Recipe: Chickpea Stew

I did a Google search the other day for vegetable stew because I was in a “stew” kind of mood since it was chilly out, and I found a great recipe for a Middle Eastern-inspired chickpea stew. Of course I added to the recipe and changed a few things, but overall it turned out wonderful served over couscous. This is supposed to be a hearty stew, so don’t chop the vegetables too fine. I stuck to a medium dice on most of the vegetables and cut the carrots into half-moons about 1/4 inch thick, and everything turned out to be about the size of the chickpeas and cooked evenly. I bet cashews would be excellent in this dish, too…

Chickpea Stew

Ingredients

Spices were added to taste, so these are approximate measurements. You can always add more or less to make it to your liking.

2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 white or Spanish onion, coarsely chopped
1 green bell pepper, diced
3 celery ribs, diced
2-4 carrots (depending on size), cut into 1/2 inch thick half-moons
2 medium sweet potatoes, diced
4 cups (one, 32 oz can) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 cups (one, 16 oz can) diced tomatoes
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 cup golden raisins (optional)
2 cups vegetable stock
1/2 teaspoon cardamom*
1 teaspoon cinnamon*
1/2 teaspoon allspice*
1 tablespoon paprika*

Method

Saute garlic and onion until translucent. Add bell pepper, celery, carrots, and sweet potatoes. Season with salt and pepper, and saute for another 5 minutes. Add chickpeas, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, vegetable stock, and spices; stir. Simmer for about 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender. If too thick, add water or vegetable stock as needed; if too thin, add tomato paste as needed. Before serving, add raisins and simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Serve over a bed of couscous or rice, if desired.