I have to admit, I’m not a huge lentil fan. They’re a little bland and mealy, as a rule. But they are a superfood – full of protein, fibre, and all kinds of nutrients, so I was determined to find a recipe that was, at least, palatable.
CURRIED LENTIL STEW goes beyond palatable – it’s downright good! I also found that it actually gets better the next day – thicker and more flavorful. Bonus! That means it can be made ahead of time, which I love. One less thing to do during the dinner-time rush hour.
This dish is low-fat, low-calorie, and easy to throw together. Who could ask for more?!
NOTE: Lentils are high in phytates, which reduce the bioavailability of nutrients. To counteract this problem, soak the lentils overnight in warm water.
ADDITIONAL NOTE: If you’re daunted by all the spices, you can simply use 1 T curry powder. It’s not as flavorful, but it’s quick.
CURRIED LENTIL STEW – makes about 7 cups
- 1 cup dry lentils (I used red)
- 1 cup dry rice (I used Chinese white rice)
- 4 cups vegetable stock (I used homemade: VEGETABLE STOCK)
- 1 cup onion, chopped
- 3 tsp garlic, pressed
- 1 cup carrots, sliced
- 1 cup celery, diced
- 2 cups cabbage, sliced thinly
- 15 oz can whole tomatoes, diced
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp dry mustard
- 3/4 tsp cumin
- 3/4 tsp coriander
- 1/2 tsp cayenne powder
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves (or leave it out completely – my husband doesn’t like it)
- 1½ tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ginger powder
- 1 T lemon juice
If you’ve soaked the lentils, drain them in a sieve. If not, rinse the lentils and let drain.
Cook the rice.
In a saucepan, sauté the onions in a tablespoon of the vegetable stock for several minutes. Add in carrots, garlic, celery, and cabbage. Sauté another 2 minutes.
Add in turmeric, dry mustard, cumin, coriander, cayenne, cinnamon, cloves, salt, and ginger powder. Sauté another minute or two – until you can smell the spices.
Add in lentils, remaining vegetable broth, lemon juice, and tomatoes. Bring to a boil, lower flame to bring down to a simmer, and cook uncovered for 30 minutes.
Adjust seasoning to taste. Add in cooked rice.
Can be served immediately or refrigerated and served the next day (which is better, IMO).