Authors: lisa' s kitchen feed
As cooler temperatures begin to prevail and thoughts turn toward the upcoming winter months, a steaming bowl of this thick, hearty and nourishing kidney bean and chickpea stew brings warmth and comfort to body and mind. Seasoned with a wonderful array of Indian seeds and spices, the aromas of this easy-to-make stew as it simmers on the stove will help you forget the chill of the wind outside your kitchen window. This is a special treat for legume fans as both chickpeas and meaty kidney beans are featured here.
Panch phoran — or panch phoron or Bengali five-spice as it is also known — is a bittersweet and fragrant blend of seeds commonly used in east India and Bangladesh where it is fried in hot oil until it "pops" and used to season dals like this one. You can easily find it at any Indian grocer, but it is so easy to make at home as it consists of only fenugreek seeds, fennel seeds, nigella seeds, cumin seeds and black mustard seeds in equal amounts, without requiring any roasting or grinding. Make a small batch of panch phoran for this stew and store the remaining portion for months in an airtight container. Bring it out again whenever you want to a quick, simple and delicious seasoning for potatoes.
- 1/2 cup dried chickpeas
- 1/2 cup dried red kidney beans
- 2 tablespoons ghee, butter or oil
- 1 teaspoon panch phoran (see below)
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 3 - 4 fresh chilies, seeded and finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
- 1/2 teaspoon amchoor powder (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon asafetida
- 2 dried whole red chilies, broken into bits
- 1 medium tomato, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
- a few handfuls of dried curry leaves
- 2- 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
Note: panch phoran is available commercially at Indian or Asian grocers, but it easy to make your own by combining fenugreek seeds, fennel seeds, nigella seeds, cumin seeds and black mustard seeds in equal amounts.
Makes 4 to 6 servings
Rinse the chickpeas and kidney beans and soak for 8 hours or overnight covered in several inches of water. Drain and rinse, then transfer to a large saucepan and add 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until the beans and chickpeas are tender. Remove from heat and set aside.
Heat the ghee, butter or oil in a skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the panch phoran spice blend to the pan and stir for 1 or 2 minutes to let the seeds darken a little. Stir in the onion and continue to stir for 4 or 5 minutes or until it softens and just begins to brown. Add the ginger, garlic and fresh chilies, and continue to stir for another 2 to 3 minutes. Toss in the spices and dried chilies, and stir for 1 minute.
Add the tomato, salt and curry leaves to the pan and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes or until the tomatoes are reduced and the mixture thickens.
Pour the contents of the skillet into the cooked beans and chickpeas and stir to combine. Simmer over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes, adding some water to the pan if desired. Taste and adjust seasonings.
More chili and stew recipes from Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen you are sure to enjoy:
Vegetarian Three Bean Chili with a Cashew-Pistachio Sauce
Indian-Style Smoky Black Bean Chili
Mixed Bean Indian Stew
Spicy Lentil Indian Stew
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Audio accompaniment: Michael Brook