Updated: Dec 14, 2020
This rich and delicious Persian-inspired stew takes only 15-20 minutes to make and requires only a few simple ingredients (except for the dried lime!). Serve with rice, bread or cous cous.
· 1 small white onion
· 2 cloves of garlic
· 1 tsp cumin seed
· 2 tbsp tomato puree
· 1 dried lime
· Small bunch of celery (leaves too if you have them)
· 1 tsp stock power or one stock cube
· Butter, vegan butter or olive oil (designed for cooking)
plus salt and pepper
1. Toast the cumin seeds in a dry pan for 30 seconds, or until fragrant. Grind slightly with a pestle & mortar (if you have one), otherwise leave whole.
2. Dice the onion finely. Sauté in a little fat and a pinch of salt until soft and translucent (about 3 minutes). Using a solid fat (butter or vegan butter) will add a richness to the stew but olive oil for cooking is fine too. Crush the garlic cloves and add these while cooking the onions.
3. When the onions are cooked, add 2 tablespoon of tomato puree. Cook for a few minutes until it darkens in colour. Scrape the bottom of the pan if it starts to stick to stop it burning.
4. Add the toasted cumin seeds.
5. Add 500g water to the tomato puree and stir through.
6. Cut 1 dried lime in half and add to the stew.
7. Roughly chop the celery into 2-inch sticks. Wash well and add the stew. Add the leaves too if you have them.
8. Add 1tsp of stock powder or a crushed stock cube.
9. Simmer (with the lid on) for 10 minutes until the celery is soft. Add more water if necessary.
10. Discard the garlic and dried lime.
11. Add salt and pepper if needed and serve the stew.
This stew only uses celery, but any vegetables, beans, lentils or leafy greens can be added to bulk it up.