I never get tired of soups and stews, and this time of year I really crave them. To me, there is nothing better on a brisk autumn day. Recently the “Tamarind Chickpea Stew”, page 260, found it’s way to our table, and it fit the bill perfectly. Simple, whole foods, hearty and satisfying, pretty to look at, and delicious flavors. Tamarind paste is made from the fruit of the pod of the tamarind tree, and in fact, you can buy tamarind pods in some ethnic and specialty grocery stores, and make it yourself. A much easier way is to buy prepared tamarind paste in a jar, but this isn’t an easy item to find either. Happily, you can also prepare a tamarind substitute by blending three parts lime juice with 1 part molasses, which is what I did for this recipe. I have had tamarind in my kitchen in the past, but I use it so seldom, this combination is a perfect substitute for the small amount used in most recipes.
This stew consists of onion, potato, chickpeas, tomatoes, green chilies, peas, and a combination of Middle Eastern spices, including coriander, cumin, and black pepper – and of course, the tamarind. It is slightly sweet from the addition of maple syrup, with everything somehow coming together in a most pleasing manner. That’s the magic of soups and stews!
Keeping it “McDougall Friendly” check list:
- Omit the tablespoon of olive oil when sautéing the veggies. Use water or broth and a nonstick skillet instead.