Finally, finally, finally– I made something new in the kitchen yesterday! Inspired by Jenna’s delectable-looking Spicy Lentils with Sweet Potato and Kale recipe, I decided to put my own spin on a fiery Indian-inspired lentil stew chock full of veggies that is also vegan, gluten-free and absolutely delicious!
I started with my usual stew base of a chopped onion, six cloves of chopped garlic, and some finely chopped ginger (about an inch-long piece).
I also grabbed a red pepper and two of these long green hot peppers to dice.
Butternut squash made an appearance as well (about half of a medium squash).
The peppers and squash were all diced up!
Once the first round of veggies were prepped, I started to cook! I melted a bit of coconut oil in a pan, and added in the onion, garlic and ginger.
I let the mixture cook down a bit, until it browned up.
I next tossed in the squash and peppers, and gave it a good stir. At this point, I also added a few cups of veggie stock so the veggies, particularly so the squash, could cook!
Meanwhile, while the veggies softened, I took out four lovely tomatoes.
Of course, into the pot they also went! You don’t need to add a ton of stock or water here since the tomatoes release a good amount of cooking liquid.
Veggie count-down so far. . . 5! We’ve got onion, 2 kinds of pepper, butternut squash and tomatoes, and at least one more is still to come!
I then scoured my pantry for the star ingredient– black lentils! This is an ingredient I had purchased a while ago but had not yet experimented with. According to the bag, you just have to treat them like regular lentils.
I added about 3/4 cup of the lentils into the pot, along with just a bit more water (enough so most of the veggies and lentils were submerged) so the lentils could cook.
After I vigorous stir so the lentils were submerged, I then sprinkled in a parade of spices.
The main spice involved is this Balti curry powder. Honestly, I didn’t detect anything special about it– any old curry powder will do. I added in two tablespoons.
Then, I included the following: 2 bay leaves, about one teaspoon each of garlic powder, cayenne pepper, paprika, turmeric, two teaspoons of cumin, and a few dashes of red pepper flakes.
I mixed it up again, and then made the last-minute (smart) decision to add in half of a bag of frozen chopped greens I had hiding in the freezer. I splash of green is definitely what I needed to perfect this curry! By the way, notice how the black lentils turn brown when cooked! Too bad– I thought they looked cool as is!
I let it simmer until the lentils absorbed much of the liquid and the squash was tender (about twenty minutes or so). The end result was spot-on.
It is quite the curry-ation if I do say so myself! This stew is spicy, savory, ridiculously healthy and unbelievable delicious! If you like Indian food, you will love this– it reminds me of a chunky lentil soup my mom makes!
I can’t wait for dinner tonight!
Are you a fan of beany stews like this one? What’s your favorite legume?