Lentil & Chickpea Curried Stew
After a craving for Indian food and after realizing there was no time for lengthy preparations this week, I settled on a stew with the flavors of the rich curried sauces that I love so much in Indian cooking. This is not an authentic Indian recipe but rather one I created to please my craving and my hunger simply. You can vary the amounts of seasonings or ingredients to your liking but we all thought it was terrific just the way it is.
This recipe will serve 4-6 people depending on portion size.
1 tablespoon olive oil or rendered fat
1 medium onion, diced
1 cup diced carrot
1 cup diced celery with leaves
3 teaspoons minced garlic
1 pound mild Italian sausage
2 cups lentils
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (or rehydrated dried chickpeas)
1 cup chicken stock (preferably homemade but nonfat, low sodium canned will work)
2 cups vegetable broth (preferably homemade but nonfat, low sodium canned will work)
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
1 Tablespoon Madras curry powder
Dollop of Greek yogurt
½ cup slivered almonds, toasted
¼ cup tablespoons minced fresh cilantro or Italian parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
Cook sausage in a skillet over medium-high heat until browned. Reserve the rendered fat.
Cut sausage into bite sized pieces and set aside.
Heat the rendered fat, if using, OR 1 tablespoon olive oil, over medium-high heat, in a Dutch oven. Add the onion and sauté until it softens, then add the carrots and celery. Add the garlic stirring until aromatic.
Turn heat to medium-low and cover the pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until carrot is nearly soft. Add the sausage to the pot and stir for 3 to 4 minutes to blend flavors.
Stir in lentils, chickpeas and both broths. Add the tomato paste, stirring again to blend. Increase the heat and bring the stew to a boil; stir in curry powder blending well.
Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 45-50 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with a dollop of Greek yogurt, a sprinkle of toasted almonds and a generous pinch of cilantro (or Italian parsley).