Swiss chard with chick peas and tamarind
This recipe is inspired by Yotam Ottolenghi. His recipe, which is in Plenty, one of his fabulous books really appealed to me – it married 3 of my favourite ingredients. Obviously I needed to fiddle about with the recipe as I find it impossible to follow a recipe ingredient for ingredient. Taste is so subjective – so all changes are to suit my take on the overall flavour.
I gave version one of my recipe to my friend Tess to taste. She loved it, but then recreated her own version. Below is my version with suggestions of how to “fiddle” about with the recipe to create your version. Enjoy……
4 tbsp seedless tamarind
350ml boiling water
400g swiss chard (stems and leaves), cut into 2 – 3 cm slices
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 tsp whole caraway seeds
1½ tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp tomato paste
400g tinned chopped plum tomatoes
1½ tbsp caster sugar
1 tbs pomegranate molasses (optional)
400g cooked chickpeas (I prefer cooking my own chick peas rather than tinned as they have more of a crunch)
2 tsp whole coriander seeds, roasted and ground
1 tsp whole cumin seeds, roasted and ground
Salt and black pepper
Zest and juice of 1 orange
- Mix the tamarind with the water to create a thick paste.
- Heat the oil in a thick bottomed saucepan, add the caraway seeds and cook gently for 1 minute.
- Add the onions and sauté until translucent.
- Add the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the chard and coat with the onion mixture, add the tomatoes and tamarind. Bring to a gentle simmer.
- Add pomegranate molasses, sugar, ground spices and chick peas. Place lid on pan and gently simmer for around 30 minutes.
- Season and add orange juice and zest – taste, add more seasoning including sugar and ground spices if required.
This keeps for up to 5 days in the fridge and reheats really well.
Serving suggestions: great with rice or couscous with preserved lemon.
Accompaniments: delicious with a gammon steak (cook the steak in the stew), likewise with a chicken quarter , lamb steak or salmon steak; roasted squash or aubergine.
Additions and substitutions: Some cooked butternut squash would be great in the stew; instead of caraway seeds try fennel seeds, or leave both out; at the end add some chopped parsley and or coriander (this was the Tessism); stir in some thick Greek yoghurt; drizzle with olive oil or pumpkin oil if you have any.