August 10, 2010 3

Recipe: A Stew of Staples

By in Food

Indian Stew

Since we returned from Comic-Con, the number one most annoying thing about our apartment is not my refusal to unpack, not the hours of “So You Think You Can Dance” taking up space on the DVR, and not our landlord’s inability to give us our new lease to sign. No, it’s the complete lack of food in the house. We’ve been surviving on peanut butter, the crumbles at the bottom of a box of Crispix, and ice cream sandwiches for the last 7 days. Apparently we are all too lazy, too busy, or just don’t care to go grocery shopping. I think, personally, I’ve fallen a bit into all three. Normally, under these dire circumstances, our pantry is our saving grace. There are a couple staple meals we usually have supplies for around the house, between canned goods and random produce. My favorite of these staples is by-and-large the chickpea curry Indian stew we’ve adapted from a recipe by Everyday Food. It’s delicious, hearty, pleasantly spicy without being tear-inducing, and (without the yogurt as a topping) dairy-free and vegan.  We even took it in a crock pot to Hurricane Jerome’s Oscar party a couple years ago (our tie in was “Slumdog Millionaire”) and it was gobbled up.

Unfortunately, we’re that far down that we don’t even have these bits anymore, so I think it’s finally time to go grocery shopping this week. Maybe specifically for chickpeas and curry. (Recipe after the jump)

Easy Indian Stew
Adapted from Martha Stewart’s “Everyday Home” recipe

Makes: Enough for 4 people to have dinner. Then second dinner. And then leftovers the next day for lunch, and possibly a bit more for a pre-dinner snack. In short, you better make a heckuva lot of rice.

1 large onion, chopped
1 large green pepper, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons curry powder
2 teaspoons ground ginger
4 tablespoons garam masala*
3 cups tomato sauce (one of those big 24-28 oz cans usually does it)
2 cans chickpeas / garbanzo beans (15 oz, each), drained
A couple limes, for flavor & garnish
Plain yogurt, for topping
Olive oil / salt / pepper

Heat a good glug of olive oil in the largest skillet you have. Add the onion, green pepper, and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, under vegetables are tender, 6-10 minutes. Add curry power and ginger, cooking until fragrant, 2-3 minutes or the length of whatever good tune is playing on the radio at the current moment. Add tomato sauce, chick peas, and 1 & 1/4 cups of water. Bring to a boil (at this point, it’s about the right time to make the rice).

Once the stew is boiling, reduce it to a simmer, and cook for 5 minutes. Mix in the garam masala, and cook for another 5-10 minutes. Taste it – we almost always end up adding even more curry power and garam masala. If the sauce is too thick or isn’t enough to your liking, add more tomato sauce or a bit more water, and simmer it for a few minutes more. Squirt in a  splash of lime juice from the limes, and serve over rice, with a dollop of yogurt, a wedge of lime, and a sprinkle of curry powder.

* In defense of buying garam masala, a spice you might not normally have on hand: Personally, I’ve found it to be an insanely versatile and flavorful spice. It’s fantastic in chili, and anytime I have a brown-savory dish that’s just not kicking up the flavor factor, I add garam masala. It’s slightly sweet, with a bit of a pepper-ish kick, and can be bought for around $2-3 for a sandwich-size bag.

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3 Responses to “Recipe: A Stew of Staples”

  1. Christi says:

    sounds amazing!!! i’ve been on an Indian kick. I looooove Chicken Makhani.

  2. Christi says:

    BTW we are trying this tonight. I will report back with my official verdict.

  3. MattD says:

    @Christi: Chicken Makhani, once I looked it up, sounds awesome! We should definitely have an Indian night for one of the Group Gatherings in the winter to warm us up!

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