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Curried Lentil & Chickpea Stew

My love for curry started with the flavor, I love complex spices. I began to explore cooking with it more often – it was a pleasant surprise to learn that curry is not only a culinary delight, but also full of disease fighting antioxidants and minerals.

Many herbs and spices (chili, coriander, turmeric, cumin, ginger, fennel, sesame, cloves, garlic for example) mesh to make a curry that provides numerous health benefits. Did you know that traditional curry compound possesses antibacterial and antifungal benefits? Curry is notorious for promoting healthy digestion and long term consumption supports a healthy gut. The turmeric blend is a great liver detoxifier and I use is freely when making dishes. This curried lentil and chickpea stew is a go-to for a rustic dinner, serve over your favorite rice or on its own.

Curried Lentil & Chickpea Stew

Serves 6

Ingredients:
1 1/2 T. olive oil
1 yellow onion, finely diced
2 T. fresh ginger, peeled and grated (or minced)
4-6 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 T. curry powder (I use traditional yellow corry blend or Dragon Curry)
1 tsp. ground turmeric
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. sea salt
pinch red chili flakes
1 1/2 cups fire roasted diced tomatoes (Whole Foods 365 Organic)
1 cup dry red lentils
1 1/2 cups chickpeas, cooked and drained
32 ounces of organic vegetable or chicken broth
1 cups packed, finely chopped greens, dandelion or kale work great (you could also use roughly chopped parsley or cilantro)
Optional:
1-2 T. whole fat coconut milk
Steamed brown or basmati rice to serve over

Directions: 

In a medium/large stock pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic, onion, and ginger and saute stirring frequently until onions are softened and translucent, it is important to keep heat to medium and stir frequently to prevent garlic from burning. Add the curry spices, turmeric, cumin, sea salt, and chili flakes and stir, then immediately add in the diced tomatoes, lentils, chickpeas, and broth. Stir well and bring this to a low rolling boil. Reduce heat, top with lid and allow to simmer until lentils are cooked throughout (approx. 25 minutes).

For a creamier consistency, add a couple spoons of coconut milk at the last minute and stir well – feel free to leave this out if you prefer a brothier stew.  At the last minute, stir in your finely chopped greens and serve on its own or over rice. Also great with a dollop of greek yogurt on top!

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