Moroccan chickpea, lentil and spinach stew
Another vegetarian offering for our Gent night
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Grind of fresh black pepper
- 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 4 Cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
- 2 cm fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped or grated
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- ½ teaspoon chili flakes
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground cumin seeds
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground coriander
- 2.5 cm (1") piece of cinnamon stick
- 400g can of plum tomatoes, chopped
- 800 ml vegetable stock
- 150 g dried red lentils
- 150 g dried puy or green lentils
- 420 g can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 200 g fresh baby spinach leaves
- Add the oil and a good grind of pepper to a large saucepan, heat and fry the onions until they begin to brown, about 4 minutes
- Add the garlic and ginger and stir-fry for a few more minutes
- Add the carrot and spices and mix well and cook for 2 minutes to coat the vegetables
- Add the tomatoes, stock and the lentils, cover, bring to the boil, reduce and simmer for 30 minutes or until the lentils have softened
- Add the chickpeas and heat for another 5 minutes
- Just before serving, take off the heat, remove the cinnamon stick, stir in the spinach leaves and serve immediately
Serve with homemade pitta breads and garnish with corander
Probably not totally authentic, but a little double cream, discovered in the fridge, whisked up with a drop of milk and whirled into the stew adds a touch of luxury!
This was made around Christmas time, so the next day, I fried some onions and curry paste, blitzed the second half of the stew in a food processor, added leftover turkey trimmings and made a wonderful turkey curry. Even after a prolonged period in the blender, the stew still had a fabulous texture with plenty of bite and also colour from the spinach and carrot pieces. This will be made again. Sorry Gent.
There is no need to peel ginger. As a result of attending a Thai cookery demo, we have learnt that peeling ginger is unnecessary unless for aesthetic purposes as the skin is high in fibre and full of flavour. However, do remove any bits that have become tough or woody.
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