Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Potaje de Garbanzos • Chickpea Stew

Time to clear out the freezer. I found a ham bone, 1/2 a large Spanish chorizo, some frozen butternut squash and frozen green bell pepper... hmmmm.... check the refrigerator....onions, garlic, potatoes, carrots.... okay Chickpea Stew... check the pantry... oh noooo! No garbanzo beans. Easily resolved. Send the hubby to the market. Here we go.

1 lb dry garbanzo beans (chickpeas) soaked overnight
1 ham bone or two ham hocks
Spanish chorizo (whatever you have on hand be it 2 small links or one large one)
2 medium sized onions, chopped
1 bell pepper, quartered
1 bay leaf
1 can tomato sauce (8 oz)
6-8 garlic cloves, pressed
2 medium sized potatoes, quartered
1 carrot, sliced
3 to 4 cups worth of calabaza or butternut squash cut in large chunks
olive oil
salt to taste

The big question in all this is how much water to use, and since I eyeball all of it, I'll just tell you to fill a large pot with plenty of water, enough to cover all your ingredients (including the ham bone) and then some, you can always let it reduce by simmering uncovered or you can always add more water if  thickens too much. Just check it periodically.

Okay so on high heat bring your large pot of water to boil with the garbanzo beans, ham and bay leaf and a drizzle of olive oil. After  a few minutes this will start to foam, you can remove the foam with a slotted spoon. While this boils prepare your other ingredients. Now some people may want to sautee the onions and pepper and garlic and chorizo with the tomato sauce, but I just drop them in the boiling pot. So whichever way you prefer, go ahead and add the mentioned ingredients to your pot. You are going to have to let this boil on medium heat for about 2 hours (covered) after this time, check the tenderness of your garbanzos and the level of the water. Remove your ham or ham hocks at this time and pick off any meat that you may want to put back into the stew. If your garbanzos are still hard, you need to cook longer, if they are tender then go ahead and add your potatoes, carrots and calabaza (squash). Bring to a gentle boil, cover and cook for another hour or so.


  1. You can call it a stew, but this is one of my very favorite "potajes" (potaje with a "j" in Spanish; with a "g" in the original French). Anything with garbanzos has to be good and your recipe and the pics look just amazing. If you want to be REALLY Cuban, you eat it with arroz blanco (white rice) and half of an aguacate (avocado half being held in your left hand while scooping it out with the fork in your right hand as you eat it —if you are a left-handed person, I assure you the process can be reversed—). If you are a Spaniard, then you'll have it with a big chunk of fresh French or Cuban bread that you will tear with your fingers into bite-sized pieces and put them inside the potaje to absorb the liquid and eat it that way...You are making me hungry at this time in the morning! YUM! XOXOXOX

  2. Delicious, traditional/ typical/ authentic, healthy, nutritious and it looks freaken awesome!!!

    A touch of cumin or sweet smoked spanish paprika would be real good in there (but that's just cuz i like it and am used to having it in many stuff) but never the less your Potaje is still awesome just the way it is :)

    Here's my families version, we use a combination of potatoes, calabaza, and cabbage wedges or we cut napa into 4 sections like a large flower or savoy cabbage (in spanish called "col rizada")



    the method you use can be applied to any kind of bean and you'll get a good "Potaje" :)

  3. it can do without the carrot (I really only use carrot when I'm cooking lentils or when I can't get ahold of calabaza because I don't want to leave the house) but I understand you had to clean out the fridge, and heck carrots taste good lol. :)

  4. I love garbanzo beans! This stew is perfect for the upcoming cold weather. YUMMY. Cleaning out the fridge sometimes may seem like a chore,BUT that's when you can get creative with recipes. Me encanta!

  5. My husband prefers it thick; he adds rice, and I always serve it with bread out of the oven. I like it more as a soup without the rice. Either way it works for both of us.

  6. I'm back to tell you I was inspired to make a stew! ha, I will be posting it later!

  7. Que Rico!!! And coincidentally this is exactly what we had for dinner on Sunday!

  8. Just discovered your blog via Nathan's current post. I love to share with Latina/o bloggers. Like the idea of the calabaza in the potaje. And I love the photo of the dish of mussels in your other post.

  9. Foodalogue, thanks for stopping by. I just checked out your blog and it's terrific! Great pictures and recipes. I'll be stopping by frequently.

  10. My one year old loves garbanzos, I will make this recipe for him. Thank you for the recipe!!

  11. Thanks for stopping by Paula. You can substitute the chorizo for beef or chicken if you'd like. You can also make it vegetarian style.

  12. Maybe you guys can help me. My dad was a Cuban chef and growing up we ate amazingly well. There was this stew he made but I have no idea what it's called. It had chorizo, ham, cabbage, carrots, garbanzo beans, and some other stuff I can't remember. When I was a teen I asked him what it was called but he simply called it Potaje. Any Cubans here have any idea what this could have been?

    1. Norm, my mom used to make something like that and it's called "ajiaco". Hope that's what you are looking for.


  13. Norm, I tried to find something similar to what you describe. Of course, there are many ways to make "potaje." I found this link. See if it looks familiar....

  14. Oh my, every recipe I've read so far for potaje de garbanzo mentions a different vegetable: calabaza, yuca, malanga, carrots, cabbage and potatoes. I guess it all depends on your present location and what ingredients you happened to have on hand at the moment. I remembered as a little girl my Cuban mom and my Spaniard abuela making this delicious potaje with calabaza, potatoes and cabbage. My husband does not like calabaza and what I have handy right now is yuca and potatoes. So I will be cooking with these two vegetables. My garbanzos already soaked overnight... Bon appetite😃💃