It’s my favorite time of year, FALL! This year, Fall will be a completely different experience for me. My husband and I moved to Indianapolis a few months ago from Texas so we will actually experience Fall. Right now, it’s still 90 degrees in Texas. There was a cool front a few weeks ago and the temperature dropped to the mid 60’s, which meant it was time for hot chocolate and soup (this is how people from Texas are when it’s 60 degrees)! Stew and soups fill me up and can easily be made Weight Watcher friendly. My Indian Chickpea Stew is divine. Indian spices mixed with chickpeas and butternut squash in a stew. Hearty, comforting, low fat and low calorie, rich with decadent flavor! This is a Weight Watcher friendly recipe and each serving is only 6 SmartPoints!
I really love Indian food… curry, tikka masala, you name it! Despite what you may think, Indian food isn’t spicy, it just has a lot of spices. I remember the first time I tried Indian food. Side note: I love food so much that I distinctly remember specific meals I’ve had in my life. Going back to when I was a kid… Very vivid memories of how a dish or food tastes and specifically where I was when I ate it. This is probably why I became a foodie and started this blog :).
I was so nervous and scared to try Indian because it was exotic to me. I grew up in a suburb and there was NO Indian food restaurants. I really had no idea what Indian food was. I went to college just outside a big city in Texas where there was a plethora of Indian, Mediterranean, and Asian restaurants. College is when I started to explore different foods and try new cuisines. Sometime in college, my friend took me to an Indian restaurant. I had no idea what anything was on the menu so I let her order my meal, Chicken Tikka Masala. Before the meal came, they brought naan with dipping sauces. That’s when the Indian food love started. Naan is so good y’all! Crispy yet fluffy flat bread coated in garlic served with cilantro sauce. YUM! The Chicken Tikka Masala was divine and I still order this dish today when I go to Indian restaurants. Moist chicken tossed with a creamy tomato sauce. Now I’m hungry! Another main reason I love Indian food so much is because a lot of the dishes are vegetarian. I mentioned a while back that I was vegetarian a few years ago, so whenever I need a break from meat, I usually turn to Indian food.
The base of a lot of Indian dishes are several spices: cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, pepper, cumin, coriander, turmeric, and nutmeg. Doesn’t sound spicy right? All of these spices mixed together are divine. I have a lot of these spices in my pantry at all times plus curry powder and garam masala. Garam masala is a blend of all the spices I just listed. I liked to have this on hand to save time so that I don’t have to make my own spice blend. Garam masala is the main spice of this dish so if you are unable to find it in the spice section of your grocery store, I’d recommend buying it on Amazon (that’s actually what I had to do!)
This stew is pretty low maintenance and simple to make. The main ingredients to this stew are chickpeas, butternut squash, tomatoes, and spices. Once the veggies are diced, sauté onions and garlic in some oil until the onions are translucent. Next add the spices and sauté for a few more minutes. I like to cook the spices for a few minutes before I add in the liquid to this stew. Cooking the spices first really helps open up the flavors of the spices and adds a richer spice to the stew.
After the spices have cooked for a few minutes, add the chickpeas, butternut squash, liquid, and that’s it! Bring to a boil then cover and simmer for 45 minutes. This stew can be made in a dutch oven on the stove OR using a crock pot. The longer the stew cooks, the better the flavor. I recently bought a cast iron dutch oven, that’s right A CAST IRON DUTCH OVEN! It’s perfect for stews and soups because the whole pot heats up quickly and retains the heat very well. Plus this pot helps cook whatever is inside a lot faster than a regular large pot.
Indian Chickpea Stew is unique twist on vegetable stew. Delicious Indian spices mixed with hearty vegetables is comfort in a bowl. This stew is great for anyone who is a beginner to Indian food (or an Indian food lover at heart). The spices are sweet with just a hint of spice. I like to serve this over basmati rice, topped with a dollop of Greek yogurt and cilantro. The yogurt makes the sauce rich and creamy. Oh, and bread of course!
I hope you enjoy these bites of flavor!
For Indian Chickpea Stew, here are my “go-to”kitchen essentials: