Indian Chickpea Ragout With Vegetables

"A very healthy and fresh tasting ragout by way of Julie Sahni. Delicious with some naan or pita on the side. If you can find Greek yogurt, all the better. And if you are watching calories, non-fat yogurt is just fine."
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Ready In:




  • Combine the cilantro, cucumber, red onion and yogurt and mix well; place in serving bowl and refrigerate until needed.
  • In a large sauté pan, heat the oil over medium high heat, and add the cumin, fennel, pepper flakes, coriander and onion and sauté until the onions are lightly browned, about 8 minutes.
  • Add ginger, zucchini and bell pepper and mix well.
  • Pour 1/3 cup of water over the vegetables, cover and reduce heat to low and simmer about five minutes.
  • Fold in the chickpeas and the tomatoes and increase heat to medium high and cook uncovered until the ragout is heated through and the sauce is thick, about five minutes.
  • Season with salt to taste and generous sprinkle of freshly ground pepper.
  • Serve ragout garnished with the cilantro yogurt mixture.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Very nice. I also halved the fennel seed and upped the cumin, for my taste preferences. I used a 400 gm tin of diced tomatoes and no water. I really like the yogurt too, it is just how I like raita to be. Thick not runny. Yum! Could add more vegetables if you like, we used a couple asparagus that needed using up. Thanks
  2. Having read the previous reviewers comment about the heat, I started off with 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes and adjusted at the point where the chickpeas and tomatoes (fresh and paste), eventually adding the whole amount. For me, it was not the heat but the amount of fennel that needed some tweaking. The fennel flavor was so strong, I could barely taste the cumin or vegetable flavors. The addition of the raita like topping tamed that flavor a bit but I wanted the ragout to stand more in balance on it's own. I really enjoyed the combination of vegetables included, but found the cooking times were a bit off. By the time the sauce developed a bit, the zucchini and peppers were a tad bit mushy. Next time, and there will be one, I will cut the cooking time in Step 4 to just 2 minutes and add the 3 minutes to Step 5. This last thing is really very minor and did not stop any of us from enjoying the meal.
  3. Wooha, that's hot stuff! I put in half of the red peper flakes called for in the recipe, and by the end of a serving I could breathe fire. However, with the amendment of much less red pepper, I will gladly make this dish again. The crunch of the fresh veggies, and soothing mushiness of the chickpeas and the cooling creaminess of the yogurt mixture make for a very pleasing dish. Even my meat loving other half agrees we can do this again.


<p>I have always loved to cook. When I was little, I cooked with my Grandmother who had endless patience and extraordinary skill as a baker. And I cooked with my Mother, who had a set repertoire, but taught me many basics. Then I spent a summer with a French cousin who opened up a whole new world of cooking. And I grew up in New York City, which meant that I was surrounded by all varieties of wonderful food, from great bagels and white fish to all the wonders of Chinatown and Little Italy, from German to Spanish to Mexican to Puerto Rican to Cuban, not to mention Cuban-Chinese. And my parents loved good food, so I grew up eating things like roasted peppers, anchovies, cheeses, charcuterie, as well as burgers and the like. In my own cooking I try to use organics as much as possible; I never use canned soup or cake mix and, other than a cheese steak if I'm in Philly or pizza by the slice in New York, I don't eat fast food. So, while I think I eat and cook just about everything, I do have friends who think I'm picky--just because the only thing I've ever had from McDonald's is a diet Coke (and maybe a frie or two). I have collected literally hundreds of recipes, clipped from the Times or magazines, copied down from friends, cajoled out of restaurant chefs. Little by little, I am pulling out the ones I've made and loved and posting them here. Maybe someday, every drawer in my apartment won't crammed with recipes. (Of course, I'll always have those shelves crammed with cookbooks.) I'm still amazed and delighted by the friendliness and the incredible knowledge of the people here. 'Zaar has been a wonderful discovery for me.</p>
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