Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Yams, Chickpeas and Kale Stew

As for vegetarian, chickpeas are one of my favorite protein sources. That is why I have a lot of stew recipes in my pocket with a chickpeas as a main ingredient. This is one of them, Indian style.

Blog's Category: My Own Fast and Easy

Yams, Chickpeas and Kale Stew


All these lovely Middle Eastern and Indian specialties such as hummus, falafel, chole would not exist without its main ingredient - chickpeas. It often happens that I don't have all necessary ingredients for those my favorites I just mentioned, so I just grab whatever vegetables I have on hand, throw in some canned garbanzo beans (chickpeas) and drown all that in a pungent, Indian style sauce.
That night I had some lacinato kale I picked on a weekend visiting newly discovered local farmers market. Oh, that is whole another story about kale (next time.. such a rich and interesting plant! Also I had sweet potato, one huge and lonely portabella and abundance of fresh green chili peppers I've got addicted to lately. All that sounds like a perfect stew combination, right? Right! Some Indian spices from a cupboard and it's going in a direction of Indian cuisine - lovely!

What is it?

Proteins (chickpeas, mushrooms), good carbs (sweet potato/yams), great greens (kale), fiery vitamin-shop (chili pepper), flavorful seasoning (turmeric, garlic, cumin) + a little water = healthy, nutritional and comforting stew for dinner.

Taste Description

There is a lot of flavor in this dish - powerful cumin, garlic and onion, along with color-boosting turmeric, are great partners to the smooth, chunky and a bit chewy (thanks to mushroom and kale) texture of this stew. It's a little bit sweet from sweet potato. This sweetness fits very nicely to all that flavors and fires. But no worries, it's just very lightly spicy, totally appropriate for a kid or other ordinary eater, but if you dare to bite onto chili pepper .. that is when all fun begins :) Bite a little - you'll get just nice and even heat, bite more - and you'll get a greater kick. Enjoy all these spicy heat (hit!) exercises, holding onto chili pepper stem - the nature created a perfect handle for you!

How to Serve

Serve right from a stove, hot or cooled down a little. It's also great on a next day for your take-from-home lunch.

Yams, Chickpeas and Kale Stew

  • 2 large sweet potatoes, diced 1/2"
  • 1-2 cans chickpeas
  • 1 bunch of kale, chopped 1"
  • 1 large portabella mushroom (optional)
  • garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4-5 whole green chili peppers (optional)
  • 5 tbs flavorless olive oil
  • 1 tbs turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • salt to taste

- In a large pan, cook onion in an olive oil until onion is soft. It will take a couple of minutes.

- Add garlic, turmeric, cumin, sweet potato and a little salt and cook on a medium-low heat, stirring for about 3-5 minutes. Then add about 3 cups of water and simmer, stirring occasionally, until potato is soft and cooked through. It will take about 7-10 minutes.

- Add the rest of ingredients, add some water and salt if needed and simmer for another 5 minutes or until kale reaches desired tenderness. It has to be a little chewy.

- Done! Enjoy!

Don't pay attention to those small peppercorn-like thingy in a pan. It's a juniper berries and they are not included in the list of ingredients.. I just was experimenting with them. FYI: they didn't give any taste nor flavor there. I figured out, in order juniper berry to release a flavor it needs to be cracked/crushed before.

At this point, when stirring spices and potato, keep heat low.

Mushrooms can be added to stew practically at any point. I added them a bit earlier than kale, chickpeas and chilies.

Cut out kale's tough stem before chopping it.

Picture doesn't do a justice :( I think

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