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Robin Garr

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Red lentil stew worth an inheritance

by Robin Garr » Thu Feb 20, 2014 12:18 am

Red lentil stew worth an inheritance

Considering the bible story of Jacob persuading his brother Esau to sell him his firstborn’s inheritance rights for a lunch of lentil stew (“pottage”), you might be tempted to think that lentil stew wasn’t worth much. But I’m here to tell you that lentils can make a mighty comforting dinner.

Healthy and nutritious, packed with protein and bursting with meaty flavor, these tiny legumes can make a filling meal. They come in a pretty variety of colors, but I’m particularly fond of red lentils, which cook up fairly quickly into a comforting stew. Or pottage, if an inheritance is at stake.

Not long ago, I built a pilaf-style dish with a mix of red lentils, lima beans and basmati rice cooked with aromatic flavors. Tonight I tried this approach without the rice and was delighted with the result, a quick and simple stew, satisfying and loaded with flavor.

To make enough for two, I rinsed 1/2 cup of red lentils very well in several changes of water, then set them aside to drain in a strainer while I browned 1 cup of sliced onions with about 1/2 tablespoon each of minced garlic and fresh ginger. When the onions were brown and aromatic, I stirred in the drained lentils, 1 cup of thawed frozen lima beans, and 1 cup water. I brought it up to a simmer and added another cup of flavoring mix made with 1 tablespoon tomato paste, 1 tablespoon chili sauce, a dash of soy sauce, 2 tablespoons of chopped green chiles and enough water to bring the total up to 1 cup.

Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes or until the lentils are soft but retain their shapes and the liquid is absorbed. (Add a little water if needed.) Check seasonings and salt to taste only at the end of cooking.
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Mike Filigenzi

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Re: Red lentil stew worth an inheritance

by Mike Filigenzi » Thu Feb 20, 2014 12:22 am

Very much agree with you on the deliciousness of lentil stews. We make it with wine braised veggies and that dish has been a favorite of my daughter's since she first had it years ago. Your version sounds quite yummy.
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David M. Bueker

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Re: Red lentil stew worth an inheritance

by David M. Bueker » Thu Feb 20, 2014 12:56 pm

Sounds tasty, though I would use more chili sauce and skip the green chiles (Laura does not eat green chlies...sigh...)
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Mike Filigenzi

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Re: Red lentil stew worth an inheritance

by Mike Filigenzi » Thu Feb 20, 2014 6:24 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:Sounds tasty, though I would use more chili sauce and skip the green chiles (Laura does not eat green chlies...sigh...)


My wife has a similar distaste for any kind of cooked bell pepper. I can sneak green chilies in once in a while, but she's not real fond of them either. I like both.
"People who love to eat are always the best people"

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Karen/NoCA

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Re: Red lentil stew worth an inheritance

by Karen/NoCA » Fri Feb 21, 2014 9:28 pm

Robin, this was a tasty dish. I had red lentils in my second fridge that I got from our flour mill. Surprisingly, I could not find lima beans in our stores, only baby lima beans. I whipped it up for lunch today, and it was filling and comforting. I overcooked the lentils a bit but it was still nice. I've not been a lentil lover, to me they don't have much taste. I keep trying using the different colors, but I definitely could live without them. I liked the combo of the soy sauce with the chili sauce, it did give a good pop to the dish.

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