Alison’s Spiced Chickpea Stew with Coconut and Turmeric
Recipe by Alison Roman featured in the New York Times February 2019
Serves 4 – 6
50mls (2fl oz1/4 cup) of olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
225g (8oz) onion
1 (2 inch) piece ginger, finely chopped
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric, plus more for serving
1 teaspoon chilli flakes, plus more for serving
2 x 400g (14oz) tins of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 x 400g (14oz) tins of full fat coconut milk
500ml (18fl oz/2 1/4 cups) vegetable or chicken stock
350g (12oz) of Swiss chard, kale or collard greens torn into bite-size pieces, stalks chopped and added
handful of fresh mint leaves, for garnish
yoghurt (for serving, optional)
toasted pitta bread, lavash or other flatbread for serving (optional)
Heat the oil in a large pot over a medium heat. Add garlic and onion. Season with salt and black pepper and cook, stirring occasionally until the onion is translucent and starts to brown a little around the edges, 3 – 5 minutes. Add ginger and cook for a further 2 – 3 minutes.
Add turmeric, chilli 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 – 10 minutes,.
Using a potato masher or spatula, further crush the remaining chickpeas slightly to release the starchy insides (this will help to 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 flavours have started to come together, 30 – 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 – 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!
Add green stalks and cook until nearly tender, then add the leaves and stir, making sure they’re submerged in the liquid. Cook a few minutes so they wilt and soften, 3 – 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.
To serve divide among bowls and top with mint, a sprinkle of chilli flakes and a good drizzle of olive oil. Serve alongside yoghurt and toasted pitta if using; dust the yoghurt with turmeric if you wish.