This is a hearty, filling and well balanced one pot meal, perfect for rainy nights (like yesterday). Here’s praying and hoping that we have many more such nights and many such pots of stew to go with them. This is very versatile and can be made mostly with whatever you have at home, with a little bit of planning. Even the spices used can be changed. I have posted the recipe I used, and mentioned some of the possible tweaks at the end.
Any combination of the following vegetables, chopped into small cubes – 3 cups
Carrots, beans, sweet/baby corn, capsicum (green/red/yellow), zucchini, broccoli, green peas, potato, chow chow, sweet potato, pumpkin
Tomatoes, chopped into large chunks – 8-10
Coriander, chopped into one-inch pieces – 1/4 cup
Jalapenos – 3-6 slices, according to taste
Onions chopped into small pieces – 1 large
Garlic, chopped finely – 2-3 cloves
Amaranth – ¼ cup
Black beans, cooked – 1/3 cup
Cumin powder – 1 generous tsp
Paprika – 1 tsp
Bay leaf – 1
Oil (of your choice) – 1 tbsp
Salt – to taste
Blend the tomatoes, coriander and jalapenos well and set aside. In a large pot, take 1 tbsp oil and heat, then fry garlic and onion well. Add vegetables, saute for one minute and then pour in the blended tomatoes. Add amaranth and black beans and season with salt, jeera powder, paprika and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until amaranth and vegetables are well cooked. Remove bay leaf before serving.
Variations: This version of the stew uses Mexican spices; however, it can be changed according to your taste and convenience. Sone possibilities are:
– Replace amaranth with quinoa, any millet, pasta
– Replace black beans with rajma, channa, black-eyed peas
– Replace jeera/paprika/jalapeno/bay leaf with parsley/oregano/basil and chilli flakes
This is not exhaustive by any means and there are many more possibilities for flavour combinations. Use the vegetables, protein sources and spices you love and come up with your own take on this stew.