The stew is quite easy to make. There's a bit of peeling and chopping to do as prep, then it cooks for a long while relatively unattended, allowing the cook to do something else.
You start by frying asafetida and cumin seeds briefly, then adding dried red chiles. (As is often the case with Jaffrey's recipes, I used about half the oil asked in the recipe.) When the chiles darken, you stir in potato chunks. After a minute, stir in some eggplant chunks. After two minutes, stir in mushroom chunks. After two more minutes, stir in some turmeric and ground coriander. Then add tomato purée, water, salt, cilantro, and chickpeas. Simmer the stew until the veggies are done, 35 to 40 minutes. That's all there is to it.
I was a bit short on chickpeas and didn't want to open a can, just to use half of it, but this wasn't really a problem. In fact, the whole thing really seemed like a clean-out-the-pantry sort of dinner. I'm sure you could use bits of veg that need using up. Jaffrey gives instruction for adding okra. It seems that anything that has a shorter cooking time could just be added later.
The result was a yummy stew that we ate pretty much on its own, as a one-dish dinner. The recipe says it says four to six. I think four would be stretching it. Two of us had dinner and we'll have a mugful each for lunch one day soon, so it might serve three comfortably.
This post is shared with this week's I Heart Cooking Clubs.