Savory Winter Curry
One-pot meals have always been a favorite of mine because they are so easy, a real blessing for busy people: just chop a few things and throw them in the pot and then all you have to do is stir it once or twice while it makes itself into dinner.
This colorful and nourishing stew combines high-fiber garbanzos, creamy potatoes, green pepper, celery, mushrooms, and onions simmered in a warming curry sauce. A big pot of it bubbling on the stove is one of my favorite winter pleasures: it just fills the kitchen with warmth and delicious fragrances, reminding me of the ancestors who cooked up nourishing meals in big iron pots over the fire.
1 cup dry garbanzo beans
Vegetable broth to cover soaked beans
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 medium red potato, scrubbed and cubed
1 medium turnip, cubed
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 teaspoon basil
salt and freshly-ground black pepper to taste
1. Soak garbanzos overnight and drain. Cover with vegetable stock, add cumin seeds, and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cook 2 1/2 hours. Add cubed potato and turnip, curry powder, and paprika, and cook for 45 more minutes. Add more stock for moistness as needed.
2. In a saucepan, heat olive oil over medium high heat and add celery, onion, and green pepper. Saute 5 minutes, until vegetable are slightly softened. Add tomatoes, mushrooms, basil, salt, and pepper and simmer another 5 minutes, then set aside.
3. When beans, potato, and turnip are softened, add tomato mixture, stirring well to combine, and continue to cook until heated through.
4. Serve hot, with a loaf of crusty wholegrain bread, if desired.
Serves 4 to 6.
By Cait Johnson, author of Witch in the Kitchen, (Inner Traditions, 2001).