A Stew That [Almost] Broke The Internet
First came The Cookies. Then came The Stew.
The first time I tried The Cookies, I hadn’t baked them myself; I got a batch from my mom. She’d made too many, so she packed some up in a cute little tupperware container and gave them to me. She’s a sweet angel, that mother of mine. The very next day, I packed one singular Salted Chocolate Chunk Shortbread Cookie in my lunch — hey, when someone gives you crack, you can’t use it all at once (so I hear) — and when I extracted the cookie from my lunchbox, removed it from its snack-size ziplock baggie, and raised the cookie to my lips, perched to take my very first bite, my colleague Jordan gasped: “Is that an Alison Roman cookie!?” It was the first time I’d heard even an utterance of her name, Alison Roman, and it was the exact moment in which I became aware that the cookie I was ingesting had a virus—er...had gone viral.
Fast forward one year, and I’m a full-fledged fan. I follow Alison on Instagram. I am the proud owner of her cookbook, Dining In. And you can bet your Aunt Fanny I’ve baked The Cookies. Oh, I’ve baked The Cookies. But during the age of The Cookies, I was not yet a fan. So when the age of The Stew emerged, I knew what I had to do: get my ass into the kitchen. If The Cookies were any indication, then The Stew was gonna be fire.
So one chilly Saturday night...I made it. Anticipating a very limp and unemotional response from my meat-loving butcher of a husband, I was floored by his enthusiastic praise and even more surprised when he requested we “put this on our regular dinner rotation.” First came The Cookies, and then came The Stew… So, what viral recipe will my girl Al cook up next?
The below recipe is modified from the original, according to my experience with it.
(Spiced Chickpea Stew With Coconut and Turmeric)
Original recipe by Alison Roman
Yield: 4 servings
Time: 55 - 75 minutes
¼ cup olive oil, plus more for serving
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 (2-inch) piece ginger, minced or grated
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 ½ teaspoons ground turmeric, plus more for serving
1 teaspoon red-pepper flakes, plus more for serving
2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 (15-ounce) cans full-fat coconut milk
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 bunch chard, kale, or collard greens, stems removed, cut into bite-size pieces
1 cup mint leaves, for serving
1 cup basil leaves, for serving (if available)
Plain Greek Yogurt, for serving
Toasted pita, lavash or other flatbread, for serving
Rice, for serving
Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add garlic, onion and ginger. Season with 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, red-pepper 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, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove about a cup of chickpeas and set aside for garnish.
Using a wooden spoon or potato masher, further crush the remaining chickpeas slightly to release their starchy insides (this will help thicken the stew). Add coconut milk and stock to the pot, and season with salt and pepper. 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 flavors have started to come together, 40 to 45 minutes. (Taste a chickpea or two, not just the liquid, to make sure they have simmered long enough to taste as delicious as possible.) Now is a great time to cook your rice (if using). If after 40 to 45 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!
Add greens and stir, making sure they’re submerged in the liquid. Cook a few minutes so they wilt and soften, 3 to 7 minutes, depending on what you’re using. Season again with salt and pepper.
Scoop rice into bowls, and ladle stew overtop until rice is almost hidden. Top with yogurt, mint, basil, reserved chickpeas, a sprinkle of red-pepper flakes and a good drizzle of olive oil. Serve alongside toasted pita if using.