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Chickpea Stew

April 12, 2011

I recently read an article in Bon Appetit about how important a well-stocked pantry is. It’s the equivalent to wearing the right type of undergarments. Sure, you can wear a $400 DVF dress but if your thundy down undies show every bump, bulge and morsel of cottage cheese, well … slap a red dot on your behind and call it a Kmart special. Thank goodness to the invention of Spanx, your couture is cottage-cheese free and the foundation under that frock is firm.

The pantry is also your foundation. Things I keep in my pantry are typically cans of tomatoes, black beans, chickpeas, white beans, stocks, pastas, risotto, brown rice, cornmeal, grits and a variety of nuts. The pantry is also key to budget-friendly menu planning.

Take this stew for example – canned chickpeas and canned tomatoes. The tomatoes are your Spanx. Chickpeas, well that’s your little black dress, the basis for the outfit but then you totally need to accessorize. After all, what’s a little black dress without some bling? For a casual stew like this one, add a little onion, ginger for zing and maybe a touch of glamour by way of cilantro. Yes, we totally just accessorized chickpeas and tomatoes.

Seriously, though. For those of you who can’t boil water, it is simply that easy. If all else fails and your chickpeas have spontaneously combusted into a fireball on your stove, go shopping instead.

After breaking out the fire extinguisher, of course.

Chickpea and Tomato Stew

Adapted from:

  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • One 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric
  • 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 2 15-ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed or 3 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Dollop of Greek yogurt for topping

In a large skillet over high heat, add the oil and onions sauteeing until the onions are sizzling.  Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the onions start to brown.

Add the garlic and ginger and cook until the garlic is fragrant. Add the cumin, coriander, cayenne and turmeric. Cook for one minute to bring the flavours out of the spices. Add the tomatoes and simmer until thickened. Add the chickpeas and simmer for another 10 minutes so that the chickpeas take on the flavors of the tomato sauce. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve topped with yogurt.

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