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Culture Kitchen: Ecuadorian Potato Stew Recipe

Hello all!

This month, Culture Kitchen featured Estefania, a chef from Ecuador who gave us a great walk-through on how to make Potato Stew with Chickpeas (Guiso de papa con garbanzo). Estefania has lived in Flagstaff for about a year now and is an active community member, especially at Liminal Cafe. Along with making delicious food, she also hosts several community events, including art therapy! For more information, feel free to follow her Instagram at @esvsarttherapy.

This recipe is not only super easy to make, but it is absolutely delicious as well! The ingredients are simple but the flavor is phenomenal. One of the key ingredients of this recipe is annatto seed, also known as achiote. This can easily be found in the Hispanic/Latin food section of your local grocery store. We hope you enjoy this recipe, and be sure to tune in for our next Culture Kitchen event in April!

Ingredients (Serves 2)

● 1 Large Potato

● 1 Can of Chickpeas (Garbanzo


● Annatto Seed (Achiote)

● 2 Cloves of Garlic

● 1 Tomato

● 1 Red Onion

● 1 Red Bell Pepper

● 1 Box of Vegetable Broth

● Olive Oil

● Salt

● Black Pepper

● Paprika


  1. Cut the potato into small cubes. Place into boiling water on medium heat. As you prepare the other ingredients, keep an eye on the potatoes. You want them to be cooked, but not fully cooked as they will be combined with the rest of the ingredients to finish cooking later on.

  2. Cut the tomato, red onion, bell pepper, and garlic into small cubes. This will be the basis of the refrito, which is the fried vegetable base of the stew.

  3. Grind up the annatto seed, using about 3 raw tablespoons. This can be done by hand with a mortar and pestle, or with a blender.

  4. Drain the chickpeas from the can and set aside.

  5. Heat up a large skillet on medium heat, adding about 3 tablespoons of olive oil.

  6. Once the skillet is hot, add the bell pepper, followed by the red onion, then tomato, and finally the garlic. By using the "hardiest" vegetable firsts, the vegetables are at less risk of overcooking. Stir the vegetables for a few minutes.

  7. Add the potatoes, chickpeas, and finely ground annatto seed to the pan.

  8. Add vegetable broth to the pan, ensuring that the amount of broth used does not fully submerge the ingredients, but barely covers them. This dish is more ingredient-heavy rather than broth-heavy.

  9. Season generously with salt, followed by black pepper and paprika to taste. Stir.

  10. Cover the skillet with a lid and let simmer for about 5-7 minutes. You will know the dish is ready when the broth has begun to reduce and the potatoes are now fully cooked.

  11. Enjoy! This dish is great to eat on its own, and can also be served with rice.

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