08 March 2013

Spiced Lentil Stew

Winter's not over yet, and this stew will serve as nourishment, security blanket, and a much-needed dose of vegetables all at once while you wait for spring to finally make its mark.  

Spiced Lentil Stew

Serves 4

2 cups brown lentils, rinsed and sorted
3 ½  cups water
1 tablespoon curry powder
2 teaspoons salt, divided
Bay leaf
I large carrot, peeled and cut into ½-inch chunks
2 teaspoons olive oil
½ yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
½ cup dry red wine
2 scallions, sliced (white and green parts)
2 teaspoons cumin
½ teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Handful fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)

In a medium saucepan, combine the lentils, water curry powder, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and bay leaf.  Cover and bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium and cook until lentils are tender, about 20 minutes.  While the lentils are cooking, you can steam the carrot in a basket over the water, or else steam the carrot in another vessel.

Meanwhile, in a medium skillet,  heat the oil over medium heat and cook the onion until soft, about 8 minutes.  Add the garlic and scallions and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Stir n the tomato paste, red wine,  cumin, coriander, the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt and paprika.  Add enough water to turn into a medium-thick sauce (about ½ cup, adding a little at a time).  Add the cooked lentils and carrot and lower heat to low. Allow to simmer 5-10 minutes, season with pepper and coriander.  Can be served over rice, mashed potatoes, or cauliflower puree.