Digaag Quimbe

I picked this recipe this week because it was simple and from a cuisine I don’t do very often. I have done a few African recipes, mostly North African. Digaag Quimbe is an East African recipe for coconut yogurt chicken. I found a recipe for this from Bon Appetit. While this is a chicken stew that has tomato, diary and meat, I can make a few slight changes to make tomato, dairy and meat free. I do think this will make a wonderful stew regardless this time of year. It’s getting colder and a warm stew will hit the spot. Another thing I noticed with making a recipe vegetarian is that 20g of protein is hard to hit every time. However, I do hit 15g every time. The protein level is still good, just not as good as animal protein.

Here are the original stats:

Here’s what I changed:

  • I deleted the tomatoes and replaced with pumpkin puree.
  • I replaced the yogurt with plain coconut milk yogurt.
  • I replaced the chicken thighs with tempeh to make it vegetarian.
  • I reduced the olive oil to 2 tablespoons to reduce the calories.
  • I increased the amount of red bell pepper to increase the vitamin C.
  • I added lentils for protein.

Here are the updated stats:

Here is the final recipe:


Digaag Quimbe

Serves 8

  • 3 red bell peppers, seeds and membranes removed, coarsely chopped
  • 2 jalapeños, seeds removed if you want less heat, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespooons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 1″ piece fresh ginger, peeled, finely chopped (about 1 Tbsp.)
  • 1 Tbsp. curry powder
  • 1 Tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground turmeric
  • ¼ tsp. ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup coconut milk plain yogurt
  • 1 Yukon Gold potato, peeled, cut into ¾” cubes
  • 1 carrot, peeled, cut into ¼”-thick coins
  • 2 7.5 ounce packages tempeh
  • 3/4 cup brown lentils
  • 1 14-oz. can light coconut milk
  • 3 Tbsp. ghee 
  • 1 cup cilantro, coarsely chopped, plus whole leaves for serving
  • Steamed rice and/or spinach (for serving)
  1. Blend bell pepper, and jalapeños in a blender or food processor until almost smooth; set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a large pot over medium. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add ginger, cumin, curry powder, turmeric, and cardamom; season generously with salt. Cook, stirring, until very fragrant, about 1 minute. Add reserved bell pepper mixture to pot and stir well to combine. Stir in yogurt, cover pot, and simmer 10 minutes. Add potato and carrot and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are nearly tender, 15–18 minutes.
  3. Add tempeh, lentils,  coconut milk, ghee (if using), and 1 cup cilantro. Stir to combine, then simmer until lentils are tender and sauce thickens, about 20 minutes.
  4. Divide among bowls. Spoon tempeh, vegetables, and sauce over. Top with cilantro leaves.

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