Curried Lentil, Quinoa and Vegetable Stew
Flavored with coconut milk, curry, spices and fresh ginger, this easy recipe combines red lentils, quinoa, carrots, kale and red bell pepper to make a hearty vegetarian stew. Despite the long ingredient list, the dish comes together fairly quickly, and any leftovers you end up with will make a great lunch the next day.
- 3/4 cup quinoa, thoroughly rinsed
- 1-1/2 cups water
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne (or more to taste)
- Pinch of sugar (optional)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely chopped
- 1-3/4 to 2-1/2 cups vegetable (or chicken) broth
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 4 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 cup red lentils, rinsed
- 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1-2/3 cups light coconut milk (13 to 14 ounce can)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 lb kale, stemmed and chopped
- 3 to 4 scallions, chopped
- 1-1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Place the quinoa and water in a small saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the quinoa is tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the heat, fluff with a fork and set aside.
- Check out our article on Cooking With Quinoa to learn more.
- Combine the curry powder, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cayenne and sugar in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Melt the butter over medium heat in a large saucepan. Add the onion and sauté until soft and translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger, sprinkle with the spice mixture and sauté until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes longer.
- Stir in 1-3/4 cups of the vegetable broth and bring the mixture to a slow simmer. Add the tomato paste, stir until blended, then add the carrots and continue simmering for 2 minutes.
- Add the lentils and continue cooking until tender and nearly all of the liquid is absorbed, 8 to 12 minutes. If you find the liquid is evaporating too quickly, reduce the heat and add a little extra broth.
- Add the bell pepper, stir in the coconut milk and season to taste with salt and pepper. Continue cooking, stirring often, for an additional 2 minutes, then add the kale and combine well.
- Continue cooking until the kale is wilted and tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the scallions along with the reserved quinoa. You may need to add a little extra broth at this point as well.
- Taste and adjust the seasonings and continue cooking just long enough for the quinoa to heat through. Stir in the lemon juice and remove from the heat.
- Spoon individual portions into shallow bowls, garnish with a sprinkle of chopped scallions and serve alongside toasted naan if desired.