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!

5.0 from 7 reviews
Chickpea Tamarind Stew
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe adapted from Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi. Published in the USA by Chronicle Books LLC in 2011.
Serves: 4
  • 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
  1. In a small bowl, soak the tamarind pulp in 3 tablespoons of warm water for about 15 to 30 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Bring a medium pot of salted water to the boil and blanch the baby kale for 1 minute. Drain in colander.
  3. Dry-roast the coriander seeds in a small pan over medium heat, then grind to a coarse powder with a mortar and pestle.
  4. 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.
  5. Add the tomato paste and stir as you cook it for about 1 minute.
  6. Add the canned tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, water, sugar, chickpeas, ground coriander, baby kale, and some salt and pepper.
  7. 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.



  • Reply November 30, 2012

    Tina Ong (@PhenomenalMama)

    Jen, can’t believe you actually used fresh tamarind. In my years as a home-cook, I’ve never used fresh tamarind to make sinigang… lazy!:)

  • Reply November 30, 2012

    Lora @cakeduchess

    Cloudberrymouse is too cute! What a fun name. I think you’ll see results with your diet change. I did the same and shed some extra lbs I put on in Italy feasting on cheese and bread for week;)This is delicious. I want to make it for dinner for me tonight. xx

  • Reply November 30, 2012

    The Café Sucré Farine

    This sounds and looks so flavorful! We all could take heed from you and eat alot more veggies!

  • Reply November 30, 2012

    amy @ fearless homemaker

    I love soups + stews, especially healthy tomato-based ones, so I know I’d love this. Good luck with your return to the gym + the new blog – I’m off to check it out!

  • Reply November 30, 2012


    WOW what an amazing veggie stew – I LOVE a boatload of spices in my dishes and am happy to hear someone else does too :) Good luck with your goal – I know you can do it!

  • Reply November 30, 2012


    I think spices definitely help jump start everything…including metabolism! If I could enjoy fabulous stew like this, I think being “healthy” would be 100% easier. 😀 Congrats on the new blog too!! I’m on my way to check it out..

  • Reply November 30, 2012


    You sophisticated flavor pairing always make me swoon. Good luck with the new blog. GREG

  • Reply November 30, 2012


    Love your new blog and the name is perfect!
    The stew is wonderful and all the better that it’s healthy;-)

  • Reply November 30, 2012

    Choc Chip Uru

    Oh wow my friend a new blog and so many goals? Fantastic 😀
    Can’t wait to see it!
    And lovely stew today!

    Choc Chip Uru

  • First of all – love the name of your design blog! So cute! I saw your family photos there and SWOON – so adorable! Second, this stew looks amazing! I want to dive right in! PS : LOVE the bowls!!!

  • Reply November 30, 2012


    I really like the flavor and texture of chick peas but the rest of my family not so much :( maybe they would eat it like this, it’s worth a try. Good luck with the weight loss, it’s never ending, on going, life time thing for me blah blah. Also good luck with the launch of the new blog, cute name and sweet that your 5 year old came up with it.

  • Reply November 30, 2012

    Laura (Tutti Dolci)

    I love vegetable stews loaded with spices, this looks like a hug in a bowl!

  • Lots of spices are a good way to stick to any diet! This stew looks hearty, and you wouldn’t miss the meat here.

  • Reply December 1, 2012

    Nami | Just One Cookbook

    I’m scared to do it, but I think “promising” to lose weight in public, such as on a blog, can be VERY effective! Everyone is watching you progress…sort of – not that I give you pressure! 😉 I should one day tell everyone I’m going to lose 20 lbs. LOL! I love this healthy stew. With your cooking skills and new blog coming along, I am sure you will lose your baby weight beautifully!

  • Reply December 1, 2012

    The Kitchen Boudoir

    I’m with you on the ‘say NO to bland vegetables’ front. I love spicy, flavourful stews and am always looking for delicious things I can prepare for my vegetarian friends – thanks for the inspiration, Jen! Also, congrats on your new blog – you have a beautiful family!

  • Love the name of the new blog – so original and fun. This soup/stew is so perfect for the chilly nights and early end to daylight we are experiencing. I bet the flavors are amazing!!!

  • Reply December 2, 2012


    What can I substitute for the fresh tamarind pulp? I don’t live near an ethnic grocery store or big city. Thanks!
    Recipe looks delicious and I love chickpeas!

  • Reply December 2, 2012


    Tamarind has always intimidated me; therefore, I’ve never cooked with it. You stew has inspired me and is telling me to “get over it!” :) I love everything about this stew. It’s gorgeous and looks delicious!

  • Congrats on the new blog–lovin’ the content! :)

    I’m also trying to lose a few pounds before the holidays–this is just the thing I need. :)

  • Reply December 2, 2012

    Suzanne Perazzini

    Interesting new blog but something wasn’t sitting right at the top in my browser. The subtitle was behind the navigation bar.
    This dish looks delicious because of all the spices. I am not keen on chick peas but my husband is and puts them in the curries he makes in the weekend. I pull them out one by one, which slows down the eating, which is always a good thing for the weight. Good luck with your weight goal.

  • Reply December 3, 2012

    The squishy monster

    I’m very impressed by the fresh tamarind featured here–bravo on a beautiful dish!

  • Reply December 3, 2012


    The last time I used a proper pulp is when I was in Malaysia where you can easily buy it, these days I only use the tamarind mix. I hope I can have the chance to use the real ones where you cook it together with the soup

  • Interesting, I haven’t made chickpea tamarind stew before. That’s because they won’t go far :). I will end up eating all the chickpeas before I could even start cooking. Love it in a can or sometimes I buy them fresh from the market. Delish! This dish is perfect to serve with some crostinis too, I think. CONGRATS on the new blog Cloudberrymousse, it’s indeed a seriously cute and catchy name. Hugs, Jo

  • Reply December 3, 2012


    Lovely stew! Your photography is always gorgeous!

  • Reply December 4, 2012

    Ashley - Baker by Nature

    Sounds like you’ve set your self up for success with this new diet and gym plan! I’ve been trying to go twice a week to they gym, but it’s SO hard to get there haha. This stew looks fabulous, I could definitely eat this a few nights a week!

  • Congrats on the new blog- you have a gorgeous family! The stew looks beautiful and very flavourful!

  • Reply December 8, 2012

    Sandra's Easy Cooking

    Congrats on the new blog, which I check and it is beautiful start as I can see. Also I hope you will achieve your goal in weight loss…not that you have to lose anything but I know how we women are, never happy about that matter!
    Stew looks and sounds like out of this world…and pictures are so inviting and delicious! Well done again!!!!

  • I’m a follower to your new blog! That’s a wonderful new project that includes your beautiful kids. On the other hand, this recipe seems so interesting. Anything with tamarind interests me and with chick peas? Seems like something to be tried. Love the flavors!

  • Reply December 29, 2012


    This dish looks really delicious. I love chickpeas and have never cooked them before with tamarind, but I also love that flavour, so will give this recipe a shot. Looks the perfect comfort food for cold wintery nights.

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