My Hearty Indian Chicken & Chickpea Stew is a delicious one pot meal that easily satisfies all of your senses in one little bite. When the weather outside is chilly, this protein packed dish will keep you warm & cozy ☺.
The addition of Puy lentils adds a lovely gourmet touch to the dish. Puy Lentils are small deep green colored lentils from France. These prized lentils are famous for their delicate peppery flavor & also their unique ability to hold their shape after prolonged cooking times. When cooked, these lovely little lentils have a wonderful soft creamy texture. Puy lentils are healthy & nutritious, they are high in fiber while also low in fat. You can find Puy Lentils in large specialty markets & grocery stores but feel free to substitute any lentil of your choice to make this tasty soup.
HEARTY INDIAN CHICKEN & CHICKPEA STEW
½ lb boneless/skinless chicken, cut into ½” size pieces
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
3-4 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1” piece of ginger, roughly chopped
2-3 dried red chilies (to taste)
2 bay leaves
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp turmeric (haldi)
½ tsp red chili powder, to taste
½ tsp ground coriander powder
1 tsp ground cumin powder
pinch of smoked Spanish paprika
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
salt & pepper, to taste
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp Puy lentils (or you can use whole masoor dal), soaked in water for 30 minutes
½ cup Indian vermicelli, broken into pieces
1 large tomato, roughly chopped & pureed
4-6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 tbsp all purpose flour (maida) + ½ cup stock
1 cup cooked chickpeas
juice of ½ lemon
2 tbsp oil (vegetable or canola)
freshly chopped cilantro leaves for garnish
freshly chopped mint leaves for garnish
First, grind together the garlic and ginger in a smooth paste using just a little water. Set aside until needed.
In a soup pot on medium high heat, add the oil. When hot, add the onions and sauté until just lightly browned. Next, add in the dried red chilies & the bay leaves. Let cook for a minute or so and then add in the garlic/ginger paste. Stir until fragrant, then add in the spices (ground cinnamon, turmeric, red chili powder, ground coriander powder, ground cumin powder, paprika, nutmeg, salt & pepper). Mix well & let the spices cook for a few minutes. Now add in the tomato paste and let it cook for 2 minutes before adding in the Puy lentils and vermicelli. Stir and let cook for 3 minutes before adding in the chicken pieces. Mix well to coat the chicken pieces evenly with all of the spices & aromatics. Let cook for 5 minutes and then add in the pureed tomato along with enough stock to just cover. Whisk together the flour with the stock and stir this into the stew. Bring to a gentle boil, cover, reduce the heat to low and let simmer for 20 minutes or until the chicken is tender and the Puy lentils & vermicelli are cooked. Lastly, stir in the chickpeas and lemon juice, cook for another 5 minutes. Garnish with the cilantro & mint leaves, serve with toasted naan or pita wedges.
Feel free to add you favorite vegetables to the dish such as carrots, fennel, baby potatoes, celery, butternut squash or pumpkin, baby spinach….
Try adding some freshly chopped dill or chervil to this dish for an subtle earthy taste. For a decadent version, add a pinch of saffron.
For a creamier version, substitute 2 cups of stock with coconut milk.
This recipe can also easily be made using a slow cooker if you wish.