The chickpea stew that broke the internet in the US is here. Give it a go
Plus three other brilliantly simple vegetarian recipes to keep your household happy
Spiced chickpea stew with coconut and turmeric. Photograph: Michael Graydon & Nikole Herriott/The New York Times.
Vegetarian recipes that can be made in one pot or pan could come in handy over the next few days. Here is a selection of great things to cook, including Alison Roman’s chickpea stew with coconut and turmeric that became an internet sensation known as #thestew.
SPICED CHICKPEA STEW WITH COCONUT AND TURMERIC
Serves four to six. Cooking time 55 minutes
This is #thestew, Alison Roman’s internet-famous recipe, as delicious as it is beautiful. Spiced chickpeas are crisped in olive oil, then simmered in a garlicky coconut milk for an incredibly creamy, basically-good-for-you dinner that evokes South Indian chickpea stews and some stews found in parts of the Caribbean. While the chickpeas alone would be good as a side dish, they are further simmered with stock, bolstered with dark, leafy greens of your choosing and finished with a handful of fresh mint.
60ml olive oil, plus more for serving
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 thumb-sized piece ginger, finely chopped
Salt and black pepper
1½ tsp ground turmeric, plus more for serving
1 tsp mild chilli flakes, plus more for serving
2 tins chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 tins full-fat coconut milk
270ml vegetable or chicken stock
1 bunch Swiss chard, kale or collard greens, stems removed, torn into bite-size pieces
1 small bunch mint leaves, for serving
Yogurt, for serving (optional)
Toasted pita, lavash or other flatbread, for serving (optional)
1. Heat 60ml oil in a large pot over medium. Add garlic, onion and ginger. Season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally until onion is translucent and starts to brown a little at the edges, three to five minutes.
2. Add 1½ teaspoons turmeric, one teaspoon mild chilli flakes, and the chickpeas, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, so the chickpeas sizzle and fry a bit in the spices and oil, until they’ve started to break down and get a little browned and crisp, eight to 10 minutes. Remove about a cup of chickpeas and set aside for garnish.
3. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, further crush the remaining chickpeas slightly to release their starchy insides. (This will help thicken the stew.) Add coconut milk and stock, and season with salt and pepper.
4. Bring to a simmer, scraping up any bits that have formed on the bottom of the pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until stew has thickened, 30 to 35 minutes. (Taste a chickpea or two, not just the liquid, to make sure they have simmered long enough to be as delicious as possible.) If after 30 to 35 minutes, you want the stew a bit thicker, keep simmering until you’ve reached your desired consistency. Determining perfect stew thickness is a personal journey!
5. Add greens and stir, making sure they’re submerged in the liquid. Cook until they wilt and soften, three to seven minutes, depending on what you’re using. (Swiss chard and spinach will wilt and soften much faster than kale or collard greens.) Season again with salt and pepper.
6. Divide among bowls and top with mint, reserved chickpeas, a sprinkle of chilli flakes and a good drizzle of olive oil. Serve alongside yogurt and toasted pita if using; dust the yogurt with turmeric if you’d like.
Tips: When shopping, be sure to avoid low-fat coconut milk, coconut milk meant for drinking or cream of coconut. None are suitable here. Two cans of coconut milk, really? Yes.
SHAKSHUKA WITH FETA
Serves four to six. Cooking time 50 minutes
Shakshuka, a vibrant dish of eggs baked in a tomato-red pepper sauce spiced with cumin, paprika and cayenne, may be at the apex of eggs-for-dinner recipes. In Israel, it is breakfast food, a bright, spicy start to the day with a pile of pita or challah served on the side, but it’s also excellent for brunch or lunch. For Melissa Clark’s recipe, you make the sauce first, on the hob, then gently crack each of the eggs into the pan, nestling them into the sauce, before sliding the pan into the oven. Don’t skip the crumbled feta here: It softens into creamy nuggets in the oven’s heat.
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 large red pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp sweet paprika
Pinch of ground cayenne, to taste
2 x 400g tins whole plum tomatoes with their juices, coarsely chopped
¾ tsp salt, plus more as needed
¼ tsp black pepper, plus more as needed
140g feta, crumbled
6 large eggs
Chopped coriander, for serving
Hot sauce, for serving
1. Preheat an oven to 190 degrees Celsius, or equivalent. Heat oil in a large ovenproof frying pan over medium-low heat. Add onion and red pepper. Cook gently until very soft, about 20 minutes. Add garlic and cook until tender, one to two minutes; stir in cumin, paprika and cayenne, and cook one minute. Pour in tomatoes and season with three-quarters of a teaspoon of salt and a quarter of a teaspoon of pepper; simmer until tomatoes have thickened, about 10 minutes. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed. Stir in crumbled feta.
2. Gently crack eggs into pan over tomatoes. Season eggs with salt and pepper. Transfer pan to oven and bake until eggs are just set, seven to 10 minutes. Sprinkle with coriander and serve with hot sauce on the side.
Tips: Shakshuka originated in North Africa, and there are as many versions of it there and elsewhere as there are cooks who have embraced it. You can make shakshuka in a cast-iron pan if the metal is very well seasoned. If it’s not, the iron will impart an unwelcome tang, so use an enamel pot instead.
WINTER SQUASH AND WILD MUSHROOM CURRY
Serves four to six. Cooking time 30 minutes
This is comfort food, Indian-style, adapted by David Tanis from a recipe by Madhur Jaffrey. It is also vegan. Use a mixture of cultivated mushrooms, which come in all shapes and sizes, as well as some wild mushrooms, if you can, like golden chanterelles, lobster or hen of the woods. You can make the dish as spicy as you wish, but be sure to include some cayenne and green chilli, to complement and play off the creamy coconut milk sauce.
3 tbsp vegetable oil
280g butternut or other winter squash, peeled and cut into small cubes
Salt and black pepper
1 or 2 small green chillies, such as jalapeño or serrano
3 medium shallots or 1 small onion, finely diced
½ tsp black mustard seeds
½ tsp cumin seeds
Handful of fresh or frozen curry leaves (optional)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp ground coriander
Pinch of ground cayenne
½ tsp ground turmeric
450g mushrooms, preferably a mix of cultivated and wild, trimmed and sliced
180ml coconut milk
2 tbsp lime juice
Coriander, for garnish
1. In a wide frying pan, heat oil over medium-high heat. When it is hot, add squash cubes in one layer. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for about two minutes, letting cubes brown slightly, then flip and cook for two minutes more. Use a slotted spoon to lift squash out, and set aside.
2. Cut a lengthwise slit in each chilli to open it, but leave whole. (This helps the chillies heat the sauce without making it too spicy.)
3. Add shallots, salt lightly and cook, stirring, one minute. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and curry leaves, if using, and let sizzle for 30 seconds, then add garlic, coriander, cayenne, turmeric and chillies. Stir well and cook for 30 seconds more.
4. Add mushrooms, season with salt and toss to coat. Cook, stirring, until mushrooms begin to soften, about five minutes.
5. Return squash cubes to skillet, stir in coconut milk and bring to a simmer. Lower heat to medium and simmer for another five minutes. If mixture looks dry, thin with a little water. Taste and season with salt.
6. Before serving, stir in lime juice. Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with cilantro.
Tips: Serve with basmati rice, but rice noodles or mashed potatoes would be pretty good as well. You can substitute the zest of one lime and a handful of basil leaves for the curry leaves.
Serves four. Cooking time 30 minutes
If you keep canned beans, tomatoes, onion and garlic in your pantry, you can make this Melissa Clark recipe on any week night without having to shop. The pickled onions aren’t strictly necessary, but they add a welcome tangy contrast to the beans. If you have a red pepper or a jalapeño or two, chop them up and sauté them with the onions. And if you want to be fancy, grate the zest off the lime before juicing for the pickles, and stir it into the sour cream.
For the pickled onions:
1 red onion or shallot, thinly sliced
Large pinch of kosher salt
Small pinch of granulated sugar
For the chilli:
Olive or grapeseed oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, or to taste, minced
1 tsp chilli powder, plus more to taste
1 tsp dried oregano, plus more to taste
2 tins black beans, drained
1 tin chopped tomatoes with their juices
Fresh coriander, diced avocado and sour cream, for garnish (optional)
1. Make the pickled onions: Squeeze lime juice into a bowl, and add onion, salt and sugar. Let this rest while you make the chilli.
2. Prepare the chilli: Heat a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the oil. When hot, add onion and sauté until softened, five to seven minutes. Add garlic, chilli powder and oregano and sauté until fragrant, one to two minutes longer. Add beans and tomatoes and a few large pinches of salt and let simmer until the tomatoes break down, about 20 minutes.
3. Taste and add more salt, chilli powder and/or oregano to taste. Serve with the pickled onions and any of the garnishes you like.
Tips: Don’t want to make pickled onions? Use jarred, sliced pickled jalapeños instead. Adding a chopped canned chipotle in adobo to the onions lends a deliciously smoky and fiery note to the dish. New York Times.