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Spiced Chickpea Stew with Coconut and Turmeric

Updated: Dec 9, 2022

Recipe from New York Times by Alison Roman

This recipe by Alison Roman in the New York Times is my go-to meal this time of year. It’s so yummy, I CRAVE IT! Not only is it delicious, it’s good for you and it’s vegan. Eating with compassion for yourself, animals, and the environment. Win, win, win!

Because of the watery, brothy nature of this dish, the orange-y color of the chickpeas and the healthy fat (coconut milk), this is a great dish for your Sacral Chakra too.

Spiced chickpeas are crisped in olive oil, then simmered in a garlicky coconut milk for an insanely creamy, basically-good-for-you stew that evokes stews found in South India and 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. When shopping, be sure to avoid low-fat coconut milk, coconut milk meant for drinking or cream of coconut: All are very different and would not be suitable here.


Yield: 4 to 6 servings

  • ¼cup olive oil, plus more for serving

  • 4garlic cloves, chopped

  • 1large yellow onion, chopped

  • 1(2-inch) piece ginger, finely chopped

  • Kosher salt and black pepper

  • 1½teaspoons ground turmeric, plus more for serving

  • 1teaspoon red-pepper flakes, plus more for serving

  • 2(15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed

  • 2(15-ounce) cans full-fat coconut milk

  • 2cups vegetable or chicken stock

  • 1bunch Swiss chard, kale or collard greens, stems removed, torn into bite-size pieces

  • 1cup mint leaves, for serving

  • Yogurt, for serving (optional)

  • Toasted pita, lavash or other flatbread, for serving (optional)


Step 1

Heat ¼ cup 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, 3 to 5 minutes.

Step 2

Add 1½ teaspoons turmeric, 1 teaspoon red-pepper 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, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove about a cup of chickpeas and set aside for garnish.

Step 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.

Step 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!

Step 5

Add greens and stir, making sure they’re submerged in the liquid. Cook until they wilt and soften, 3 to 7 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.

Step 6

Divide among bowls and top with mint, reserved chickpeas, a sprinkle of red-pepper 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.

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