This rustic stew is rich and hearty, full of exotic flavour, and easy to make. It looks absolutely beautiful, with its sensual, appetizing colours, and wonderful spicy aroma. It is also packed to the brim with vitamins, minerals, plant-based protein, and goodness. The vegetables should burst in your mouth with their own flavour, quickly followed by the juices from the stew.
My Greek origins have followed my every step in the kitchen, and having had Indian friends since I can remember, I was always fascinated and enthralled watching their mothers cook, with their plethora of magical spices. This enduring passion for Indian food, together with my Mediterranean roots, has resulted in a fusion of these two cuisines that has been a recurrent theme in my kitchen for the last few decades. So, please consider this stew a celebration of East & West, and feel free to break bread as you enjoy sharing this dish with your loved ones.
N.B. I pre-cook the beans separately, to ensure they soften enough, and the carrots should be steamed separately, as they should be tender. I suggest serving this dish with non-dairy plain yoghurt, raw onion and your favourite fresh bread. This stew heats up well the next day too – that is if there’s any left !
This recipe is featured in the January/February 2020 issue of ‘Resurgence & Ecologist’ Magazine.
2-3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
150g black eyed beans, soaked overnight and pre-boiled until slightly soft
1 large red onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 inches fresh ginger, grated
1 to 2 chilli peppers, cut lengthways (remove seeds for less ‘heat’)
1 stick green-leaved celery, chopped
1 cup vegetable stock (organic miso or organic vegetable cube)
½ cup water
½ tsp coriander seeds
2 to 3 Tbsp tomato puree
1 cup tomato passata (homemade or jarred)
3 carrots (mixed colours if you wish), roughly chopped, and pre-steamed until soft
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp asafoetida powder
1 Tbsp chopped fresh dill (optional)
1 Romano pepper, cut into 4 or 5 pieces lengthways
1 large courgette, roughly chopped (to soak up the juices and burst in your mouth)
2 cinnamon sticks
flat leaf parsley, finely chopped for garnishing
1. Soak the beans overnight, then boil until slightly softened (you may use a pressure cooker if you wish), remove the water and set aside. Steam your carrots until soft, and set aside. Meanwhile, assemble your ingredients on your worktop.
2. In a medium to large saucepan, heat up your oil. Gently sauté your onion, garlic, ginger, coriander seeds, chilli peppers, and celery, stirring so that they do not burn. Once the onions have become translucent, spoon the mixture into a bowl.
3. If needs be, add a further teaspoon of oil to the pan, and sauté your courgettes until golden on both sides. Repeat these steps with the Romano pepper, until the pieces have wilted. Set aside.
4. Next, add the onion mix back to the pan, then after 2 minutes stir in the tomato puree.
5. Now add the other vegetables back into the pan, and the remaining ingredients. Add the water a little at a time, to give your sauce a chance to thicken, then allow to simmer gently with the lid half covered on a low heat for 20-30 minutes.
6. Stir gently every now and then, and taste your sauce for seasoning. Garnish and serve.
If you like this recipe, after you’ve made it could you please scroll down to the comments box below and let me know how you got on. Thanks !