Get in My Belly: Curried Vegetable and Chickpea Stew

I love curry, chickpeas, and using the slow-cooker, so when I stumbled across this recipe on The Kitchn, I knew I would be making it soon. I’m doing my best lately to eat healthier, super vegetable-laden meals, and I was reasonably sure everyone in my house would eat it. Be forewarned though – this recipe makes a lot, so if you only have a tiny crockpot, you may want to either halve the recipe, or cook it with a Dutch oven pot instead.  I’ve adjusted the original recipe some, and I’m sure you’ll have your own adjustments. Normally, I don’t like to do slow-cooker recipes that involve stove top work first, but this one is worth the little bit of extra prep. Now, let’s get to business:

Curried Vegetable and Chickpea Stew
Serves 8 – 10

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 all-purpose potatoes, peeled and sliced somewhat thinly (I used 3 medium red potatoes)
  • 1/2 teaspoon (ish) salt
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder (I used this variety.)
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 poblano pepper (or other hot chili), seeded and diced
  • 2 cups broth (I used water +  Better than Bouillon chicken base)
  • 2 (16-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed OR 1 pound dried chickpeas, soaked the night before (I used dried)
  • A mix of vegetables to your amount preference. I used a mix of frozen cauliflower, broccoli and carrots but it was from a larger bag, so I don’t know the exact amount. (Eyeball it, is what I’m saying)
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes with their juices
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 5-ounces baby spinach
  • 1 (14 oz) can coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup lime juice  (optional)
1. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. If you can, do not use a nonstick pan because you’re going to be doing some deglazing action in a couple minutes. Saute the onions with a bit of salt until translucent, about 5 minutes. Then add the potato slices and saute until they begin to turn translucent at the edges.
2. Next, stir in 1 tbsp of curry powder, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, and the poblano pepper and saute for just a minute or two. Add the whole mixture to the slow cooker pot. Pour 1/4 cup of broth or water (I used water) into the empty pan and scrape up the browned bits from the bottom to deglaze. (This has the added benefit of making your pan easier to clean later.) Add the deglazed mixture to the slow cooker.
3. To the slow cooker, add in the second tablespoon of curry, your broth, the chickpeas, your vegetable mix, the tomatoes, black pepper and a bit more salt. Cover and cook on high for 4-6 hours. If you’re using the soaked chickpeas, they take a bit longer to soften compared to the canned.
4. After the 4-6 hours, stir in the coconut milk and spinach. I also added lime juice because I like it with curry. Cover with the lid and give it a few more minutes so that the spinach can wilt. Taste it and adjust any salt or seasonings as needed.
I served this with a bit of cous cous, but you could also use orzo or rice, or just eat it on its own. A little naan wouldn’t be out of order either, but unfortunately, I didn’t have any. The 5 of us ate this with plenty leftover for dinner the next night. On the original recipe link, it says that this freezes quite well, but to freeze the stew before adding the coconut milk, as coconut milk has a tendency to separate when frozen.




By Sara Habein

Sara Habein is the author of Infinite Disposable, a collection of microfiction, and her work has appeared on The Rumpus, Pajiba and Word Riot, among others. Her book reviews and other commentary appear at Glorified Love Letters, and she is the co-manager of Electric City Creative.

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