1. Fill your kettle and boil it. Set a medium pan on a medium heat. Tip in the walnut halves and toast for 2-3 mins, shaking the pan often to turn them, till the nuts are dark brown and fragrant. Tip into a bowl and set aside. Take the pan off the heat.
2. Trim the roots and any woody greens off the leeks, then halve them and rinse out any grit. Finely slice the leeks. Peel the beetroot and slice them into wedges around 1-2cm thick (see our tip for stainfree beetroot prep). Put the pan back on a medium heat. Add a splash of olive oil, the leeks and beetroot. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Fry, stirring now and then, for 8 mins till the leeks have softened and the veg have started to brown.
3. While the veg fry, peel and grate or crush the garlic. Finely chop the parsley stalks (keep the leaves for later). Crumble the stock cube into a heatproof jug. Squeeze in the tamarind paste and add 1 tbsp cider vinegar. Pour in 400ml boiling water and stir to dissolve the stock.
4. Add the garlic and parsley stalks to the veg and fry, stirring, for 1 min. Pour in the tamarind stock. Drain the chickpeas and add them to the pan. Crumble in half the toasted walnuts. Pop a lid on the pan (you can use a baking tray if you don’t have a lid). Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for 15-20 mins till the beetroot is just tender.
5. While the stew simmers, tip the bulgar wheat into a heatproof bowl. Pour in 300ml hot water from the kettle, swirl with a fork then cover the bowl with a plate and set aside for 15 mins. The bulgar will soak up the water and become tender.
6. Roughly chop the parsley leaves and the rest of the toasted walnuts. Taste the stew and add a pinch more salt, pepper or a splash of vinegar if you think it needs it. Drain any water off the bulgar wheat and divide it between 2 warm bowls. Top with the beetroot stew, and garnish with the chopped parsley and walnuts to serve.
7. Purple Stain
Beetroot likes to add a splash of colour to its surroundings, so to avoid an accidental purple-themed kitchen refurb, slice it on a glass board, or one you can wash up straight away – and wear gloves to protect your fingers, and an apron to keep your clothes stain free.