Sometimes you just feel like biting into something substantial, something so satisfying you just don’t know when to stop. So you experiment, you play with the food you know, the stuff u have already in your pantry in a hope that you will create next big thing. And most of the time, you will fail…big time…and some times it will be a ok, but once in a while you will create the bomb.
My favourite bomb that came out of nowhere is this super duper lentil bean stew.
I love everything about Indian food, and one of their staple dishes – Dahl, is something I crave weekly on average. But how much of the regular stuff u can eat week by week???
So with an attempt to reinvent it and to satisfy my demanding taste buds, I threw everything I like together and tadaaaa, the bomb exploded. The secret of course lies in the spices and the balance of flavours, and I have to admit here, I don’t know exact proportions, as I do it freehand as you may, but I will try my best to make it easy for you. So here we go, my super-duper bean and lentil stew. Please don’t be discouraged by the list of ingredients, although it looks like there is a lot to handle, it really doesn’t take that much of your time.
Vegan, gluten free and super delicious
1 pack green lentils ( 500 grams)
6 to 8 cups of veg broth (or 6 to 8 cups water plus 2 veg stock cubes)
1 can chickpeas (I prefer to use dry ones, but they have to be soaked overnight and cook for some hours, so if you in a rush just get a can)
1 can of red or black beans (or dry option, same as above)
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 red chilli, finely chopped
1 large sweet potato, cubed
1 medium eggplant, cubed
1 large carrot, cubed
Some coconut oil for frying
3 Tbsp Tomato puree
3 Tbsp peanut butter (smooth)
2 bay leaves
4 curry leaves
1 tsp cumkin seeds
1/2 tsp ani seeds
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 small cinamon stick, broken to small pieces
2 star anise, broken to small pieces
1tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp sweet chilli or cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp ginger powder
1 tsp himalayan salt
1 tsp black ground pepper
1 cup coconut milk
Handful of raisins
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp coconut sugar (optional)
Small bunch of fresh coriander for garnishing
Boil the lentils in bulion (or the water with cubes) for about 15 minutes. Drain the chickpeas and beans if using canned and set aside. In the meantime, heat the coconut oil on large wok and fry the tampering ingredients for up to 2 minutes, then add all the spices blend and fry for another minute or so. Then comes the onion, garlic and chilli, fry fry untill tender, then transfer it to the pot with lentils and keep it on high. Using same wok or pan usew few more drops of coconut oil and fry the carrot, potato and eggplant until they start to become slightly tender, then transfer to the pot.
Now you can add beans, tomato paste and peanut butter, and leave it to stew for another 30 to 45 minutes, depending on the size of you cut veggies, you want them to be nice and soft. Stir once in a while and check if u have enough liquid, and if needed add a bit of water.
5 to 10 minutes before the end of stewing, add the coconut milk, raisins and cider vinegar and sugar if using, mix well and let it simmer on low heat.
Voilà. Garnish with chopped coriander and serve with rice, millet or any of your favourite grain.
I know it sounds overwhelming and time consuming, but most of it is just stewing and waiting for the flavours to marry together. On top of that, it is worth every bloody minute of wait and preparation. You have my word
Enjoy the fun, and don’t forget to add some love into it.