Slow-Cooker Curried Chickpea Stew
Vegetarian recipes are particularly difficult to prepare in a slow cooker because delicate vegetables and beans have a propensity to fall apart and lose their flavor if simmered long and slow. We wanted to develop a robustly flavored, thick-textured stew based on chickpeas, perhaps the most resilient of legumes.
Why This Recipe Works
We quickly accepted that dried chickpeas were a must for our slow-cooker curried chickpea stew recipe (canned beans fell apart) and that they needed to be soaked overnight before cooking; unsoaked chickpeas didn’t soften enough in the time it took to cook the stew. We laid a base of flavors for the stew using a combination of onions, carrots, tomatoes, and a whopping 2 tablespoons of curry powder. While most slow-cooker recipes eschew any sort of precooking (simply dumping everything into the cooker and simmering for hours), we knew that sautéing the aromatics would be a must in this instance for a satisfyingly deep flavor. We considered adding a thickener, like cornstarch or tapioca, to the broth in our slow-cooker curried chickpea stew, but in the end we simply pureed a portion of the cooked soup and returned it to the soup.
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