I find inspiration for recipes in a lot of different places, but one of my favorite places to find them is from Bon Appétit’s test kitchen series on YouTube. They are funny, informative, cover a variety of cuisines, and new videos come out all the time. In fact, just a few days ago I watched a new video from them. This one featured Hawa Hassan and her recipe for digaag qumbe. Digaag qumbe is a Somali yogurt-coconut chicken stew. In the video Hawa uses a large dutch oven to prepare the stew, so we used a Clay Coyote Dutch Oven. What better way to start off fall than a dutch oven recipe?
That video goes pretty fast, so here is a link to the test kitchen video where you can see the process at normal speed. Hawa notes that the great thing about this recipe is that in can be made with pantry staples. We definitely found that to be true. We had all the spices on hand, and were able to use some of our Loon Organics CSA veggies to prepare the dish. Here is the link to the recipe again so you can check what you have on hand already and what you’ll need to pick up.
The first step is to prepare the base to the stew. We used an immersion blender to blend the tomatoes, bell pepper, and jalapenos, leaving some chunks in the mixture. Set the base aside for later, and now it’s time to move to the stove.
Get the oil heating in the dutch oven, and then add the onion and garlic. Cook for about five minutes, stirring frequently. Once the onions and garlic have begun to soften, add ginger, cumin, curry powder, turmeric, cardamom, and a generous amount of salt. Let this cook while continuing to stir for about a minute. Once the spices are very fragrant, add the tomato base and stir well. Then stir in the yogurt and tomato paste, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.
Next, add the potato and carrot. Cook another 15 minutes or so while occasionally stirring. Once the potato and carrot is starting to get tender, add the chicken, coconut milk, and chopped cilantro. Let the stew simmer until the chicken is tender and the sauce has thickened. This should take about 20 more minutes. Season to taste with salt.
As Hawa notes in the video, this stew is traditionally served over rice and with a whole banana. She likes to serve it for herself on a bed of spinach as well. We went the traditional route, and I’m glad we did. The combination of the warming, spicy stew with the creamy banana was amazing and not something I ever would have thought to do on my own.