As the days draw in and the evenings grow colder, I seek out comfort from my food. This recipe combines rich, warming flavours with store cupboard ingredients and is perfect for those on a strict budget in the run-up to Christmas. The chorizo can be substituted for sausage or bacon and once the stew is on, you can more or less forget about it for a couple of hours. Serve on a bed of steaming white rice with a glass of red, preferably in front of a roaring fire.
Chickpea, Chorizo and Coriander Stew
1 large white onion
200g chorizo, diced roughly
Large glass of red wine
1 tin Italian plum tomatoes
1 tin chickpeas
Bunch of coriander
3 tsp Paprika
Salt & Pepper
Start by gently frying the onion with the chorizo until the sausage starts to release its red oil and the onion turns translucent. Add in the paprika and half of the tinned chickpeas and turn up the heat. Once the pan is hot add in the wine and let it simmer for one to two minutes. Next, add in the tinned tomatoes and a tablespoon of finely chopped coriander stalks and give everything a good stir. Leave to simmer on a low to medium heat adding water if it starts to look too dry. After 30 minutes, add in the remainder of the chickpeas, more water and salt and pepper to taste and leave to simmer for another 30 minutes to an hour. I choose to add the chickpeas in two batches to create contrasting textures in this dish however you can of course add them all at the beginning, just be sure to reduce the cooking time slightly so that they don’t disintegrate.
Once the stew is starting to look thick and saucy, fill a mug with rice (perfect quantity for two hungry people) and pour into a separate saucepan. Rinse the rice 4 or 5 times with cold water until the liquid runs clear, then fill the pan with water so that it covers the rice by a good two inches. Add 2 teaspoons of salt and bring to the boil reducing the heat to a simmer and cook according to packet instructions (normally around 10 minutes). Once cooked, drain every last drop of water out of the rice and cover with a lid. This last detail is something my Indian grandmother insisted upon and it’s true that it gives rice a wonderfully fluffy texture.
Finish the stew by checking the seasoning and stirring in a handful of fresh coriander. Serve hot from the stove on the steaming rice.