This Tomato Chickpea Stew with Coconut + Garam Masala is everything I want to eat right now: nourishing, yet indulgent; plant-based, yet hearty; warmly-spiced, yet kid-friendly. And it’s ready in under 30 minutes, because that’s about all I can manage these days. January is a minefield of fad diets, cleanses and all manner of punishment in the name of new year’s resolutions. How do you tune out all of the noise? Scrolling through your feed, it may seem as though everyone is already bounding down the straight path towards success in 2020. I personally always have trouble hitting my stride in January, so my “resolution” is merely to give myself grace and ease into the new year gently. January or not, my diet is always label-free, so I continue to nourish myself with what my body and mind crave.
And right now, I am majorly craving this stew. Chickpeas and potatoes are braised in an Indian-spiced tomato sauce, enlivened with lots of ginger and garlic. Towards the end of cooking, a full can of coconut milk joins the party to create an indulgently creamy stew. The virtuous addition of chopped spinach adds a pleasant pop of green. Once you add the coconut milk, feel free to cook the stew down a bit to reach your desired level of stew thickness (it’s a personal preference). Definitely use full-fat coconut milk, and, if you can find it, use a version without any gums or additives. I like this one. Ladle a large helping of stew over a bed of basmati rice and top with a dollop of greek yogurt (or coconut yogurt, if you want to keep it vegan) and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro or mint.
Before signing off, may I just say that both of my kids gobbled up this stew with nary a word of protest — a rare occurrence that must be documented. This stew is magical and delicious and allowed us to have a relatively relaxing dinner and we all lived happily ever after. The end.
Enjoy! Xo Maggie
p.s. For more chickpea recipes, try masala lemon chickpeas + kale on garlic toast and coconut creamed kale with sun-dried tomatoes + crispy chickpeas.Print
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (or, even better, ghee if you have it!)
- 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 inch knob fresh ginger, peeled and minced
- 1.5 tbsp garam masala
- 1 tbsp ground turmeric
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 2 15 oz. cans chickpeas, drained
- 3 small yellow potatoes, peeled and 1/2 inch dice (about 1 lb)
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 28 oz. can fire roasted crushed tomatoes
- 1 15 oz. can coconut milk (full-fat!)
- 2 large handfuls spinach, roughly chopped
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- For serving: yogurt and cilantro; basmati rice
- Heat oil or ghee in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until softened and starting to brown, about 3 minutes. Stir in garlic, ginger and spices and cook until fragrant, a couple more minutes. Add chickpeas, potatoes and tomato paste along with a generous pinch of salt and pepper and stir to coat with the spice mixture. Cook for a couple more minutes. Stir in the crushed tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15-20 minutes until potatoes are fork-tender.
- Stir in coconut milk and cook for about 10 more minutes to allow the flavors to develop and the stew to thicken. Feel free to continue cooking the stew down a bit to reach your desired level of stew thickness. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper to taste.
- Stir in chopped spinach and cook for a couple more minutes to cook the greens.
- Serve over rice, with a dollop of yogurt and a sprinkle of cilantro. Enjoy!
Garam masala is a blend of spices, originating from India. The recipe varies throughout India and among retailers, but commonly includes coriander, cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and black pepper. Some recipes also include dried chilies, fennel and mace. It is my favorite spice blend, particularly during fall and winter, for its rich, warm flavor. If you do not have it on hand, simply substitute 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp coriander, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp cardamon and a pinch of nutmeg.