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  • Writer's pictureSuzanne Sng

Chickpea stew with coconut milk

This recipe from Alison Roman for The New York Times went viral and even has its own hashtag #thestew. As usual, I’m two years too late to the party, but it is a very pleasing and easy recipe. One half of this household found it too coconutty, but I loved its richness.

Serves 4


  • ¼ cup olive oil, plus more for serving

  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped

  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped

  • 1 knob fresh ginger, finely chopped

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground turmeric, plus more for serving

  • 1 teaspoon chilli flakes, plus more for serving

  • 800 grams canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed

  • 800 grams canned full-fat coconut milk (can be reduced by adding more stock)

  • 2 cups vegetable or chicken stock

  • 1 bunch of salad greens, such as arugula, baby spinach or kale

  • Greek yoghurt, for serving (optional)

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

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add garlic, onion and ginger. Season with a big pinch of sea salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally until onion is translucent and starts to brown a little around the edges, 3 to 5 minutes.

Add turmeric, chilli flakes and 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.

Using a wooden spoon or spatula, further crush the remaining chickpeas slightly to release their starchy insides (this will help thicken the stew).

Add the coconut milk and stock to the pot, and season with more salt and pepper. If you use coconut milk with stabilisers/emulsifiers, you will get a thicker stew. Otherwise, you will get chickpea soup.

Bring to a simmer, scraping up any bits that have formed on the bottom of the pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until stew has thickened and flavours have started to come together, 30 to 35 minutes. (Taste a chickpea or two, not just the liquid, to make sure they have simmered long enough to taste as delicious as possible.)

If after 30 to 35 minutes, you want the stew a bit thicker, keep simmering.

If using kale or other greens which need a bit of cooking, add to the pot to wilt and soften for a couple of minutes. I have used arugula and spinach, but as they wilt almost instantly, I serve them in the bowl, then add the stew over it.

Serve with a healthy dollop of yoghurt, reserved chickpeas, a sprinkle of chilli flakes and a good drizzle of olive oil; dust the yoghurt with turmeric.

Recipe adapted from Pamela Salzman, who in turn had adapted it from a Alison Roman recipe which is behind the NYT paywall.

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