BLACK LENTIL & RED BEAN STEW
Updated: Jan 1
In my opinion, there is nothing better than a hearty stew on a cold day or evening, warming the digestion and body from the inside out. Although commonly a meat based dish, stews can be done well with legumes and vegetables, highlighting the best of simple ingredients. A veggie stew is also far less of a strain on the gut, minimising side effects such as heaviness, nausea, heart burn and bloating. This is a dish best prepared during Autumn and Winter, when the mind and body needs a little extra warmth and nourishment. Keep in mind to be resourceful, use the vegetables you have available and that are season - the list below are just suggestions, there are many combinations of veg that would work well too!
WHAT YOU WILL NEED
1 onion finely chopped
2-4 cm piece of fresh ginger finely grated
1 1/2 -2 tsp cumin seeds
1 1/2 - 2 tsp coriander powder
1 1/2 - 2 tsp turmeric powder
1 1/2 - 2 tsp Garam Masala powder
1/2 cup pre-soaked black lentils (pre-soak in water for 6 hours or overnight)
1/2 cup pre-soaked red beans (Pre-soak in water for 6 hours or overnight)
2-3 sticks of fresh celery, cut into medium pieces
3 carrots, cut into medium pieces
1 large zucchini, cut into medium pieces
1 large parsnip, cut into medium pieces
400 gm fresh tomatoes, cut into medium pieces (if available, jarred or canned can be used, but fresh is always better)
1 L vegetable stock (or 1 tsp high-quality organic vegetable stock powder to 1 L water)
400 ml coconut cream
Pink Himalayan rock salt and freshly cracked black pepper to season
Fresh herbs such as chives, spring onion or coriander, a wedge of lemon/lime, room temperature coconut yoghurt, raita and/or rice (basmati and brown rice works well) to serve if desired
Take a large saucepan and place on the stove at a medium heat.
Once warm, add the cumin seeds to the pan to dry roast, stirring for a couple of minutes until the seeds begin to pop and become aromatic.
Now add the onions, and stir for another minute or two until soft and translucent. Make sure not to let it burn, add a little water to avoid sticking and turn down the heat if you need to.
Add the ginger and remaining spices to the mix for one minute, stirring until they become aromatic.
Put in the lentils, beans and vegetables, combine to coat with the spices and onion.
Add the tomatoes, vegetable stock, coconut cream and combine well.
Cover with a lid and bring the stew to a boil. Quickly drop back to a low simmer, leaving a gap with the lid for steam to be released and the liquid to reduce. This is now a good time to put your chosen rice on for cooking while the stew does too.
Cook the stew slowly on low for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until all ingredients are soft and the stew is deliciously thick. If the stew is still a bit thin in consistency, cook for a few more minutes without the lid, on medium heat, stirring consistently until reduced to your liking.
Season well with salt and pepper.
Serve immediately with some of the above mentioned suggestions, if desired, and enjoy!
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