This vegetable stew is creamy and crunchy, and comes together in under 30minutes.
It lends itself to adding a range of vegetables (especially a combination of softer and crunchier ones) and proteins, whether vegetarian, vegan or not.
In this case I went for some soy “chicken” fillets cut into small bite-sized pieces, which I added at the same time as the onion.
Some (real) chicken thigh or pork loin would’ve been a great too (for non vegetarians).
Don’t attempt it with beef or lamb cuts suitable for stews because these need a few hours of cooking to tenderise the meat, and this vegetable stew should be cooked quicker or the vegetables will turn to mush!
If you wanted to go for tofu or tempeh instead, perhaps add this at the last 5 minutes of cooking the stew rather than at the beginning.
A poached or fried egg served over the stew when plating would work too.
- 1 onion, finely diced
- A protein of choice: (soy/real) chicken, pork loin, tempeh, tofu, eggs…
- 1 aubergine, cut into small cubes
- 2 small broccolis, roughly chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 1 tbsp of coriander seeds, ground
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- Chilli powder to taste
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, crushed
- 1 tbsp peanut butter
- 1 tbsp tomato concentrate paste
- 1 can of coconut cream
- A range of toppings:
- Something creamy, like an avocado diced into bite-sized pieces
- Something fresh, like a finely diced spring onion
- Something tangy, like some grated hard cheese
- Something crunchy, like spiced nuts- I coarsely blitzed toasted almond with a bit off garlic and curry powder
- Salt and butter
Melt some butter in a pot deep bottom with a lid – I used a heavy cast iron pot
Sauté a finely diced onion for a couple of minutes over medium-high heat stirring occasionally until it begins to brown and get transparent.
If using chicken or pork cut into bite-sized pieces, you can add this alongside the onion.
Don’t add salt yet, to allow the onion to crisp and brown a bit first.
Next add the spices (coriander, paprika, chilli, garlic, ginger… or whatever you decide to go for) and stir for a few minutes to coat the onion well until the spices begin to stick to the pan.
Then add your vegetables. Fry these for a few minutes over medium high heat, stirring occasionally to combine and coat everything in the spices.
Next in is the peanut butter, tomato paste and coconut cream
You’re looking for enough liquid to almost cover the vegetable but not quite. I filled the coconut cream about 3/4 ful with water and added it too.
Now stir, scrapping the bottom of the pot with the spoon to really losen the charred and flavoursome spices that have stuck to the bottom, put the lid on, lower the heat to low, and simmer for 10-15min, stirring occasionally.
You want the vegetables to get soft but not mushy, so play with cooking times subject to the vegetables you use.
The stew should be thick and creamy, so you might need to add a bit more liquid, or take the lid off for a bit to achieve this consistency.
While the stew finishes cooking, prepare some toppings to add directly to your bowl.
Think of the toppings as the secret components that helps make each spoonful of stew different: creamy, fresh, tangy, salty, crunchy, spicy….
To serve simply ladle the stew into deep plates, and add the toppings in the order and quantities desired.