Chiara's Vegetarian Lentil Stew

I just returned from San Francisco where my daughter-in-law Chiara served this stew at their Boxing Day Party. It has been a favorite at our store for some time and I thought my readers might like the recipe for the New Year. This makes a wonderful meatless Monday entree or a great meal on a snowy day like today.

Start with the ingredients below—do some dicing, mincing, and chopping and enjoy! The original recipe [from Post Punk Kitchen] calls for 2 teaspoons of cumin, but I prefer the garam masala instead. The choice is yours. (Note: I start with a bag of lentils when I prepare this for the store, so don't faint at the bowls of vegetables in the photos. They are just there to give you an idea of size of dice not the amounts you will need.)

  • 1 Cup brown lentils
  • 1 large onion, diced small
  • 2 whole carrots, peeled and diced small
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ Cup canola oil
  • 10 whole plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 6 ounces tomato paste
  • 1 Cup vegetable stock
  • 1 Cup peas, frozen
  • 1 Tbsp. garam masala
  • 2 tsp. Hungarian paprika
  • ½ tsp. thyme, dried
  • ¼ tsp. cardamon
  • ¼ tsp. corinader
  • tsp. allspice
  • tsp. cloves
  • tsp. cinnamon
  • tsp. cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp. salt, or to taste


  1. Boil lentils for 45 minutes covered in 3 cups of water, until tender. While lentils are simmering, prep all the vegetables and spices.
  2. Drain any excess liquid from lentils and set aside.
  3. In a large pot, over medium heat, sauté the onions and carrots in canola oil for 10 minutes. 
  4. Add garlic, ginger, and spice blend. Sauté another 5 minutes.
  5. Add chopped tomatoes and cook 5 minutes more. Add tomato paste and vegetable stock. Simmer until bubbling. Add cooked lentils and peas and simmer 10 minutes.
  6. Serve as is over brown rice or polenta. A great meatless meal!



Seeded tomatoes ready to dice.


Vegetables diced and ready to go. Spices measured and ready to add to the vegetables.


And now for a glimpse at the finished stew. Can you guess what I'll be having for dinner tonight? Hope you enjoy!

Posted on January 3, 2014 .