Sunday afternoon I had turned off the burner on my stove under this dish when the 7.2 earthquake rattled my pans and my nerves for about 45 seconds. I’ve felt a few minor quakes since we moved and in Japan a few years ago, but this was my first “real” earthquake. I don’t think I care to repeat it. The recipe, however, I would be up for a second shot.
The recipe is from a cookbook called Yoga Kitchen: Recipes from the Shoshoni Yoga Retreat, currently on loan from a friend. It jumped out at me as something I could make with ingredients currently on hand, one of my favorite recipe qualifiers.
The whole cookbook is vegetarian fare heavily influence by Asian cuisine and ayurvedic principles. I borrowed the book after we made another recipe (that I might repeat and post) that was really good, and I look forward to trying a few more. My only complaint is that the instructions aren’t great — but I rewrote them anyway.
The stew recipe is well-spiced, but fairly simple. Ghee (clarified butter, though I just used oil) is heated, then spices are added. After toasting the spices, diced potatoes are sauteed in the pan for about five minutes leaving them fragrant and golden. The potatoes are then simmered with chickpeas until tender.
The resulting stew, pictured in the first photo above, is hearty and simple. It made my whole apartment smell like cumin all day. My problem was that the weather wasn’t cold enough for such a stew, so I lightened it up by serving it with basmati rice and some sauteed carrots and onions for color and crunch.
My diced potatoes were cut in fairly small cubes, so the full half hour of simmering may have been a bit too long. When I stirred the potatoes and beans together, the potatoes tended to break down. The result was an extra-thick stew, but not many potato chunks. It was still tasty, just stir gently if you want larger pieces of intact potato.
Other alternatives I considered in lieu of side dishes: adding vegetables like diced bell peppers, onion, carrots, spinach, or peas.
Apologies for a somewhat uncompelling post. Please don’t let it deter you from making this dish. Without smell-o-vision it was hard to describe it, and the experience of the earthquake is too strongly associated with it in my mind to write about it any other way. It may not be interesting to read about, but it’s delicious.
Curried Chickpea and Potato Stew
Adapted from Yoga Kitchen: Recipes from the Shoshoni Yoga Retreat
2 cups cooked, or 1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas
4 cups water or vegetable stock
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons ghee or neutral oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
3 cups peeled, diced waxy potatoes (like Yukon Gold)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1.) Rinse and drain cooked or canned chickpeas. Place them in a large pot with water or stock and bay leaves. Bring to a simmer for about 10 minutes.
2.) Heat ghee or oil in a large skillet over fairly high heat. When hot, add cumin seeds and turmeric and brown for about one minute. Add the potatoes and saute for five minutes.
3.) When beans and bay leaves have simmers, add sauteed potatoes to the beans. Stir and cover, and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes. Stir in salt, coriander, ground cumin, and mix well. Serve topped with cilantro, and with rice and sauteed vegetables if desired.