This is a dish I made for the first time years ago. I remember the day very well. It was a fall day and I was in the middle of creating this, what turned out to be incredible stew, when I received a phone call from my parents. They were in the area so I invited them over for lunch.
This was probably the first time I had my parents over to one of my apartments for a meal. The dish was a bit spicy for my mom which of course means my dad loved it.
I used some hot sauce that I had from my favourite roti restaurant in Montreal which some of you may know. It’s called Caraibe Delight and is on Parc avenue just north west of Villeneuve. If you don’t know it I highly recommend you go check it out. My personal favourite is the chickpea potato roti with pumpkin.
I have made this dish a couple times since then but always with that incredible hot sauce. Since most of you, including myself, don’t usually have this magic spicy sauce on hand I thought I would try making it without so that everyone can enjoy this deliciously sweet and spicy warming stew. Great on a fall or winters day.
The spiciness of this dish will depend on the type of hot pepper and how much of it you decide to use. So adjust spiness to your personal preference. It doesn’t have to blow your socks off but some people like it that way. If you follow the recipe I used here it will be medium heat.
Sweet Potato and Butternut Squash Stew
2 teaspoons coconut oil
1 large onion, chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1 medium butternut squash, peeled, de-seeded and cut into chunks
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunk
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed (2 cups)
1 large tomato, cut into chunks
6-7 big leaves of swiss chard, roughly chopped
sea salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups of water, or more if needed
optional: chopped fresh cilantro for garnish
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp Turmeric
2 cardamom pods, just the seeds
1 cinnamon stick
1 whole dried chili, finely chopped
In a large pot or Dutch oven, over medium-low heat, combine the coconut oil, onion, garlic and ginger. Stirring often sauté for 5 minutes until onions are soft and translucent. Add some sea salt and black pepper.
In a mortar and pestle grind all the spices together. If you don’t have one you can always just add the spices directly without combining them first. I just feel that by grinding them a little first you liven up the flavor a little. Sauté for 3-4 minutes. Add a couple tablespoons of water if the mixture is too dry at this point to prevent it from burning.
Add the carrots, sweet potato and butternut squash to the pot and stir for a couple minutes to mix everything together and coat the veggies with all the spices.
Add the water to the pot. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
Add the chickpeas and tomato. And cook for 10-15 minutes. The longer it cooks for the softer the potatoes and squash will be. Some will even start to breakdown which is fine by me.
Add the swiss chard. Mix well. Cover and cook for 5 minutes or just until the chard has reduced in size enough.
Can be served on it’s own or with rice, couscous, crusty bread etc.
Garnish with chopped cilantro if you like.
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