Friday, September 4, 2009

Indian-Spiced Lentil Stew

This ingredients (other than the spices) to this stew aren't exactly authentic, but what you get is a hearty, filling stew for a cool, autumn night. Seeing as autumn hit us quite early this year, I plan on making quite a few warm and filling stews!

I often serve this with a vegetable dish on the side. Sometimes a cucumber-onion-tomato-soyogurt salad (always a winner) and sometimes with a steamed vegetable. I happened to go with some lightly steamed and sea salted zucchini slices. They go perfect with lentils!

This recipe is pretty easy and calls for ingredients you probably already have on hand. I've also included a recipe for Garam Masala from Sarah Kramer's La Dolce Vegan because when you live in a small place in the Midwest like me, you can't always find dem der exotick spices... Anyway, enjoy!

Kitchen Cupboard Garam Masala:
2 Tb. cumin
2 Tb. coriander
2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. ground cardamom
1 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. allspice

In a small jar, combine all ingredients. Cap and shake well before using. Makes about 1/3 cup.

Indian-Spiced Lentil Stew:
1-2 Tb. olive oil
2 celery stalks, diced
1 small onion, diced
10 baby carrots, diced (or 1 large)
2 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. ginger
3 c. veggie broth + 1 c. water
1 c. dry red lentils, rinsed and sorted through
Juice of 1 lime
Salt and black pepper to taste
Pita chips, pappadam, or crackers, toasted until crispy
Nonfat soyyogurt (opt.)

Spice mix:
1/2 Tb. mild curry powder
1/4 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. garam masala
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

1. Heat oil in a lare saucepan over medium heat. When hot, add diced vegetables and saute about 2-3 minutes, or until the veggies start to soften. Add the minced garlic and ginger and stir. Cover and cook veggies for about 10 minutes, or until softened.
2. Mix the spice mix together and stir into the vegetables. Cook another 5 minutes more or until fragrant.
3. Add lentils, vegetable stock, and water. Bring to a boil and cook uncovered for about 20 minutes or until lentils are tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and stir in lime juice.
4. To serve, ladle stew into bowls, top with 1-2 Tb. of soyyogurt (if desired), and toasted pita chips (crumble them up a bit). Enjoy!

105 calories for lentil soup per 1 cup serving
110 for pita chips/serving
20 for two Tb. soyyogurt/ per serving

235 a hearty bowl per serving

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