Sourdough & Stew from Central Asia [F&F]

Sourdough & Chickpea Onion StewWhat fun it was to be asked to choose the recipes for the first part of May for the Flatbread & Flavors groups! I admit, part of me wanted to suggest the ceviche recipe that is mixed into the Mexican food recipes. But honestly, I don’t think I will ever really enjoy ceviche from any other country except for Peru.

I looked through recipe after recipe wondering what my picks would be. There were several that jumped out at me immediately and some that I instantly turned the page. I narrowed it down to a few and then tried to think about what I would most enjoy eating. That was when I settled on the Turcoman Sourdough Bread from Turkmenistan and the Chickpea and Onion Stew from Tajikstan. The sound of fermenting goat milk over a couple days to develop a delicious sourdough and stewed chickpeas are both recipes that I thought would be tasty.

Sourdough & Chickpea Onion StewPlanning ahead, I made a trip to the organic market since goat milk is not readily available in the grocery stores. The sponge was made, but not left alone for the entire 48 hours. We were scheduled for a water outage and I couldn’t fathom kneading dough without the ability to later wash my hands. So, I made the bread after about 36 hours of fermentation. It came out as an incredibly soft dough that truthfully had the strong hint of cheese. As for the stew, I soaked the garbanzos and stewed them with the spices, tomatoes and onions.

Unfortunately, the bread that I made had the “same old problem” as always – they stuck to the paper that I placed the dough on to prevent sticking. Ugh! The parts that I salvaged tasted…okay. I guess when I heard the word “sourdough” I thought it would be a delicious sourdough boule, like the ones you buy on Pier 39. Funny that was in my mind since the book itself is based on flatbreads, right?

The stew was really a delicious blend of flavors that I do truly enjoy. That I will probably make again.


Chickpea & Onion Stew

Yield: Serves 4

Source: Adapted from Flatbreads & Flavors


  • 2 cups chickpeas (cooked or canned)
  • 1 teaspoon red chile flakes
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 cups broth
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 purple onions, sliced thinly
  • 3 Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons salt


  1. In a medium pot, combine chickpeas, red chile flakes, cumin powder, cinnamon and broth. Bring mixture to a boil; lower heat and simmer about 15 minutes.
  2. While the chickpeas are cooking, heat the oil in a skillet and add onions. Saute over medium heat until browned, stirring gently.
  3. Add onions to the chickpea mixture along with tomatoes. Simmer together about 30 minutes. Add salt to taste.

Gretchen Noelle

My love of food was cultivated early on by my family but has come alive while living in Peru. During the 12 years of living in Lima, Peru, I have also enjoyed numerous trips to other areas of the country. Here on Provecho Peru you will find Peruvian recipes in English, American favorites prepared overseas, news about Peruvian Cuisine and interesting tidbits about life in Peru.

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7 Responses

  1. Natashya says:

    Wonderful! I need to get my hands on some goat milk – I can’t wait to make this!
    Great choice – really different than anything I have made before. The fermentation is intriguing.

  2. That’s funny about the boule and this being from a flatbread book 😉 I’ve caught myself doing the same.
    This looks wonderful. I can only hope to cook this meal.

  3. What a tasty looking and exotic sounding stew!

  4. Elizabeth says:

    This really does look seriously good, Gretchen. And I’m thinking that if when I get some goat’s milk to make this bread, I may just turn it into a boule anyway. Who cares if they say it’s supposed to be flatbread?!

    (I remember reading somewhere – where WAS it?? – that any yeasted bread dough can be shaped in any way desired.)

  5. Cathy says:

    Thanks for choosing this combination Gretchen! It tasted great! I had never used goats milk before. I liked it in the bread.

  1. December 27, 2012

    […] 10. Sourdough Stew from Central Asia […]

  2. November 2, 2014

    […] Chickpea and Onion Stew on Provecho Peru […]

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