkin and green beans also mix well (or by themselves) with this dish. Just inJoy and be playful with it using approximately the same quantities of vegetables as the recipe.

plan4leftovers
You can always cook extra portions from the stew and couscous and use them the next day to make a veggie burger or a loaf. For burgers use 70% couscous, 30 drained stew mix + 1 egg for every 2-3 portions. If the mixture feels too wet to take shape for burger add some bread crumbs to thicken the consistency. For more ideas read my article: ‘planning4leftovers’ in Daily Cooking

Recipe by Adri

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