We’re having unseasonably cold weather in D.C. and I’m not a fan. I feel a little bad complaining, given that I used to live in Chicago (the city of wind, sleeping bag parkas and heat lamps) and because I have a sister freezing in sub-zero temperatures in Wisconsin.
But not that bad.
D.C. has made me weak–it’s true. That’s okay, though, because I have some tricks up my sleeve for dealing with the wind and cold. This spicy chickpea stew is one of them.
The best thing about this dish–besides how good it tastes–is how quickly it comes together. You essentially throw everything into a skillet or pot, let it simmer and mix in some spinach.
The result? A delicious, warming stew that will get you through moments of weakness in the dark, cold days of winter. Stay strong out there.
Seven Spice Chickpea Stew with Spinach (slightly adapted from The First Mess)
2 teaspoons olive or coconut oil
1 medium yellow onion, small dice (about 1 cup of diced onion)
spice blend (below)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cups cooked (and drained) chickpeas
1 cup jarred/canned diced tomatoes
1 cup light coconut milk
sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
a handful of spinach
⅓ cup cilantro
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon dried chiles
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
In a deep cast iron skillet or a small soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Once the oil is lightly shimmering, add the onions to the pan. Cook and stir the onions until translucent and quite soft, about 5-6 minutes. You want the onions to be quietly sizzling while they cook, so lower the heat if necessary.
Add the spice blend to the skillet and stir. Once the spices are quite fragrant and fully integrated with the onions, add the tomato paste, mashing it with the back of your spoon into the spices and oil. Add the garlic and chickpeas and stir the mixture for 30 seconds.
Add the tomatoes to the pan and stir, using the back of your spoon to scrape up any brown bits that may have formed on the bottom of the pan. Add the coconut milk to the skillet and season the stew with salt and pepper.
Bring the stew to a boil, and then lower the heat to a light simmer. Cook the stew for about 10-15 minutes, or until the flavors have melded to your liking. Stir in the spinach until wilted. Garnish the top of the stew with cilantro. Serve stew hot with brown rice or any other grain of your choosing.