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Under 30 Minutes

Easiest Indian Stew

A thick vegetarian stew made from pantry staples, such as rice, spices, and canned chickpeas, is enlivened with a bit of yogurt and lime. Curry powder, an Indian blend of spices, is a timesaving source of layered flavor; ground ginger brings a quick dash of citrusy warmth.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4
Easiest Indian Stew

Source: Everyday Food, December 2008


  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, such as safflower
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder, plus more for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3 cups homemade or best-quality store-bought tomato sauce
  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, plus lime wedges for garnish
  • 1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt


  1. Cook rice according to package instructions; cover, and keep warm.

  2. While rice is cooking, heat oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add onion and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until onion is tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Add curry powder and ginger; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.

  3. Add tomato sauce, chickpeas, and 1 1/2 cups water. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in lime juice; season with salt and pepper. Serve stew with rice and yogurt, garnished with lime wedges and a pinch of curry.

Cook's Note

Sauteing the ground spices in oil for a minute releases their aroma. Chickpeas, also called garbanzo beans, have a mild, nutty flavor.

Reviews (24)

  • hgmaciver 8 Feb, 2014

    Not very flavorful; I agree, it calls for too much liquid and not enough flavour/spice - I had to take out some of the tomato sauce. Also, using tomato sauce made it taste more like chickpeas in tomato sauce, rather than an Indian curry.

  • BlooperSquid 30 Jul, 2013

    It turned out great! I followed these recommendations: only 1/2 cup water, 4 cloves of garlic and more curry powder (at least 1+1/2 tbsp). Will definitely make again.

  • CarrieNorth 4 Jan, 2013

    Made this dinner last night and thought it turned out OK; my husband felt the flavor wasn't spicy enough, and I thought the sauce wasn't thick enough. I definitely agree with other reviewers that more spice would make a difference, and definitely do not add the 1 1/2 cups of water. A 1/2 cup would be plenty, and shouldn't dilute the listed spices.

  • LovetheUK 23 Apr, 2012

    Fabulous, fast and easy! What could be better? My husband and I found the spices a little timid, so we upped the ante with 1Tbs hot curry and 1Tbs mild curry. Also four cloves of garlic instead of 2. Paying heed to other reviews only used 1/2c of water and it turned out perfect! Two yums up!

  • ShanaandCo 10 Oct, 2011

    This is good and so healthy. I love that it uses pantry staples so it's something you could make short notice. My best friend makes it often and her picky 11 year old vegetarian devours it. I'm upping the nutrients tonight with brown rice. Next time, I think I will put the garbanzos in with the oil and spices awhile. I want them to have a nuttier, roasted taste. I ended up with quite a lot of liquid and ended up thickening near the end, but no problem. This will be great as leftovers, too.

  • cftest99 18 Aug, 2010

    This was easy to make.... but not very interesting

  • katielicht 2 Aug, 2010

    pretty good! I added a box of frozen chopped spinach, just to add some more vegetables. I also used 2 cups of plain tomato puree instead of tomato sauce. Next time I might add more spices, but overall this dish was well received.

  • jmgilman 23 Mar, 2010

    Well, it was easy. Didn't like it, but I didn't hate it either. Just - well, it just "was." Not sure what wasn't quite right. Too much tomato I think. Don't believe I'll make it again.

  • marthaobsessed2 17 Feb, 2010

    I didn't use "best-quality store-bought tomato sauce" in my dish, but I was very disappointed with the overall outcome of the stew.

    If I were to make the dish again I would replace the tomato sauce with canned tomatoes and coconut milk. Yum, sounds good just thinking about it!

  • jgrig335 8 May, 2009

    I thought it was good, but it made a ton. Two of us ate it for dinner and there were leftovers for at least three more meals.

  • flickchick 7 Mar, 2009

    This was edible and cheap, but hardly compares to any other Indian food we've made. It tasted like tomato sauce with chickpeas in it, and I did use all the ginger and curry powder. We will likely not make it again.

  • optic747 24 Feb, 2009

    Some people have commented that this recipe resulted in a lack of flavor. I used Penzey's curry and ginger and Hunt's tomato sauce. I thought the results were really delicious. I might use 1/2 cup less water next time because even though this says it will be thick I think I like mine even thicker.

  • optic747 24 Feb, 2009

    Some people have commented that this recipe resulted in a lack of flavor. I used Penzey's curry and ginger and Hunt's tomato sauce. I thought the results were really delicious. I might use 1/2 cup less water next time because even though this says it will be thick I think I like mine even thicker.

  • catherine495 18 Feb, 2009

    Just made this for dinner. We love it! I used brown rice, but followed the recipe for everything else. Easy, budget friendly, healthy and delicious. Keeper!

  • mintsnapple524 16 Feb, 2009

    this recipe needs more flavor! we added double the amount of curry powder and a tsp of chili powder, but this just made it *okay*.... definitely edible, but we probably won't be making it again...

  • kimsstuff 12 Feb, 2009

    It needed more flavour so I added 1/2 tsp tumeric, 1 tsp chili powder, 1/4 tsp cinnamon and 1 tbsp brown sugar and it turned out great!! garnish with cilantro too!! YUM!

  • LastMouse 5 Feb, 2009

    In answer to nomadisc3's question about brown rice, absolutely! I've made it with brown rice, white rice and my own saffron rice. You just want a brown rice with a very fluffy texture.

  • LastMouse 5 Feb, 2009

    This is right up there with spaghetti now as my go-to cupboard meal when I really want something delicious but am too tired to cook anything complicated. The smell is heavenly too! The only perishable items are the yogurt and the lime juice. You could probably even just buy a bottle of that and keep it on hand. It reheats the next day nicely, too. Ignore the part about best quality sauce, its unnecessarily intimidating. I just used my normal old Healthy Choice spaghetti sauce and it was like a charm.

  • katyaflutes 23 Jan, 2009

    Loved this and super easy. This is really flavorful - and perfect spiciness. I was a bit worried that it wouldn't match up to great Indian food but honestly, this was more amazing than I ever expected it would be. Also, I used home made tomato sauce which probably helped.

  • RaeW 21 Jan, 2009

    This meal was even better the next day. Be sure to leave your stove vent on the entire time while cooking, otherwise your whole house will smell of curry.

  • Ligu 17 Jan, 2009

    Incredibly easy! One tip: use decent quality tomato sauce and shy away from one with a lot of Italian seasonings. I made this with some cheap stuff from my pantry and the oregano/basil flavor was really overpowering. I would definitely make this again though.

  • nomadics3 10 Jan, 2009

    Could this be made with brown rice?

  • jcasbon 17 Dec, 2008

    Very good flavor. Easy to make. Good meal for bringing lunch to work.

  • omall004 3 Dec, 2008

    This was, as described, quite easy and fast to make. The flavor was good--I got a bit carried away with the lime juice (didn't measure it) and it turned out a bit sour and had to add a tiny bit of sugar to compensate--but that was my fault. Definitely tasty and would make it again, and it is even suitable for my vegan friend (minues the yogurt). This has the added bonus of being a great recipe for the budget-minded cook--definitely easy on the wallet.

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