Saffron & Mint Chickpea Stew

Soups & Stews are my favorite things about winters. The thought of getting a chance to spend hours in front of the stove coupled with an aroma that fills up the house as spices simmer drives me nuts (in a good way). With nip in the air finally knocking here, I was thrilled while I made season’s first batch of stock & soup few days back followed by this slow cooked chickpea stew.

Store bought stocks & soups never excite me, I m the kind of girl who is crazy about fresh ingredients even if it requires heading an extra mile to get those. Can you believe that I have never bought canned chickpeas or any other beans for that matter? Nothing against them, but having grown up seeing mom soak the beans overnight, boil them next day & then use them in her recipes, even with ready-to-use options available here, I never feel like harnessing them.Somehow..

Anyhow, coming back to the recipe, bean based stews are best options for me when wanting to eat light as well as comforting. Few of you might have already guessed that this stew is heavily inspired by classic moroccan flavors – saffron, cumin, mint & black pepper make it hearty and add the required warmth for the winter season. Saffron & turmeric combined with chili powder is what gives it the lovely yellowish-golden color, nothing less than sunshine during those cold evenings. This is the kind of food, which is perfect for this time of year when I want to curl up in a blanket and watch a movie while eating.Donâ€t be bogged down by the long list of ingredients, they are mostly available in your pantry 🙂 The stew is incredibly healthy (no meat/less oil) and will leave you satisfied to the tee…trust me

We eat it more as soup with crusty bread than as main dish. For those reasons, I like to keep the gravy slightly thinner (so that we can slurp). However, this can very well serve as a main dish with rice or flatbreads. I particularly like to add starchy  (root) vegetables to this recipe coz those pair up delicious with chickpeas. Choose the veggie (s) you like (carrots, butternut squash, sweet potatoes etc ). The recipe does not need any baby-sitting while it cooks in. And like ALL stew recipe, I need not mention that leftovers tastes all the way better..try it!

Printable Recipe

Ingredients (Serves 2-3)

If using dried chickpeas: –

  • 1 cup dried chickpeas, soaked in 3 cups water overnight or at least 8 hours & drained
  • 2 cups water for boiling the chickpeas
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp oil

Note: – Skip the above step if using canned chickpeas and substitute with precooked ones.

  • 2 medium potatoes, cut into 2″ cubes
  • 3 tbsp mustard / olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1″ cinnamon stick
  • 2-3 cloves
  • 4 cloves garlic, grated
  • 2″ fresh ginger shoot, grated
  • 1/2 tsp each fennel, coriander seeds, black peppercorns, lightly pounded in mortar pestle
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1.5 tbsp red chill powder (adjust to tolerance)
  • 2 large roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt, slightly sour
  • 2 tsp saffron dissolved in 1/4 cup luke warm water
  • 5-6 fresh mint leaves, chopped fine
  • 2 Thai green chilies, finely chopped (optional)
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • Salt to taste
  • Chopped Cilantro/Mint leaves for garnish

Method: –

Boil the soaked chickpeas in 2 cups water + 1 tsp salt + 1 tsp oil in a pressure cooker or in a covered pot until 90% tender. If using a pressure cooker, cook on medium-high for approximately 10 minutes & 2 whistles. If using a covered pot, on medium-high heat, this should take 30-35 minutes. Note: – Chickpeas come in all sorts of sizes; the time that I have given is for the small beans.Once boiled, drain the chickpeas & set aside. Reserve the water & mix it thoroughly with yogurt. Set aside.

Heat oil on high in a 3-quart Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot (with lid). When oil gets smoky, add chopped onions, cinnamon, bay leaves & cloves to the pot. Sauté for about 6-8 minutes or until the onions are translucent but not browned. Next, add ginger, garlic, pounded fennel, coriander, black peppercorns and cumin to the pot.Cook for about 30 seconds or till you start smelling the spices. Reduce heat to medium and add the turmeric & chili powder next along with chopped tomatoes. Cook, stirring occasionally, until you see oil separating on sides of the pan. About 8 minutes.

Next, add the potatoes, boiled chickpeas to the pot along with yogurt mixed with water. Check the salt (remember that chickpeas were boiled in salted water) and adjust. Also depending desired gravy consistency, adjust the water in the pot. As a thumb rule, water should be enough to cover the contents as they cook. Cover the pot and let come to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low & let cook till potatoes and chickpeas are tender. About 12-15 minutes. You will need to occasionally stir.

Just when the potatoes & chickpeas are fork tender, add the saffron dissolved in water along with chopped mint & green chilies (if using). Cover and let simmer for another 8 minutes. Remove from heat & add lemon juice. Garnish with chopped cilantro or mint leaves.Serve over couscous, rice or with bread.

Enjoy & Thanks for Stopping by!

61 thoughts on “Saffron & Mint Chickpea Stew

  1. Did you read my mind….I just soaked chickpeas for tomorrows lunch 1 hour back ! What better way can i use my soaked chickpeas than to try out this wholesome recipe !! Thanx a ton 🙂

  2. Stews are my favorite in the winter, too. I love the flavors and spice in this recipe.

  3. Choc Chip Uru – Hi all! I love to bake. Can't really explain it any more concisely! Let's get some facts right before you start reading 1. Savoury is not really my thing - sorry! 2. I am obsessed with chocolate And with that, welcome to 'Go Bake Yourself'
    Choc Chip Uru on said:

    This looks amazingly fresh and delicious! I live being Indian (even though all I do is bake :P)
    You give me inspiration!

  4. The soup looks so comforting!!! I just can’t wait to try this out. And I don’t care even if summer has started in my part of the world 🙂

  5. Tanvi – You are on your way to convince me to start using fresh chickpeas. I usually use other fresh beans, but never with fresh chickpeas for some reasons. I think I give in to laziness too easily when comes to certain dishes. This is a fabulous recipe. Hope it doesn’t change much of the taste if I exclude saffron from the recipe. Saffron costs an arm and a leg here!

  6. Angie@Angie's Recipes – Angie's Recipes is an interactive blog dedicated to sharing yummy & creative recipes, helpful cooking hints and tips. Enjoy your visit and spread the word!
    Angie@Angiesrecipes on said:

    Looks so flavourful and tasty!

  7. Love the clicks.Got some chickpeas in hand would love to brave this though I don’t have saffron.Wonder there’ll be any change in the taste..

  8. Stews and soups are definitely my favorite thing about the weather getting colder! This stew sounds so incredibly tasty! I used to use canned beans all the time but now I’m exclusively a dried beans girl…I like the texture better when I make them myself!

  9. I love stew, even in non-winter days 🙂 This stew is light and hearty at the same time!

  10. Me too, when I think about winter, definitely soups and stews gives me nice comforting feelings and even right now before winter, I sort of look forward to it (but then I complain later how cold it is haha). Your chickpea soup look very delicious and you know how much I love your photos! 😉

  11. Anna Johnston – Canberra – “I am a Fun Loving, Adventure Seeking, Enthusiastic, Super Positive Aussie Gal & creator of The Hospitality Guru! I’m a Chef, a Teacher, Trainer, Functions, Wedding & Event Architect; General Manager & all round Nice Girl who loves nothing more than great food paired with wonderful wines & beers.”
    Anna Johnston on said:

    Gorgeous, I’m with you Tanvi. The smell of slow cooked stews and soups warm the very core of you. We are heading into Summer here which is fantastic. Salads, stirfrys… It’s my fav time of year. 🙂

  12. Sawsan Abu Farha @ Chef in disguise – Http:// – In love with the Middle Eastern culture and cuisine. Sharing easy authentic Middle Eastern recipes is my passion
    thefooddoctor on said:

    I love the morrocan spices in this and I totally agree with you, there is nothing like a comforting stew to make a day right
    loved that picture with the mint twig 🙂

  13. this sounds delicious! And I love the golden colour the saffron gives. I’m all for bean stews, cheap simple and yummy! this is another one to add to my must-trys.

  14. Kiri W. – Ohio, United States – 27; German living in the U.S. (forgive any English mistakes); Molecular Biology and Microbiology Grad student about to defend for my PhD; food obsessed; lost 105lbs; happily married to my American wife; owner of a tortie cat.
    Kiri W. on said:

    Sounds perfect for this time of year! Thanks for sharing.

  15. I don’t like canned soup at all.. they are there for extreme worst situations at home and canned beans never .. just don’t like the idea.
    This soup looks lovely and a very interesting way to add the flavor combination!

  16. This soup stew looks delicious and comforting, chick peas are one of my most favorite beans. Hearty and healthy.

  17. Asmita Bapat kakodker – Tampa ,Fl – I am a home maker who takes great pride in my kitchen as I love to cook and bake. My passion for baking started a about a year ago and once the bug bit me there was no stopping me. I find baking very relaxing and best of all I love to see people around me enjoying the treats I have made. My baking recipes are all by my favorite food network star Ina Garten. I look upon her as my "Guru". As for my cooking it's a mix of recipes I have collected over the years from family and friends, books and the internet. These recipes that I have been making for years and everyone's favorite. I hope you enjoy them too.
    Asmita on said:

    I love soups at this time of the year too. So satisfying and a wholesome meal. The chickpeas do look yum. I like to add a little “sev”( the one they use for bhel-puri ) on top and eat it with bread.

  18. This looks so good–just the kind of wholesome food I crave during fall/winter. Comfort in a bowl!

    Hope you and your hubby have a beautiful Diwali, Tanvi!

  19. So making this on Friday night! I have to be out in the cold on saturday morning and i need this when I get back during lunch! I will use shortcuts though if it is ok:) canned chickpeas and tomatoes:)

  20. I’m one of those that is happy to buy preboiled chickpeas….but never ready made soups! I was kind of worried when I saw that long ingredient list but the method is fairly simple!

  21. Hi I am a big fan of store bought stew.:-) I never ever make it from scratch. But your recipe does inspire me!! Chickpeas with a lot of spice, I am sure it’ll be very comforting nutritious meal for this winter. However, I need to omit the chilies for my kid.:-)

  22. Lovely words, Tanvi! This looks simply breath-taking. I’m always in love with the combination of spices that you use into your recipes. And this chickpea soup just stole my heart 🙂 Have a great week ahead!

    HUGS <3

  23. Chickpeas are my FAVORITE! And I know I am going to love this dish, Tanvi! You just know what I love to eat ;-). However, I am guilty of eating garbazo beans straight out of the can on those days I just have to have some chickpeas in me.

  24. Your soup look gorgeous, as always! I have a confession- I’ve only ever used canned chickpeas. I’m ashamed to admit it- next time I’m going to start with dried and soak them. You’ve inspired me!

  25. I agree, homemade soup is always the way to go. Much better than store-bought. Soups and stews are my favorite during the winter, too. Just warms ya up inside! This looks absolutely delicious, Tanvi. x

  26. Totally agree – I can’t stomach store-bought soups. Something just tastes “off” to me. I’d love to have this along with a toasty, crusty bread for dipping. Perfect, no matter the season!

  27. Catherine – I am the owner, manager and author of the popular food & lifestyle blog, Living the Gourmet. With the intention of 'making traditional and exotic cuisines simple', I have set out to promote only the best ingredients for easy, home-cooked meals that anyone and everyone can enjoy. Living the Gourmet showcases a variety of cuisines and cooking techniques. There is always something new to discover and enjoy!
    Catherine on said:

    Dear Tanvi, I found your delicious blog through Rosa. I love these recipes!! I just know I would thoroughly enjoy each dish that you have prepared. Beautiful blog. Blessings, Catherine xo

  28. Lia – I am a food and recipes lover that is obsessed with food, cookery books and kitchen gadgets and I am always trying and testing new recipes and experimenting new ingredients.
    Lia on said:

    It looks so delicious and appetising :)))!!!

  29. Soups and stews are such great comfort foods during colder weather. I am with you on using fresh beans, the flavor is incomparable 🙂 Gorgeous recipe!

  30. Pingback: Onion and chickpea fritters

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