Besides being so simple, this plant-based lentil stew is also quite versatile as you can easily turn it into lentil soup by adding more liquid. You can eat it as is, use as dressing for salads or Buddha bowls and even pour over a pasta dish. So, taking the time to prepare this one dish, you can have different meals over the next days.
Lentil Stew [Vegan, Gluten-Free]
- 7 ounces dry green lentils
- 1 medium yellow onion
- 2 medium or 3 small garlic cloves
- 1 large celery stalk
- 1 large carrot
- 1 medium potato
- 1 tablespoon turmeric
- 2 1/2 teaspoons crushed cumin seeds
- 2 1/2 teaspoons crushed mustard seeds
- 1 1/4 cup unsalted tomato puree
- 1 tablespoon additive-free peanut butter
- 3/4 teaspoon Himalayan salt (or less)
- Black pepper to taste
- Start by soaking lentils for 6-8 hours. Rinse, drain and set aside.
- Next, prepare the spices – toast cumin seeds (from 30 seconds to 1 minute until your nose just gets a whiff of smoke and fragrance) and mustard seeds (2-5 minutes until fragrant and lightly browned, removing from heat when the seeds start to pop) on a dry pan, let cool and crush using mortar and pestle. Or make a bigger batch and grind in a spice grinder. Learn more about dry-roasting Indian spices.
- Then, crush garlic cloves, finely dice onion and chop up carrots, celery and potato.
- Heat up a few tablespoons of water in a skillet or large pan. After that, throw in onions and sauté them for 2-3 minutes stirring every now and then. Add water 1-2 tablespoons at a time whenever it evaporates.
- Next go in the carrots, celery, potato cubes and turmeric. Give everything a good stir and sauté for another few minutes. If you didn’t toast the spices, throw them (crushed) in along with turmeric. Again, add extra water if necessary.
- Next, pour in soaked lentils and enough water to almost cover the ingredients. Mix well and cover with lid. Bring to boil, then reduce the heat and simmer covered for 15 minutes or until the lentils are tender. At this point, mix in crushed garlic and toasted/crushed cumin and mustard seeds. You may add garlic when the stew is done – read why from the tips below.
- Then, add tomato puree and mix well. Bring to boil and simmer for another 5 minutes. You may leave the lid off, if there’s plenty of liquid or add extra water if necessary.
- When the stew is done, mix in peanut butter. Make sure it’s well incorporated.
- Finally, let cool a bit before you add salt and black pepper to let the tastes settle.