Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Curried Vegetable and Chickpea Stew

A sweet friend here in Korea (thanks, AmyLyn!) passed this yummy recipe along to help us get through the long, cold winter... And it's been long and cold! We've had it twice now, and both times it's been a winner. I strayed from the original recipe on a few points, and I hope it's not too confusing. You get to choose your own adventure on this one: stovetop or crockpot, so try to follow along as I take you on a bit of a wild ride :)

As a side note, I suggest pairing this stew with either a crusty bread or... garlic na'an! It definitely has an Indian flair, so the garlic na'an was perfect IMO.

Photo courtesy of thekitchn.com
Curried Vegetable and Chickpea Stew
Adapted from Cooking Light Magazine

1 tsp olive oil
1 large onion, diced
**optional: 1 lb. ground pork sausage**
2 all-purpose potatoes, diced (I used 4 Yukon)
1 T salt
1 T curry powder
1 T brown sugar
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated (abt 1 T)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
2 C chicken or vegetable broth
2 (16-oz) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 head cauliflower, cut into bite-sized florets
1 (28-oz) can diced tomatoes with their juices
1/4 tsp black pepper
10 oz. baby spinach
1 C coconut milk

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat (or heavy pot if you're going to make this entirely on the stovetop). Saute the onion with one teaspoon of salt until translucent, about 5 minutes. (I actually omitted the oil and salt; instead, I cooked a pound of ground pork sausage and then cooked the onion with it). Add the potatoes and another teaspoon of salt, and saute until just translucent around the edges.

Stir in the curry, brown sugar, ginger, garlic and cayenne, and cook until fragrant--about 30 seconds. (This will smell heavenly :) Pour in 1/4 cup of broth and scrape the bottom of the pan to deglaze.

From this point you can follow directions for either the stovetop or crockpot:

Stovetop: Add the rest of the broth, chickpeas, bell peppers, cauliflower, tomatoes and juice, black pepper, and the final teaspoon of salt. Stir to combine. The liquid should come about halfway up the side of the pot. Set on medium-low temp and simmer for 30 minutes, or until cauliflower and potatoes are significantly softer. Stir in the spinach and coconut milk. Cover with lid and cook for one minute to allow spinach to wilt. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.

Crockpot: Pour the onion/potato combination into the bowl of your crockpot. Add the rest of the broth, chickpeas, bell peppers, cauliflower, tomatoes and juice, black pepper, and the final teaspoon of salt. Stir to combine. The liquid should come about halfway up the sides of the crockpot--add more broth if necessary. Cover and cook for 4 hours on high. Stir in the spinach and coconut milk. Cover with lid and cook for one minute to allow spinach to wilt. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.

**Serve on its own (as a stew with bread as mentioned above), or over couscous, Israeli couscous, or orzo pasta. Enjoy!