Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Gradually add polenta, stirring constantly with a whisk. Reduce heat, and simmer 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; stir in butter. Cover and set aside.
While polenta cooks, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; sauté for 3 minutes. Add lemon juice, cumin, black pepper, chickpeas, and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 6 minutes. Stir in the green onions. Serve stew over polenta. Top with sour cream.
Delicious with a few flavor enhancers like a TB of tomato paste and a tsp. of anchovy paste, as well as some diced gold bell pepper and zucchini in with the onions. I actually prefer this with Italian seasonings rather than cumin; I add oregano, thyme, fresh basil (skipping the cumin, sour cream, and green onions), and stir some Parmesan or goat cheese into the polenta. I also like to make polenta with stock (or at least 50% stock) for richer flavor. But the recipe is a fine base to work from. Oh, and fire-roasted tomatoes really rev up the flavor too!
Not much spice but I like the tartness of the lemon -- did add more cumin and added some garlic salt, chives, cayenne, and a tiny bit of red pepper flakes. I have a lot left over so will see if it improves with age.
For the utter simplicity of this dish, it is very satisfying and tasty. I doubled the cumin and made a longer cooking polenta (Bob's Red Mill--about 30 minutes to the consistency I like. I also subbed 1 cup chicken broth for 1 cup water.) The lemon and sour cream contribute a lot of the good flavor, don't skimp on either one. I will make this again.
Wow - I really, really loved this dish! I made a few minor additions, taking into account one reviewer's comment about it needing more seasoning. I had some vegetable broth on hand, and used 1 cup of it instead of one of the four cups of water for a little additional flavor in the polenta. I also sprinkled a little salt into the polenta, as well as the onion/garlic phase of the sauce. I tasted it with only those minor modifications and thought it was fantastic. The sour cream added a lovely richness and I found all of the other flavors to be in balance. Then I added some cooked shrimp and cilantro on top, for fun. Yummy!
This is a great recipe. I used already cooked polenta (the rolls you find near the cous cous) and heated it in a saute pan. I also forgot to pick up the green onions but had chives and it was a good sub but will try with the onions next time. This is a great veg meal for Meatless Mondays. I also cut it in half, really easy.
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