Spicy chicken, mung bean and chickpea stew is one of my favorite “nourishing” recipes. I do this as a version of my Chicken Curry and it sustains through the cooler months and is repeat requested by family and friends! It’s also a great dish when you have a gathering or puja happening.
Dried Bird Chile Peppers pack a serious punch and are the perfect way to amp up a curry or stew. You should be able to find them in most markets or substitute your favorite spicy peppers.
A slight cautionary note – I always use plastic gloves when handling these little beauties because they are HOT. HOT. Like will make you feel crazed if they happen to get into a nail bed or small cut on your finger. The dried ones are not as tough to handle and one option is to grind them in a food processor and make your own chili flakes which is what I did. The cure for hot pepper burn on your hands can be found here. It’s my special Hungry Goddess formula (as in from experience where I ran around crazed from pepper burn).
I start this recipe (and my curry recipes) by braising chicken thighs. I like to get a nice crispy outside to the chicken thighs, even though they are skinless. Then I immediately go into a liquid-y slow cook mode. For those of you who use slow cookers, you can adapt this easily, I am sure. I just use a nice big pot on top of the stove. Mung Beans can be found in most supermarkets or check your local Indian grocery if you have one. If you cannot specifically find Mung Beans, substitute lentils.
You can serve this alone or with brown rice, quinoa, freekeh or your favorite grain. I almost always use Quinoa – the Mother of all grains. Here is my recipe to Make Perfect Quinoa. Naan bread is also recommended for scooping up every delicious bite. To keep it vegetarian, skip the chicken and add another can of chickpeas, 1/2 cup of mung beans, and use vegetable broth.
Enjoy this as a tribute to all of our nourishing Goddesses!
- 1 pack of 4-6 skinless (bone-in) chicken breasts
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 1/2 to 1 Dried Bird Chile Peppers – processed to rough powder or flakes
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 – 4 tablespoons of curry powder (Whole Foods has a good one & I get mine from the Indian Market)
- 1 cup of uncooked, split mung beans (rinsed)
- 1 (15-ounce) cans garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed
- 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth (have more on reserve if needed)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Yogurt or coconut milk is optional but recommended
- fresh parsley or cilantro for garnish
Heat oil in pan over medium to high heat. Season chicken thighs with curry, salt and pepper and place in pan. Brown on both sides. Lower heat to medium and add the onions and garlic. After a few minutes, add broth, tomatoes, curry and chile flakes. Bring to a low boil. Then add chickpeas and mung beans. Turn the heat to low and cook (stirring occasionally) for at least an hour or until the mung beans are cooked through. I usually leave it on the stove for 2-3 hours.
Cook with your palate – taste the spice level and use additional liquid, yogurt or coconut milk at the end to control the heat. I throw in a little butter because I like the flavor and layer it brings to this stew and curry dishes. Add more curry or turmeric or whatever spices will make the dish pop for you. You can add additional liquid to thin the stew and reach the consistency that you prefer. I find by the end that the chicken is falling off the bones so I remove the bones right before serving.