I serve this smoky stew with delicious lemon zest and parsley rice. The fresh flavors in the rice really complement the comforting stew. I also love this rice with curries and dal.
Cooking dried chickpeas can be daunting initially, but they are a cheap and nutritious protein source, and once you've cooked them a couple of times you get the hang of it. Chickpeas need to be soaked in water overnight before being cooked for 1–2 hours. This is a lengthy process but I do a big batch that I freeze. Once you have them to hand they are quick to add to any recipe. Remember to keep the cooking brine too: this is aquafaba, a wonderful egg replacer in baking.
- 2 red peppers, sliced
- 8 salad tomatoes, quartered
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 150 g dried chickpeas
- 1 tbsp veg bouillon powder (or 1 stock cube in 200 ml water)
- 150 g basmati rice
- 1 lemon, zested
- parsley, chopped
1. Soak the chickpeas in cold water and leave in the fridge overnight.
2. The next day, drain the soaking water and rinse the chickpeas.
3. Put the chickpeas in a saucepan and cover with boiling water. Put a lid on the pan and simmer for 1.5 to 2 hours until the chickpeas are soft.
4. While the chickpeas are cooking, make the base of the stew.
Pre-heat the oven to 225’C.
5. Put the peppers and tomatoes into a casserole dish or other oven proof pan with a lid.
6. Add the oil, paprika, 1 tsp salt, pepper and bay leaves.
7. Bake for 1 hour without the lid, check after 30 minutes that it’s not catching on the bottom, if it is, add a splash of water and cover with a lid.
8. Once the peppers and tomatoes are really soft, add the chickpeas and stock.
9. Cook with the lid on for 20 minutes, then remove the lid and cook for a further 20 minutes to thicken the sauce.
10. Add the rice to a saucepan with 300ml cold water and 1 tsp salt, cover and bring to the boil.
11. Reduce the heat and simmer until the water has dissolved and the rice is cooked.
12. Add the lemon zest and most of the parsley to the rice.
13. Serve the stew alongside the rice and sprinkle over the remaining parsley.
Also by Katharine: Vegan Zucchini and Roasted Lemon Pasta
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Photo: Katharine Hopkins