Delicious Vegetable Stew.

My daughter calls this Pesh’s red stew, after her Aunty who introduced this lovely dish to me. I had it when back home and craved it when we got back to Kampala, had to text her to send me the recipe. I had to use what I had on hand, but it was delicious all the same.

It is tasty, colorful, healthy, filling, meat free, gluten free and easy to make. What’s not to love about it?

It is full of colorful and healthy garden vegetables. Beetroot, carrot, zucchini, eggplant and chickpeas simmered together in a tomato and onion sauce. It’s finger licking good!

Let’s get started.

Ingredients are:-

  • 1 tsp cooking oil.
  • 1 cup drained and rinsed chickpeas
  • 1 onion, chopped.
  • 1 carrot, chopped.
  • 1 beetroot, peeled and chopped.
  • I green, I yellow and 1 red capsicum, chopped.
  • I bunch of coriander. Stalks and leaves separated and chopped.
  • 2 tomatoes.
  • 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste.
  • 1 tsp, grated fresh turmeric.
  • Spices are a tsp of paprika, Kenyan curry powder salt and pepper to taste.
  • 1 cup water or stock.
  • 1 medium eggplant and 1 medium courgette, both chopped and soaked in salty water. (This helps remove the bitterness in the eggplant and helps them maintain their shape and natural flavour when cooked, just remember to rinse and drain before adding to the saucepan).

Method.

Heat your sauce pan of choice, add the oil, once hot add the onion and coriander stalks, cook till soft.

Next add your garlic and ginger paste as well as the fresh turmeric. Mix well and let cook till they stop smelling raw, then add your spices. Ensure the spices cook well and do not burn, the tomatoes go on and cook till soft.

The carrot and beetroot go next, followed by the eggplant and courgette. You can cover and let them cook for a while after adding some salt and pepper.

Once they are cooked for about 7 minutes, add the bell pepper then the drained chickpeas, with your vegetable stock or water.

Lower heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes.

When ready, garnish with coriander and serve hot with your starch of choice, though as with most meals, you can just have a bowl on its own.

We had ours with some roasted plantain and avocado slices, Yum!

Colourful, tasty, easy to make, healthy and doesn’t take too much time to cook; what’s not to love about this dish?

Kala Chana Pilau.

I am a big fan of pilau as there are so many ways you can mix it up and always end up with a tasty and filling dish. It provides one with so many ways to spice up one pot rice, works well for weekday dinner and leftovers are perfect for the kids’ school lunch boxes.

In this specific pilau I used some brown chickpeas also known as ‘kala Chana’ , some cashew nuts and a little chicken too and the result was an aromatic and palate pleasing dish.

Let’s get started.

Our ingredients are a cup of basmati rice, two sliced onions, half a cup of already boiled brown chickpeas, a tbsp of ginger garlic paste, 1 tbsp of ground pilau masala, salt to taste, 1 tbsp butter, and some whole pilau masala spices (1 bay leaf, a small stick of cinnamon, a few black peppercorns, cloves and cardamoms and a tsp of cumin seeds). I also added in about 300 g of chicken breast and a few raw cashew nuts.
Heat your sauce pan and add the butter and a small drop of oil so the butter doesn’t burn. Add the whole spices and let them release their aroma for a few seconds.
Add the sliced onions and let them cook till caramelized.

Add the ginger garlic paste and mix well. Then add the pilau masala and mix well. Then add a few raw cashews. Mix and ensure the spices do not burn.

Add your chicken if using. let cook till browned and coated well with the spicy mixture.
Add in the kala chana. Mix and let it also get coated and absorb the masala mix. Do not forget your salt and pepper. The aroma at this time is amazing!
Add your rice, then 2 cups of water. Cover and let simmer till the water is absorbed and the rice is ready.
The rice is now ready to serve. You can have it with some raita on the side, a curry accompaniment or a simple green salad.

It is a very tasty and filling meal. The chickpeas provide nutrients, colour and an earthy flavour that is complemented well by the pilau spices, the tender chicken and the sweetness of the cashew nuts and caramelized onions.

We had it with a simple vegetable salad and some jeera potatoes. Filling, tasty, easy to make and colourful; all my favorites for a meal I love.

Give it a try and let me know what you think of this dish.