This hearty mix of vegetables fills the house with delicious smells as it cooks. If you'd prefer to keep your okra looking green, steam it separately in the microwave just until tender, then stir it into the stew just before serving.
Yield: Makes 8 1/2 cups of stew
- For the spice paste
- 6 cloves garlic
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seed
- 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- For the stew and couscous
- 1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
- 2 cups no-salt-added vegetable broth (may substitute water)
- 14.5 ounces canned no-salt-added diced fire-roasted tomatoes, such as Muir Glen brand, with their juices
- 15 ounces canned no-salt-added chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 10 ounces frozen/defrosted okra, sliced (may substitute 1 1/2 cups sliced fresh okra)
- 1 cup dried whole-wheat couscous
- Hot pepper sauce, for garnish
- Cilantro leaves, for garnish
For the spice paste: Combine the garlic and salt in a mini food processor or spice grinder to form a coarse puree. Add the cumin seed, black pepper, ground ginger, allspice and oil. Blend for at least 15 seconds to form a paste. Transfer to a small bowl.
For the stew and couscous: Combine the sweet potatoes, broth, tomatoes and their juices, chickpeas, okra and all the spice paste in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat then stir and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and cook for 15 minutes, then uncover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring as needed, so the vegetables are tender.
While the stew is cooking, prepare the couscous according to the package directions.
Divide the cooked couscous among individual wide, shallow bowls. Spoon the stew over the top. Garnish with dashes of hot sauce and the cilantro leaves, if desired. Serve hot.
Adapted from Oldways, a nonprofit organization that promotes healthful eating and drinking.
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
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