Autumn is here, and I am in the mood for hearty and warming dishes again. At the same time, cooking time is life time, and sometimes there is not too much leftover life time to stand at the stove once or even twice a day … (Boo. ) For this reason, stews are perfect, because once a little preparation is done, they almost make themselves, never disappoint, and usually yield several servings. And, not to forget, they are the perfect comfort food!
This stew I recently made had those small brown mountain lentils, Indian-inspired flavors, and all the vegetables I had lying around and thought might be fine together: cauliflower, winter squash, and spinach.
MOUNTAIN LENTIL AND VEGETABLE CURRY
butter or oil
2 onions, peeled and chopped
6 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 tsp black cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
250 g (1 cup) mountain lentils
600 ml (2 1/2 cups) water
300 g (10 oz) winter squash (I used kuri squash), cut into small cubes
1 small or 1/2 large head of cauliflower, cut into florets
4 bay leaves
1 tbsp ground garam marsala
1 tsp ground cumin
1 pinch of ground turmeric
1 tsp dried chili flakes
2 tbsp dried marjoram
salt to taste
3 large handfuls of spinach
400 ml (1 3/4 cups) almond milk (or other milk of choice)
In a large pot, heat some fat and roast the onions, garlic, black cumin seeds, and coriander seeds until slightly brown and fragrant. Add the lentils and the water and cook covered at medium heat for about 20 minutes, then add the squash, cauliflower florets, and bay leaves, season with garam marsala, cumin, turmeric, chili, and marjoram, and stew covered for another 30 minutes, until everything is cooked well.
Finally, add a little salt to taste, throw in the spinach, and add the almond milk. Cook openly for 15 or so more minutes for the liquid to reduce, then serve and enjoy. Leftovers can easily be frozen or kept in the fridge for a couple of days, and reheated when desired.
What is your favorite dish for the cold season? Do you have time for cooking every day?