Chickpea Tamarind Stew
I’ve recently started a family blog called Cloudberrymousse (it’s a name my 5-year-old daughter came up with). Over there, I will be writing about fashion, design, travel, some food, and some general life stuff. I totally forgot how busy it gets when starting a new blog, but it’s all good, I’m done with the hardest parts. It’s just fine-tuning and taking care of the little details from now on.
While I was starting Cloudberrymousse, I’ve also decided that I needed to lose the last of my baby weight since I’ll be back to work in a couple of months. So, off to the gym I go: ideally, I am aiming for 3 or 4 times a week. And also, off the meat I go: ideally, I prefer eating it only once a week (or just the weekends, if I cheat). Fingers crossed – hopefully, I achieve what I set out to do! Note to self: stick to the plan!
My first foray into this new, healthy lifestyle is, naturally, in the kitchen. I made this chickpea tamarind stew with lots of toasted spices, baby kale, and chopped tomatoes. The result was pretty good – not jump-on-the-seat-Tom-Cruise good – but something that definitely makes me happy!
For me, I need a vegetable dish that’s bright and flavourful, not bland. Preferably with loads of spices. Me thinks this is the only way for me to keep interested in a veggie-heavy diet. Spices on vegetables makes me chipper indeed!
- 4 tablespoons seedless tamarind pulp, pinched into pieces
- 2 cups baby kale (or substitute with baby spinach or watercress)
- 1-1/2 teaspoons coriander seeds
- ½ medium onion, thinly sliced
- 2 teaspoons caraway seeds
- 1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon tomato paste
- one 14-ounce can chopped plum tomatoes, with their juices
- a handful of cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 2-1/2 cups freshly-cooked chickpeas (or a 14-oz can, drained)
- salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- In a small bowl, soak the tamarind pulp in 3 tablespoons of warm water for about 15 to 30 minutes. Set aside.
- Bring a medium pot of salted water to the boil and blanch the baby kale for 1 minute. Drain in colander.
- Dry-roast the coriander seeds in a small pan over medium heat, then grind to a coarse powder with a mortar and pestle.
- Next, put the onion, caraway seeds, and olive oil in a large heavy pan and sauté on medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until onion is soft and golden.
- Add the tomato paste and stir as you cook it for about 1 minute.
- Add the canned tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, water, sugar, chickpeas, ground coriander, baby kale, and some salt and pepper.
- Strain the tamarind water through a fine-mesh sieve into the pan. Bring to a full boil, then cover with lid and simmer on low for about 30 minutes. When ready the dish should have the consistency of thick soup. You can adjust this either by adding more water to thin out or simmering uncovered so the excess liquid can evaporate. Season with more salt and pepper to taste.