As the family chef, a visit to my Mum and Dad’s house usually involves me doing the cooking. That’s fine by me as I get to play around with recipes in a low-risk environment, as they’ll still eat what I cook – even if it hasn’t quite hit the mark yet!
What does present a challenge is some of the random ingredients to be found in Mum and Dad’s pantry. Whilst my Dad tends to be a plain-foods, eat-what-you-know kinda person, my Mum manages to fill the cupboards with all sorts of unfamiliar foods that she’d ‘like to try’. What this actually means is ‘get Helen to cook with’.
So this is how I found myself dreaming up a dish for you guys using harissa paste and pomegranate molasses. I’d never cooked with either before, but together they bring a wonderful spicy sweetness to a veggie and tomato stew, which I rounded out by adding smokey chipotle paste and creamy tahini. It’s delicious if you pair it up with cornbread and chopped avocado, but it also goes great with rice.
NB: Regular readers will know how much I hate food waste, so don’t worry, I’ll be working on some other dishes with these ingredients again soon!
- 1 Tbsp oil of choice
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 750g sweet potatoes, chopped into chunks
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- 2 tins/800g of chopped tomatoes
- 2 Tbsp harissa paste
- 2 Tbsp chipotle paste
- 2 Tbsp pomegranate molasses
- 1 tin/400g (drained weight 240g) of black beans, drained and rinsed
- 3 Tbsp tahini
- 2 tsp maple syrup
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1 bag/200g spinach
- A handful of coriander, roughly chopped to garnish (optional)
- Heat the oil on a low heat in a large pan and add the onion. Cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add the sweet potatoes and red pepper, turning up the heat.
- After a couple of minutes, add the tinned tomatoes, 100ml of water, harissa, chipotle and pomegranate molasses.
- Bring to the boil, then simmer, covered, for 30-40 minutes, until the sweet potatoes are tender.
- After 20 minutes, stir in the black beans.
- When the veg is almost ready, stir in the tahini, maple syrup, paprika and spinach, making sure the spinach wilts.
- Serve garnished with the chopped coriander (if using).