While it’s traditional to serve stews like digaag qumbe with a whole banana (get ready for a delicious study in hot-cold, savoury-sweet contrasts) and white rice, Hawa likes to put her own spin on the dish—as all of the women in her family do—by switching in fresh spinach.
3 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped (about 6 cups)
1 red bell pepper, seeds and membranes removed, coarsely chopped
2 jalapeños, seeds removed if you want less heat, coarsely chopped
½ cup 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 cup plain yoghurt
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 Yukon Gold potato, peeled, cut into ¾" cubes
1 carrot, peeled, cut into ¼"-thick coins
2 lb. skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1" pieces
1 14-oz. can coconut milk
3 Tbsp. ghee (optional)
1 cup cilantro, coarsely chopped, plus whole leaves for serving
Steamed rice and/or spinach (for serving)
Blend tomatoes, bell pepper, and jalapeños in a blender or food processor until almost smooth; set aside.
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 tomato mixture to pot and stir well to combine. Stir in yoghurt and tomato paste, cover pot, and simmer 10 minutes. Add potato and carrot and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are nearly tender, 15–18 minutes.
Add chicken, coconut milk, ghee (if using), and 1 cup cilantro. Stir to combine, then simmer until chicken is tender and sauce thickens about 20 minutes. Season with salt.
Divide rice among bowls. Spoon chicken, vegetables, and sauce over. Top with cilantro leaves.
Watch the preparation video below: