Spicy Chickpea Stew

26 Dec

spicy chickpea stew

This blog probably makes it pretty clear that I have a great fondness for simple and flavorful one pot meals. This particular stew is perfect for warming up on a cold winter night. Roasting the cauliflower and carrots adds a great sweetness, and the spices provide a nice heat (and delicious flavor). I’m typically hesitant when it comes to fennel (and I did cut back on the amount here), but I think it really adds a lot. I served this stew with a good dollop of yogurt on top (sour cream would also work) to cut the spiciness of the cayenne pepper and add an extra tanginess, but it is still quite tasty without this addition. You can also serve this on top of couscous or with some bread.

Spicy Chickpea Stew (adapted from The Kitchn)
Yield: 6 servings


  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into bite-sized florets
  • 2 carrots, cut into half moons
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 4 – 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp fennel seeds*
  • 1 Tbsp cumin seeds*
  • 1 Tbsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper**
  • 1 small (15-ounce) can + 1 large (28 – 32 ounce) can chickpeas
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 preserved lemon, minced
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • cilantro or parsley, minced

*You can also use ground fennel and cumin if that’s what you have around and/or if you don’t want the seeds in the finished stew.
**Adjust amount to your spice preference – I used 1 Tbsp which was extra spicy.


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Toss 1 head cauliflower, cut into bite-sized florets and 2 carrots, cut into half moons with 1/4 cup olive oil, then spread in a baking dish, and roast in the oven until tender and starting to caramelize.
  3. Meanwhile in a large pot or dutch oven, heat 2 Tbsp olive oil over medium heat, then sautee 2 onions, diced until translucent and starting to brown.
  4. Add 4 – 6 cloves garlic, minced, 1 1/2 Tbsp fennel seeds, 1 Tbsp cumin seeds, 1 Tbsp turmeric, 2 tsp cinnamon, and 1 tsp cayenne pepper. Sautee until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  5. Add 1 small (15-ounce) can + 1 large (28 – 32 ounce) can chickpeas and 4 cups vegetable stock. Let simmer.
  6. When the cauliflower and carrots are done, stir them into the stew along with 1 preserved lemon, minced. Simmer for 5 more minutes, adding water if needed, then taste, and add salt and pepper, to taste.
  7. Serve garnished with cilantro or parsley, minced.

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4 Responses to “Spicy Chickpea Stew”

  1. Heidi @ Food Doodles December 26, 2011 at 5:37 pm #

    That sounds delicious! I always need new ideas for cauliflower and I can’t wait to try this. Your picture looks really yummy 🙂

    • Claire December 26, 2011 at 5:54 pm #

      Thanks! Cauliflower is so versatile – and it’s great for you, too!

  2. Expat Gourmet December 27, 2011 at 8:32 am #

    Yum yum. I love chickpeas, though I normally use dried and soaked. I completely agree with your love of simple one-pot wonders.

    • Claire December 27, 2011 at 11:16 am #

      I bet using dried chickpeas would make this even better! I’ve had some bad experiences with dried beans (must’ve been really old because they stayed hard through hours of cooking, even though I soaked them overnight), but I know the texture ends up better so maybe next time I make this, I’ll try using dried chickpeas. Any tips?

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