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Spicy Chickpea Stew

Still under Shelter-At-Home orders.  Still no restaurants open for dine-in.  Still cooking a lot.  As I was perusing through the new recipes in NYT Cooking, I came across this colorful, interesting chickpea stew.  It is made with coconut milk, greens, hearty chickpeas and just the right amount of heat.  I modified the Times' recipe by adding grilled paneer cubes.  Such a comforting dish.  I brought some to Rachel at work today and she was full of compliments.  Rachel has a pretty good palate, so the good words coming from her means it is worth making again.  When Rachel texted me asking for the recipe I told her I'd be blogging about it soon.  Hope you enjoy it.

Spicy Coconut Chickpea Stew


  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 t ginger paste or equivalent fresh chopped ginger
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard, kale, spinach, or other greens,  stems removed, torn into bite-size pieces
  • 8 oz paneer, cut into small cubes


  1. Heat 1/4 cup oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add onion and a bit of Kosher salt.  Cook until translucent, about 6 minutes.  Add the garlic and ginger.  Cook, stirring continually, about 3 mins more.
  2. Add 1 1/2 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.
  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.
  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.
  5. Fry the paneer cubes in a pan over medium heat with olive oil, 4 minutes on each side, until golden and a thin crust forms.
  6. Add greens and paneer to the stew and stir, making sure greens are 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) Season with salt and pepper.

Spicy Chickpea Stew