Thursday, September 23, 2010

Curry Chickpea Stew

I really dislike recipes that call for cooked beans because it's an extra step!  Most of the time, I cook a big batch of beans and freeze them in small portions for easy use in these recipes.  Sometimes  (like today) I don't have the right beans frozen and I don't want to go through the hassle of cooking beans right at that moment.  I could use canned but I like to use canned beans sparingly (mainly in dips like hummus or salads) because they can be more expensive than dried beans (and as much as I have tried to ignore it, there's the BPA issue blah, blah, blah).  

Anyway, most soaked beans lend themselves well to being cooked in a soup or a stew.  I've done it with almost every bean under the sun just using spices and herbs that naturally compliment the beans (like cumin for black beans or fennel for navy beans).  I've done it for every bean except garbanzo beans (chickpeas).  Until today.  

Curry Chickpea Stew
  • 4 cups of garbanzo beans (chickpeas) along with 16 cups of their soaking water (soak the beans overnight)
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 large onion chopped
  • 5 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp. minced fresh ginger
  • 2 cups diced tomatoes
  • 4 carrots chopped
  • kale, stems and all, chopped or ripped into ribbons
  • 2 tbsp. curry powder
  • 2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp. allspice
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne
  • salt to taste
  • 1 cup vegetarian beef chunks or cubed tofu (optional)
  • 1 cup frozen corn
In a large soup pot, in 2 tbsp. of olive oil over medium flame, saute the chopped onion till translucent. Add garlic and ginger and cook for another minute or so.  Add spices and cook for 1 minute.  Add diced tomato and cook until the tomatoes break down, about 3-4 minutes.  Add carrots.  Pour in the chickpeas and the soaking water, cover and bring to a boil.  Once it is boiling, reduce heat to low.  Cook for 1 hour or until beans are tender.   Add the vegetarian beef chunks or cubed tofu (I used beef chunks but tofu that had been frozen and thawed would work great in this recipe) and then add the kale and the corn.  Cover and cook for 1-2 more minutes.  Taste.  Adjust seasoning (i.e. add salt or more pepper).  Turn off heat.  Enjoy!

Makes 10 servings.

I had a little bit of sweet plantain left over that I tossed in there too.  I can't taste it but it might be doing a little something for the dish.  :)

The stew is really delicious and satisfying.  It's actually a wonderful fall/winter stew.  I think instead of (or in addition to the) beef chunks or tofu, you could add some pumpkin or sweet potato. 

The recipe as I cooked it today is 7 Weight Watchers points per serving.

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