“The Stew”

Every few months, a dish begins to appear on the social media feed of every foodie you follow. Last year, it was “The Cookies” and this winter, it’s “The Stew.” Both created by the incredible Alison Roman, who recently brought her talents to The New York Times Cooking section, this dish is hearty, packed full of flavor, and incredibly easy and inexpensive to make.

Spiced Chickpea Stew by Alison Roman

On a chilly Saturday afternoon, I set out to Trader Joe’s to procure the few ingredients needed with one additional stop to pick up fresh mint. My apartment immediately began to smell like cooked onions, followed by the seductive smell of tumeric. After spilling a bit of coconut milk on myself, everything else was a complete success. I opted to use tuscan kale as my green since it was already in the fridge, and I loved the added bite it gave to the dish. The stew turned out incredible, so complex and full of flavor.

This will keep you warm all winter long.

Spiced Chickpea Stew With Coconut and Turmeric

Alison Roman via New York Times Cooking

Ingredients:
  • ¼ cup olive oil, plus more for serving
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 (2-inch) piece ginger, finely chopped
  •  Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground turmeric, plus more for serving
  • 1 teaspoon red-pepper flakes, plus more for serving
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard, kale or collard greens, stems removed, torn into bite-size pieces
  • 1 cup mint leaves, for serving
  •  Yogurt, for serving (optional)
  •  Toasted pita, lavash or other flatbread, for serving (optional)
Preparation:
  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add garlic, onion and ginger. Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally until onion is translucent and starts to brown a little around the edges, 3 to 5 minutes.
  2. Add turmeric, red-pepper flakes and chickpeas, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, so the chickpeas sizzle and fry a bit in the spices and oil, until they’ve started to break down and get a little browned and crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove about a cup of chickpeas and set aside for garnish.
  3.  Using a wooden spoon or spatula, further crush the remaining chickpeas slightly to release their starchy insides (this will help thicken the stew). Add coconut milk and stock to the pot, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, scraping up any bits that have formed on the bottom of the pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until stew has thickened and flavors have started to come together, 30 to 35 minutes. (Taste a chickpea or two, not just the liquid, to make sure they have simmered long enough to taste as delicious as possible.) If after 30 to 35 minutes you want the stew a bit thicker, keep simmering until you’ve reached your desired consistency. Determining perfect stew thickness is a personal journey!
  4. Add greens and stir, making sure they’re submerged in the liquid. Cook a few minutes so they wilt and soften, 3 to 7 minutes, depending on what you’re using. (Swiss chard and spinach will wilt and soften much faster than kale or collard greens.) Season again with salt and pepper.
  5. Divide among bowls and top with mint, reserved chickpeas, a sprinkle of red-pepper flakes and a good drizzle of olive oil. Serve alongside yogurt and toasted pita if using; dust the yogurt with turmeric if you’d like.

2 responses to ““The Stew”

  1. Alison Roman encourages cooks to riff on her recipes and I did. Sauted the onion in 1 Tbsp coconut oil. Increased to 2 tsp turmeric and added 1 Tbsp of dried FENUGREEK! Used just 1 tin of coconut milk. Didn’t drain 1 of the tins of chickpeas (aquafaba – all the rage and a nice natural thickener). I roasted a chopped head of cauliflower and stirred it in near the end with a generous bunch of chopped spinach. Delish and a little less decadent!

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