I’m always on the lookout for new and interesting vegetarian recipes that make a perfect comfort food meal.
My oldest daughter does not eat meat, but she loves stews and soups, so this recipe is great for when she is home and needs something hearty and wholesome.
This quick chickpea stew is filled with ingredients the whole family loves. The best part about it is that I always have most of the ingredients readily available in my kitchen pantry and fridge: canned beans, onions, garlic, carrots, and vegetable stock are usual staples in my home.
What’s different about this recipe is that the broth is thickened by a creamy mixture of egg yolks and yogurt.
Another unique flavor feature is the saffron, with its subtle floral taste and aroma gently infusing the stew. If you always want to have a taste of luxury at home, learn how to grow your own crocus plant at home on our sister site, Gardener’s Path.
Serve with a side of homemade pita bread for a comforting meal that will be sure to nourish you, body and soul!
Cooking by the Numbers…
Step 1 – Prep the Ingredients
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Measure the olive oil, brown rice, vegetable broth, yogurt, and saffron. Drain the cans of chickpeas.
Step 2 – Saute the Vegetables
In a medium-sized stockpot, heat the olive oil. Saute the onions and garlic until slightly softened and translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add the carrots and continue to sauté for a few more minutes.
Step 3 – Simmer
Add the chickpeas, rice, and vegetable stock. Pour in one cup of water to ensure all the vegetables are fully submerged before cooking.
Bring to a boil. Cover the pot, reduce the heat, and simmer for an additional 15 minutes.
Step 4 – Prepare the Egg and Yogurt Mixture
In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks together. Mix in the yogurt and saffron until completely incorporated.
Take a cup of the hot liquid from the pot and add it slowly to the egg and yogurt mixture as you constantly stir with the whisk. Once combined, slowly add the mixture back into the pot.
This process is called tempering. Learn more about this cooking technique to master it perfectly!
Step 5 – Temper and Thicken
Continue to cook the stew for about 5 more minutes while stirring constantly. It should start to thicken and look creamy.
Step 6 – Serve
Once the stew has thickened and the rice is soft, it’s almost ready to eat! Season to taste with salt and pepper, ladle into individual bowls, garnish with cilantro and paprika, and serve.
A Silky Soup with Plenty of Veggies and Flavor
This hearty chickpea stew is so fast to make – an ideal vegetarian meal to feed the whole family on a busy day.
I can just throw the ingredients in a pot after a long afternoon of running around with the kids. It really is just that simple.
I happen to keep saffron on hand – it’s expensive, but it’s worth it. If you’ve never had a dish flavored with saffron, you’re in for a treat.
And if you’re hungry for another Mediterranean-inspired dish (and one great for carnivores), give our Moroccan lamb, veggie, and lentil stew a try – for a classic meat-lover, also try our one-pot beef option.
Need more recipe inspiration to use chickpeas? If you love crunchy snacks, make our recipe for spicy and smoky roasted chickpeas. Handfuls of crunchy goodness!
How do you like to use chickpeas in your meals? Ever cooked with saffron before? Share your stories in the comments below.
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Photos by Nikki Cervone, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published July 5th, 2015. Last updated: December 31, 2019 at 5:20 am. Additional writing and editing by Nikki Cervone.
*Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Jennifer Swartvagher
Jennifer is an experienced journalist and author. Her work has been featured on TODAY Parents, The New York Times Blog, BlogHer, Scary Mommy, and scores of other parenting and cooking publications.