Moroccan Chickpea, Lentil & Tomato Stew Served with Roasted Sweet Potato & Chickpea Dosa
This recipe was written as part of Operation Come Home’s “Poor Chef’s Competition”: chefs were asked to prepare a dish for $3.15 plus a maximum of 3 items that would easily be found in a food bank cupboard, to help raise awareness of the reality of youth homelessness in one of our local communities.
Writing this recipe in 2016, the year of the pulse, this seemed the sensible way to go with the recipe. The chickpeas & lentils provide protein and are a good way to make a filling meal while stretching your food dollar. The dosa is a whimsical touch that makes it fun to eat, and yes even as adults we can eat with our fingers. The vegetables are the variable part of the whole adventure. Go to what I lovingly refer to as the Island of Lost Vegetables, a.k.a. the marked-down vegetable cart. Use your imagination & have some fun! You can also use tinned or frozen veggies in a pinch.
For The Stew:
1 medium sweet potato
1 small onion, peeled & finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled & finely chopped
1 cup red lentils (green are fine as well, the stew will just have to simmer longer)
1 28 oz tin chickpeas
1 28 oz tin chopped tomatoes
2 cups of chopped mixed vegetables (e.g. zucchini, mushrooms, carrots)
4 tsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp Moroccan spice (recipe follows)
In a pot large enough to hold all the vegetables, heat 2 tsp of the oil on medium heat. Add the onions & garlic. Cook until soft and they smell good. Add the lentils, vegetables and spices and stir well, then add the tomatoes & chickpeas & stir well. Simmer for 30 minutes on medium heat, stirring often.
While the stew is cooking, wash the sweet potato & prick all over with a fork. Rub with 1 tsp of the oil and place on a plate, then microwave it on high for 10 minutes. Remove from the microwave and cut in half lengthwise (careful it’s hot!) Heat a small frying pan with 1 tsp of the oil. Place the sweet potato cut side down into the pan, and cook until nicely browned, about 3-4 minutes.
Remove to a clean plate, cut side up. Spoon the stew over the sweet potato & serve with the dosa.
For The Moroccan spice:
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp salt
One tsp ground black pepper
¼ tsp cayenne
½ tsp smoked paprika
Mix all together and reserve until needed.
For the dosa:
1 C chickpea flour
½ C all-purpose flour
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 ½ tsp Moroccan spice
1 ¾ Cs water
1 tbsp butter, melted
2 tsp vegetable oil
In a bowl whisk together the chickpea flour, all-purpose flour, baking soda, Moroccan spice, and salt. Add the water and melted butter, and mix well to combine. Preheat an 8” non-stick skillet over medium heat. When the skillet is hot, brush with a little oil. Pour about a half-cup of batter into the centre of the skillet, tilting the pan until the batter evenly covers the bottom of the skillet. When the edges begin to peel backand the dosa begins to brown (about 3- 4 minutes), use a spatula to flip it over and cook for about 10 seconds. Transfer to a clean plate. Repeat until you have used all the batter (you should have 4-6 dosa).