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Makes 4 to 6 servings

3 tablespoons untoasted sesame oil or vegetable oil

½ teaspoon cumin seeds

½ teaspoon coriander seeds

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½ teaspoon turmeric

¼ teaspoon cayenne

1 2-inch piece of ginger, grated

6 small garlic cloves, minced

4 small hot red Asian chilies or Mexican chilies de árbol

1 large onion, diced, about 2 cups

Salt and pepper

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 cups delicata squash, unpeeled, in 1-inch slices, or butternut squash, peeled, in 1-inch cubes

1 cup parsnips, hard center core removed, in 1-inch slices or chunks

½ pound tiny potatoes, such as fingerlings, halved

2 cups small florets of cauliflower

1 cup cooked chickpeas, preferably home-cooked and the liquid reserved

Cilantro sprigs, for garnish

Steamed basmati rice (optional)

Apple raita (optional), see recipe below

1. Put oil in a wide, heavy pot over medium-high heat. When oil is wavy, add cumin seeds and coriander seeds and let sizzle for about a minute. Add turmeric, cayenne, ginger, garlic and chilies and stir to coat.

2. Add onion and season generously with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until softened and lightly colored, about 10 minutes. Add tomato paste and stir to coat. Add squash, parsnips and potatoes, salt lightly, then add 3 cups chickpea cooking liquid or water, or enough to just cover vegetables. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to maintain a brisk simmer. Cover and cook until vegetables are tender but firm, about 15 minutes.

3. Add cauliflower and chickpeas and stir gently to combine. Cover and continue cooking five to eight minutes more, until cauliflower is tender. Taste broth and adjust seasoning, then transfer to a wide, deep serving platter or bowl. Garnish with cilantro sprigs. Serve with steamed basmati rice and apple raita, if desired.

Apple Raita

1 cup plain whole milk yogurt

1 small tart apple, peeled and coarsely grated

1 teaspoon grated ginger

1 serrano chili, seeds removed, finely chopped

¼ teaspoon salt, or to taste

1 tablespoon untoasted sesame oil or vegetable oil

½ teaspoon black mustard seeds

½ teaspoon cumin seeds

1 garlic clove, minced

1. In a small mixing bowl, stir together yogurt, apple, ginger, chili and salt.

2. Warm oil in a very small skillet over medium heat. When oil is hot, add mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Let seeds sizzle and pop, then stir in garlic and let sizzle without browning.

3. Carefully add hot contents of skillet to yogurt and stir together. Let sit five minutes, then adjust seasoning. Serve at cool room temperature. (May be prepared up to several hours ahead.)

Makes about 1½ cups

David Tanis, The New York Times

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