Amigos, looking for a chilling winter night dishes? Olla gitana could be a brilliant choice for your fam today. Packed with smoky paprika, tender chickpeas, creamy beans, veggies simmered for hours, the dish definitely will warm you and your family up, both inside and outside I suppose!
- 200g dried chickpeas
- 200g dried white beans
- 300g green beans
- 400g pumpkin
- 2 potatoes
- ½ onion
- 2 slices of bread
- Two cloves of garlic
- 2 Tomatoes
- Black Peppers
- Olive oil
- 14 raw almonds
- 1-2 tbsp smoked paprika
Making smoky sauce for olla gitana
One of very unique flavor representing olla gitana could be the smoky sauce which can be achieved through the use of smoky paprika and possibly other spices like cumin (but I personally don’t use it for this dish). The taste can be described as hearty, earthy, and slightly spicy.
First thing peeling and chopping half onion (Interesting fact: leave the onion cold in the freight, this won’t make you “cry” in whole progress. Dice it into nicely 1-2 mm square.
Fry onion with olive oil with a medium heat – a little salt increase the flavor and fasten the progress. I would say, it is most useful tip from chef Dani Garcia. Chop those tomatoes into halves and begin grating them (Chopping them alternatively is ok too, but i personally like grating because of a smooth sauce, getting rid of tomato chunk)
Be careful with the poaching onion while grating the tomatoes, pay attention to the color, when it come to yellow brown, it means time to turn off the stove, the onion is already done.Remember, the sauce is the heart and soul of all dishes. If you mess it up, your dish loses its meaning. As a chef, I wouldn’t serve that.
Next is paprika. The very thing that gives Olla Gitana its reputation. Add a generous dash that suits your family’s taste. If you can find the high-quality stuff from spice havens like Murcia, that’s fantastic. But if not, well, we make do with what we’ve got, don’t we?
Turn the same stovetop back on, but this time, keep it on low heat. Add the paprika you’ve prepared and sauté it together with the onions. Make sure to stir well to let the spices infuse evenly.
You’ve already handled the tomatoes, right? Because I grated them instead of chopping (oh, by the way, no matter which method you choose, remember to peel them, advice straight from the chef). Now, you can simply pour them into the mixture on the pan since they’re nearly in a smooth liquid form.
Coming to the seasoning part. Add a bit of soup and a few dashes of black pepper to give it that bold, smoky yet signature flavor of Olla Gitana. Stir it all together for about 5 minutes (best to trust your own taste buds and senses – taste the sauce until it’s just right for you)
When that delightful aroma starts wafting through, you know our sauce is just about ready. Now, turn off the heat, pour the entire mixture into a mixer, make it as smooth as possible and Valetucelá (which mean ok, just want to add some spanish thing)
Olla Gintana Main Dish Instruction
Before you handling Olla Gitana, make sure you’ve got a bucket of chickpeas and white beans that have been soaking for at least 12 hours for best taste. Here’s a tip for the most delicious Olla Gitana: Look for chickpeas with a tender, soft, and creamy texture.
Got that smoothie earlier guys? Pour that smoothie you prepared earlier into the stew pot with the ready chickpeas.
Apart from paprika, mint leave if another signature to be considered. They bring that unique aroma and taste as well. One thing to remind, you’ve given them a good rinse to get rid of any dirt or stuff before tossing them into that pot.
Treat green beans like any other green beans dishes, remove all those threads, joints. Cutting them into bite size before putting them in stew pot along with the mixture.
Having finished all with the ingredients. Pour in enough water to cover all green beans. Put the lid on and let the stew simmer over medium heat for about 4 hours.
Next, toast almonds in fry pan. Keep the heat low to medium, as I mentioned earlier, we don’t want any burnt taste in the dish. Once the almonds are toasted, take them out of the pan and place them on a separate plate for later use. With the same pan that just toasted those fragrant almonds, add some olive oil. We’re going to fry some bread to make a mash for Olla Gitana. Fry a couple of slices of bread (for a 4-serving portion, I’ll use 2 large slices) until they’re crispy on both sides. Once done, turn off the heat and place them on a paper towel to remove any excess oil, so the dish won’t feel too heavy.
Peel the garlic and chop them. Do the same with the parsley by removing the stems and roots, then chop it finely. Put these chopped ingredients into a mortar, add a pinch of salt optionally, and crush them into a smooth paste using a pestle. Add the toasted almonds and fried bread (which you should break them into smaller pieces before making mash), then pour in a tablespoon of olive oil. Continue the crushing process to make mash mixture as smooth as possible
For the potatoes, pumpkins and pears, just make sure you’ve peeled and thoroughly cleaned them, remove all the seed if they are pumpkins and pears. Then, cut them into bite-sized pieces
After our chickpea mix or the sauce I suppose has been stewing for a good 4 hours, add your prepared white beans. And don’t forget the mash mix, made up of crispy fried bread, fresh parsley, garlic, plus those perfectly cut potatoes, pumpkins and pears as well.
After the sauce go through the first simmering process, you’ll notice the mix has probably dried up a bit. Add another 1 to 2 cups of water, close the pot once again, and let it continue simmering on high heat for another 4 hours.
Here’s an important note: the cooking time may vary depending on the type of pot you use for this Spanish stew. I’m using a slow cooker for stew, and the times mentioned in this post are specific to that type of pot. To get the most accurate cooking time, feel free to comment on the post, and I’ll reply to each comment to help you achieve the best results.
And, if you are a fan of Spanish cuisine, main dishes in particular. We got some piece of interesting recipes to discover, why don’t taking some time to look over ?
Olla Gintana Side Story.
Andalusia in Southern Spai is the birthplace of many things we associate with Spanish culture – flamenco dancing, bullfighting, and those beautiful Moorish-inspired buildings. The Gypsies also call Andalusia home. Speaking of Gypsies, did you know they likely brought us the hearty stew like olla gintana one?
As the story goes, when Gypsies arrived in Spain back in the 1400s and settled in Andalusia, they started making this delicious dish. It brings together flavors from various cultures that influenced the region – almonds and bread reflecting Moorish touches, and pears representing the Gypsies.
So next time you enjoy a warm bowl of stew in these winter days, thank the Gypsies of Southern Spain for creating such a tasty meal!
Olla Gitana Recipe – Spanish Gypsy Stew
- Large stew pot or slow cooker
- Frying pan
- Cutting board
- Chef's knife
- 200 g dried chickpeas soaked 12 hours
- 200 g dried white beans soaked 12 hours
- 300 g green beans ends trimmed, cut into bite-size pieces
- 400 g pumpkin peeled, seeds removed, chopped
- 2 potatoes peeled and chopped
- ½ onion cube chopped
- 2 slices of bread
- Two cloves of garlic minced
- 2 Tomatoes peeled and grated
- Black Peppers
- Olive oil
- 14 raw almonds
- 1-2 tbsp smoked paprika
- Prepare soaked chickpeas in slow cooker
- Sauté 1 chopped onion in olive oil on medium heat until translucent, 5-7 minutes.
- Grate 2-3 peeled tomatoes. Add to onions and cook for 3 minutes.
- Add 1-2 tablespoons of paprika. Stir and simmer sauce for 5 minutes.
- Add soaked white beans, 1 cup chopped green beans in sauce mixture.
- Simmer stew for 4 hours, adding more water if needed.
- Toast almonds in pan for 3-5 minutes until fragrant.
- Fry 2 slices of bread in oil for 1 minutes per side.
- Mash with fried bread, toasted almond with clove garlic, parsley, pinch of salt.
- Add chopped potatoes, chopped pumpkin, chopped pears, mash mixture to the stew.
- Simmer for 4 more hours until vegetables are tender.
- Soak chickpeas and beans overnight or for at least 12 hours for best texture.
- Use high quality, smoked Spanish paprika for optimal flavor.
- Grate tomatoes for a smooth sauce rather than chopping.
- Toast almonds just until fragrant, 3-5 minutes.
- Fry bread in same pan used for almonds to impart flavor.
- Use a mortar and pestle to make bread mash if possible for best texture.
- Add more water as needed if stew starts drying out while simmering.
- Cooking time will vary based on pot/slow cooker used.
- Adjust seasoning to taste throughout cooking process.