Chard, Chick Pea, and Polenta Stew
from Ayurveda Today, Volume 25, Number 4, Spring 2013

Chickpeas for the SoupThis savory, kapha-balancing soup is a good transition food for the change of season between winter and spring. Chick peas, corn, and chard are all drying and will not aggravate kapha or pitta. While the carrots, garlic, and mustard seeds are warming for vata and the carrots and chick peas have a heavy quality that will help ground vata.

The sweet rasa (taste) of corn and chick peas as well as the sweet vipaka (post-digestive effect) of corn and chard help vata and pitta to digest this dish. Pitta and kapha types can enjoy this dish freely, while vata types should eat in moderation.


3 Tbs olive oil
1 tsp black mustard seeds
2 tsp fresh ginger, minced
1 small green or red chili, chopped (Use less for less heat.)
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp curry powder
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 large carrot, sliced thinly
7 cups chickpea cooking broth or vegetable stock
  Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup polenta
1 bunch chard, stems removed and leaves chopped
2 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (drain and rinse if using canned)

lime, sliced into wedges

  Cilantro, fresh, chopped

Prepare the Stew

In a large soup pot, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the mustard seeds and heat until they pop. Then add the ginger and chili, stir for 2 minutes. Add the powdered spices and stir until their fragrance ‘blooms.’ Add the onion and carrots and stir to coat. Let cook until the veggies soften, about 5-6 minutes. You may need to add a bit of broth to keep the spices from burning. Season with salt and pepper.

Pour in the broth or stock, increase the heat and bring it to a boil. Slowly add the polenta, stirring as you add to keep it from forming lumps. Lower the heat and let simmer for about 10 minutes. Stir regularly as the polenta may stick to the bottom. Add the chopped kale and stir thoroughly. Bring the pot back to a simmer and cook for about 10 more minutes. Keep stirring every few minutes.

The finished soup will be like a stew, rather thick yet still a little soupy. Stir in the chickpeas and taste for seasoning.

Ladle into bowls, sprinkle with cilantro, and squeeze a wedge of lime over each bowl.

Serves 6 as a main dish.

To Cook the Chickpeas

Use 1 cup of dried chickpeas. Wash the chickpeas in several changes of cold water. Cover with cold water and soak overnight.

Drain the chickpeas then cook in a 2-quart pot in 6 cups of water. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cover and leave the lid ajar. The chickpeas take about 45 minutes to cook.

When the chickpeas are soft, drain the cooking water into another container to use in the soup. Rinse the cooked chickpeas and set aside.


Doshic Notes

Vata :: eat in moderation
Pitta :: enjoy
Kapha :: enjoy


garbonzoes image © Alina Solovyova-Vincent,
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