This stew is my adaptation of a recipe from one of my favourite cookbooks, “The Happy Pear” by David and Stephen Flynn. It’s delicious flavours are drawn from the fennel and fresh ground cardamon and cumin seeds. A delicious winter warmer! I’ve included a thermomix version below too.
3 cardamon pods (or 2 tsp ground)
3cm piece of dried tumeric (or 1Tbs ground)
2 Tbs cumin seeds (or 1Tbs ground)
2 brown onions
3 garlic cloves
2 cm piece fresh ginger
2 medium eggplants, chopped into bite sized pieces
2 Tbs olive oil
3 Tbs tamari or soy sauce
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt
1 cup cooked black beans (or 1 x 400g can drained)
800g tinned chopped tomatoes ( 2 cans)
1 Tbsp rice palm syrup
small bunch of chopped fresh coriander
100g baby spinach
For regular saucepan users
- Put the cardamon, cumin seeds and tumeric in a dry frying pan and cook over medium heat for 2 mins. Grind using a pestle and mortar.
- Heat the oil in a large pan over high flame for about 2 minutes. Peel and chop the onions, crush the garlic and ginger and then add to the pan. Cook over a medium heat with the lid on for 5 minutes.
- Chop the eggplant and fennel into bite-sized pieces and add to the pan along with the tamari, paprika and cayenne pepper. Stir, then add about 1/4 cup of water and cook over a medium heat for 15 minutes.
- Stir in the ground cardamon, cumin and tumeric and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the rinsed beans, tinned tomatoes, rice palm syrup and salt, plus more water if the mixture starts to stick. Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer for 15 more minutes.
- Just before serving, stir through the coriander and spinach. Serve with mash potato, rice, quinoa, cous cous, or warmed flatbread!
For Thermomix Users
Put the cardamon, cumin seeds and tumeric in the dry TM bowl and cook 120C, reverse speed for 2 minutes. Allow to cool then mill on speed 9 minute and transfer to a clean bowl and set aside.
Without washing the TM bowl, add oil, onion, garlic and ginger and chop at speed 7 for 3 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and cook at 90C, reverse speed 1, for 5 minutes. Transfer to a large saucepan and continue to cook over a medium heat.
Follow steps 3-6 above. Meanwhile, use the thermomix to make some mash potato, or steamed rice or quinoa (I’ve prepared red quinoa here) according the TM basic recipe book!