RECIPE: Multitask your way to a 30-minute chickpea stew

Chickpea Carrot Stew with Fried Shallots.
(Chris Hunt for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Combined ShapeCaption
Chickpea Carrot Stew with Fried Shallots. (Chris Hunt for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Pulling off this recipe for a deeply savory vegan chickpea stew in just 30 minutes is all about cold-starts and multitasking.

You’ll need to have two pots going at the same time, but neither requires constant attention. In a large pot, combine chopped carrots, olive oil and a pinch of salt. In a second, small pot, top thinly sliced shallots with more oil. Place both over medium-high heat and let the vegetables heat up and slowly start to cook with the oil. This process may seem counter-intuitive, but since you’re not looking to sear the vegetables quickly, it is fine to start them cold and bring them to a sizzle gradually.

From there, the shallots don’t need too much attention. Once they start to sizzle, you’ll only need to stir them every minute or so to prevent them from sticking together. This leaves you ready to assemble the rest of the stew and let it simmer. Both the shallots and stew should be ready at about the same time.

A final tip: Be sure to strain the shallots through a strainer into a heatproof bowl so you can use the crisp shallots for garnishing and the flavor-packed oil for a boost of umami.

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Chickpea Carrot Stew with Fried Shallots
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounces carrots (about 4 medium), diced
  • Salt
  • 2 large shallots or 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 (14-ounce) cans chickpeas
  • 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
  • Optional: Chopped fresh cilantro, for serving
  • Coat the bottom of a Dutch oven or other large pot with olive oil. Add the carrots and a pinch of salt and cover the pot. Place over medium-high heat and let come to a rapid sizzle. Once sizzling, continue to cook the carrots, still covered but stirring frequently, until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
  • At the same time, place the shallots in a small saucepan. Add enough oil to come up just below the top of the shallots. Place over medium-high heat and let the oil come to a rapid simmer. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots are browned and crisp, 10 to 12 minutes.
  • Once the carrots are tender, uncover the Dutch oven. Add the cumin to the carrots and cook until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Add the chickpeas, along with their canning liquid and about a half of a can’s worth of water. Bring to a simmer and cook until the chickpeas are very soft and the stew is flavorful, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  • Strain the shallots through a fine-mesh strainer set over a heatproof bowl. Season the shallots with a pinch of salt, and reserve both the shallots and oil.
  • Use a potato masher to crush about half of the chickpeas and carrots to thicken the stew. Stir in the sherry vinegar and 1 tablespoon of the reserved shallot oil. Season to taste with salt.
  • Serve the stew topped with the fried shallots, a drizzle of the remaining shallot oil, and cilantro, if desired. Serves 4.

Nutritional information

Per serving: Per serving: 486 calories (percent of calories from fat, 46), 15 grams protein, 52 grams carbohydrates, 14 grams fiber, 26 grams total fat (3 grams saturated), no cholesterol, 944 milligrams sodium.
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