Mrs. Jackson Cooks

Life through food

Something in between vegetable dhal and a casserole

on January 12, 2011

I was looking for something that was healthy, nutritious, would fill me up, was cheap, had ingredients that were in my cupboard/fridge and was fairly quick to make.  And I came across potato and lentil stew, which seemed to fit the bill perfectly.  It was only as I started making it that I realised that the recipe seemed confused.  Now, I’m aware of fusion food – don’t get me wrong, done well it’s great – but this wasn’t fusion, it was just confused.

Nevertheless, I’d started, so I was going to finish.  I was far too hungry, having just come back from the circuits training, to start over again.  And the end result was very tasty.  I must admit, I adapted it to something  I thought would be more interesting.  And all in all it ended up a bit like Nepali style dahl and a bit like a vegetable casserole – and I wasn’t sure what should accompany it, so we just ate it on its own.

But I think if you wanted something to go with it, really anything would go – rice, naan, chappatis, chunky farmhouse bread, garlic bread, cous cous, pitta bread etc…

And being tasty, cheap, easy to make, healthy and full of goodness, I thought it was worth blogging about it.  I found the original recipe here, courtesy of wordpress’s foodpress.

http://healthilybalanced.wordpress.com/2011/01/03/lentil-potato-stew/

But as I’ve adapted it, and since it’s in US cups, I thought I’d reproduce the recipe for you in metric with my adaptations, which I think definitely improved it (although having not actually tasted the original, I can’t really say!).

This is a great recipe for the allergic, intolerant, and those who are vegetarian and vegan.  Except for the chilli, this wouldn’t harm anyone and you can easily leave that out.

Mrs Jackson’s confused lentil and vegetable dahl/stew/casserole

Serves 3 (ish, depending on how hungry you are)

  • 1 tbsp oil (I used olive)
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stick, finely chopped
  • 2 red chillis, finely chopped (de seed if you don’t want too spicy)
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 2-3cm cubed fresh ginger, peeled & grated
  • 2 tsp hot madras curry powder (use mild if you don’t want it hot, but want some spice)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • salt (to taste)
  • 150g green lentils (moong dahl)
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped into small cubes
  • 1 tin tomatoes
  • 1tbsp tomato puree
  • 800ml water
  • 100g green beans, topped n tailed and chopped into 2cm (1inch) pieces
  • handful of chopped fresh coriander
  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan, wok or frying pan (I used my wok).  Fry the onion, carrots and celery on a medium-high heat until softened and the onions start to brown.  Then add the ginger, garlic, chilli, curry powder, turmeric and salt.  Fry for a further couple of minutes until the kitchen becomes very fragrant.
  2. Add the potatoes and the lentils and stir to mix well (the potatoes should go a bit yellow from the turmeric).  Then add the tin of tomatoes and tomato puree and reduce the heat slightly.  Break them up with the spatula and mix well.  Cook for a few minutes until the tomatoes go all jammy and thick.  Then add about 400ml of the water.
  3. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for about 25-30 minutes.  Check on it occasionally to see if it’s sticking and how its cooking.  Add more water as needed.
  4. When the potatoes and lentils are nearly cooked (edible but still a bit chewy) add the beans, stir well and recover.  Cook for a further 10 minutes or so until the potato is cooked, the lentils are mushy and the green beans are softened.
  5. Increase the heat if necessary to boil off any additional water, or keep watery if you prefer.
  6. Stir through the coriander and then remove from the heat and serve with or without anything to accompany it!
  7. Eat and feel virtuous in your healthiness.
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