Seafood stew with chickpeas and saffron

Ingredients to serve 4

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cinnamon stick

1 teaspoon each cumin seeds and fennel seeds

Three-quarters teaspoon salt, or to taste

1 small onion, sliced

4 garlic cloves, crushed

1 tablespoon grated (peeled) fresh root ginger

2-4 green chillies, finely chopped

1 teaspoon turmeric

400g can chopped tomatoes

A large pinch of saffron

300g white fish fillets, cut into large bite-size pieces

200g mixed fresh (prepared) seafood (such as mussels, king prawns and squid rings)

400g can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

Chopped fresh coriander, to garnish


Made entirely with low fat omega-3-rich seafood and plant proteins, this is probably one of the healthiest stews you will come across. Ocean-fresh seafood, saffron and tomatoes weave their magic by imbuing creaminess into this warming and satisfying stew. Chickpeas add their own texture, and a richness more associated with heavier meat stews, which contrasts pleasingly with that of the seafood. It's ideal for midweek suppers when you want something fast and easy to prepare but still crave an ample meal.

Pour the olive oil into a deep saucepan, add the cinnamon stick and cumin and fennel seeds and cook over a low-medium heat until the seeds start to pop – this should take no longer than 2-3 minutes. Add the salt and onion and fry until the onion is light brown in colour, remembering to stir frequently – this should take no more than 5 minutes.

Stir in the garlic, ginger and chillies and fry for 1-2 minutes or until the garlic is a light brown colour. Sprinkle in the turmeric and cook for about 20 seconds. Add the tomatoes and saffron and cook for about 10 minutes or until the excess juices in the saucepan have dried off. Remember to keep stirring occasionally.

Add 400ml boiling water to the pan, return to a simmer, then leave to simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes, stirring from time to time.

Stir in the fish, seafood and chickpeas and return to a simmer. Cook over a gentle heat, uncovered, for 5 minutes or until the seafood is cooked through.

Garnish with the chopped coriander and serve with your choice of sides.

From Indian Superfood by Gurpareet Bains (Absolute Press, 12.99). Photograph by Lara Holmes