Spiced Red Lentil Stew

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This is another one of my favourite comforting one-pot meals. This stew is loaded with veggies and incredibly flavourful with all the added spices.
A few notes:
– of course you can add or substitute the veggies if you like. Sweet potato, turnip, beets and even some chopped greens would all be good.
– If you like spicy food and can handle the heat you can add a few dashes of your favourite hot sauce at the end.
– The amount of liquid I’ve mentioned in the recipe makes a thicker stew-like consistency, but if you prefer you can add more liquid to thin it out a bit and have it as a lovely soup instead!
– I use the less sweet variety of squashes like delicata or pink-banana for this stew. The addition of squash puree creates a creamy texture.

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Ingredients
1 Cup Red Lentil (wash and soak for 24 hours or overnight)

2 Celery Stalks (finely chopped)
1 Large Carrot (finely diced)
1 Small Potato (finely diced)
1/2 Large Celeriac (finely diced)
1 Large Clove Garlic (crushed)
1 Cup Squash Puree

2 Tbsp. Coconut Oil (for vegan) or Ghee

2 Tsp. Ginger Powder
2 Tsp. Turmeric
1 Tsp. Coriander Seed
1 Tsp. Cumin
1/2 Tsp. Cardamom Powder
1/2 Tsp. Cinnamon powder

2 Cups Water

1/2-1 Tsp. Salt (start with less and add to taste)
Black Pepper (to taste)
1 Tbsp. Fresh lemon juice (or more as you like)
1/4 cup finely chopped coriander

Method
1. Heat the oil to a large pot and sauté the chopped veggies (carrot, celery, potato, celeriac) and garlic for 2 minutes. Then add the spices and the squash puree and sauté for another 2 minutes until the spices are fragrant.

2. Rinse the soaked red lentil and add to the pot with salt and pepper.

3. Add the water and bring to a boil over high heat. Now lower the heat, cover the pot and simmer the stew over medium heat for at least one hour (the more the better but if you have soaked the lentils one hour would be enough). Stir the stew occasionally until the consistency is to your liking.

4. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed. Add the fresh lemon juice.

5. Turn off the heat and add the finely chopped coriander.

Serve hot with a side of Basmati rice and green salad or thick stirred yogurt!

Serves 4-6.

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