Culture Street

A simple weeknight stew, this is quick to make and delicious served with a cooked grain such as brown rice or quinoa. You could happily use cooked black beans instead of lentils here, if that is what you have on hand.

DIETARY INFO GLUTEN FREE | DAIRY FREE | VEGAN | EGG FREE SERVES 4-6

Ingredients
3 teaspoons coconut oil
1 small brown onion, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
25 g (1 oz) piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
15 g (½ oz) piece of fresh turmeric,peeled and finely chopped (or 1 teaspoon ground turmeric)
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
½ teaspoon curry powder
250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) coconut milk
250 g (9 oz) sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1.5–2 cm (?–¾ in) dice
200 g (7 oz/1 cup) cooked anddrained Black Beluga Lentils
1–2 tablespoons lime juice
½–1 teaspoon coconut sugar, or to taste coriander (cilantro) leaves, to serve

Method
Place the coconut oil and onion in a 20 cm (8 in) cast-iron saucepan (the size of the pan is quite important here, see Kitchen Note) and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until the onion is nearly translucent, soft and lovely.

Stir in the garlic, ginger, turmeric, ground coriander, cumin seeds and curry powder and cook for another 2–3 minutes until aromatic.

Add the coconut milk, sweet potato and, if necessary, a little water to come just underneath the vegetables (the water should not cover the vegetables).

Place the lid on top of the pan and cook over low heat for 30 minutes or until the sweet potato is tender when pierced with a knife. Gently stir in the cooked black lentils and stir until warmed through.

Add the lime juice and coconut sugar to taste, then scatter with chopped coriander just before serving. This stew will keep refrigerated for up to 2 days in an airtight container.

KITCHEN NOTE
It’s important to use a saucepan no bigger than 20 cm (8 in) in diameter. This will ensure there’s enough liquid to come just below the vegetables without having to add water.

Black beluga lentils

DIETARY INFO GLUTEN FREE | DAIRY-FREE OPTION | VEGAN OPTION | EGG FREE
MAKES 300 G (10½ OZ/1¼ CUPS) COOKED LENTILS
YOU WILL NEED TO SOAK THE LENTILS THE NIGHT BEFORE

Black beluga lentils have a delicious subtle flavour, and in this basic recipe I’ve cooked them without a bone stock so I can use them for vegetarian dishes. If you would prefer to use a bone stock, please do, it will only add to their digestibility and nutrient density. If you would like more flavour, you can most certainly cook them in a vegetable stock as well.

110 g (3¾ oz/½ cup) black beluga lentils
1 tablespoon whey or choice of acid
1 thin slice fresh ginger, unpeeled
2 cm (¾ in) piece kombu, optional

The night before, soak the lentils with your chosen acid overnight.

The following day, drain the lentils and place in a saucepan with the ginger, kombu, if using, and 310 ml (10¾ fl oz/1¼ cups) water or stock. Bring to the boil, then simmer over medium heat for 15–25 minutes, until the lentils are cooked, but still a bit toothsome. You will need to test them from time to time. Stir gently during the cooking process to ensure that any lentils on the top don’t dry out. Remove from the heat and store the lentils in their cooking liquid with the ginger, and kombu, if used, until needed.

Wholefood_CVRRecipe and images from Wholefood from the Ground Up by Jude Blereau (Murdoch Books) photography by Cath Muscat RRP $39.99. You can buy the book here.

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