Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Indian Chickpea & Lentil Stew

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Guys, I am officially in mourning for my slow cooker. This recipe was the first and last time I used the slow cooker I bought last November. As I was rinsing out the ceramic bowl of my slow cooker, it accidentally slipped out of my hands and broke into a million tiny pieces all over my kitchen floor. Catastrophe. And I watched the whole thing happen in slow motion. Looks like I'll be making future stews in my dutch oven. RIP slow cooker.

Despite this recipe costing me my slow cooker and a cut finger, I am going to say it is cost-efficient, healthy, easy-to-make, and totally delicious. My friend Manasi and I are constantly trading vegetarian recipes over e-mail. When we came across this one, we decided to take advantage of a three day weekend by hanging out, catching up, and attempting to make her Indian parents proud with this Whole Foods version of channa masala.


This hearty stew consists of chickpeas and lentils that are slow cooked all day in an Indian-spiced tomato puree until they are completely soft and ready to be scooped up by garlic naan

We followed the recipe pretty closely, only omitting black olives because I am not a huge olive fan. We prepared the stew in the morning and let it cook all day in the slow cooker. We each went about our days and then Manasi came back over for dinner that evening! 

To make the stew you will need:

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped 
1 chile pepper, such as a Serrano or red chile pepper  
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 teaspoons garam masala (find it in the spice aisle of any supermarket)
1/4 cup sesame seeds 
2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed 
1/2 cup dried red lentils 
28 ounce can tomato puree 
2 cups vegetable broth 
1/2 cup low-fat yogurt 
Kosher salt to taste

First chop up all of your vegetables and garlic. Then, in a large frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions to the pan and saute until they are soft and translucent.  

Next, add the chopped chile pepper, garlic cloves, the garam masala, and the sesame seeds into the pan. Saute for about 3-5 minutes, until the chile pepper softens. Then add the onion and garlic mixture into your slow cooker.

Rinse and drain the can of chickpeas and measure out the dried lentils.

Then add the chickpeas, lentils, vegetable broth, and can of tomato puree into the slow cooker. Turn your slow cooker onto low and set the timer for 8 hours. 

Go about the rest of your day!

When there are 15 minutes left on the timer, stir 1/2 cup of low-fat yogurt into the stew. Ladle into individual bowls and add salt to taste!  

Serve with warm naan or pita bread. We used garlic naan from Trader Joes. I loved how simple and tasty this recipe was! It is also inexpensive, high in fiber, and low in fat. If only I hadn't broken my slow cooker in the process . . . I'd be making this more often! 


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