This is one of those recipes I didn’t intend to post. The thing is, I cook a lot and most of our dinners don’t make it on the blog. It isn’t because they aren’t worth sharing, but really because I just can’t always get it together to write the recipe down and snap its photo before evening swoops in and steals all the light. This stew, however, came together so quickly that when it was done and tasted so dang good and there was still afternoon light aplenty, I had to share it.
Sometimes the stars just align for dinnertime-destiny.
This stew comes together quickly with a little chopping, sautéing and a good 30 minutes of simmer time. The ingredients were things that I already had in the pantry–chickpeas, dried lentils, tomato sauce, harissa, stock, and spices–plus a few fresh aromatics. The turmeric lends a warm color and slight earthiness, plus it’s totally good for your brain. There’s a cilantro and yogurt garnish that lends a cool-fresh balance. Each bite is pleasantly spicy and aromatic. I rounded it out with some store-bought naan and some cauliflower I quickly steamed. It’s completely vegetarian and totally vegan if you nix the yogurt. It’s just a big bowl of filling awesomeness and warmth.
Spicy Chickpea + Lentil Stew
Adapted from Tasting Table
We happen to love spicy things in this house and Harissa is one of our newer favorites. It’s North African in origin and I like to use it in a variety of dishes. Use less if you are shy about the heat, you can always add more to taste. I use onion, shallot, AND garlic here. Mostly because I obsessively like to have a stock of all three at the ready. You could use any combination of edible alliums. If you just have chicken stock or even just water on hand, go ahead and use that in lieu of vegetable stock. Do what you want, make it your own.
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium carrots, diced small
1/2 medium red onion, diced small
1 large shallot, diced small
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons fresh, grated ginger (or 1 teaspoon dry, ground ginger)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
4 teaspoons Harissa
salt, to taste
1/2 cup dry lentils (I used brown)
1 can chickpeas (15.5oz), drained
1 cup low-sodium tomato sauce
3 cups low-sodium vegetable stock, plus more to thin if desired
plain greek yogurt and cilantro to garnish
In a large saucepan or pot, sauté carrot, onion, shallot, and garlic over medium heat until softened, about 10 minutes. Stir in the ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, cumin, curry powder, harissa, and a small pinch of salt. Continue to stir and cook about 1 minute until fragrant. Add the dry lentils and drained chickpeas to the pan with the tomato sauce and stock, stirring to lift any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Taste for salt, add more if desired. Bring the stew to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for about 30 minutes or until the lentils are tender and the stew has thickened. Add more stock or water if the stew becomes thicker than you like. Serve with chopped cilantro and a dollop of plain greek yogurt.