This is my go-to stew. Has been for about 5 years. It’s comforting, adaptable and so, so good. 1 pot, 1 hour = simple, incredibly tasty vegetarian meal. Truly a delightful change from ordinary lentil stew or soup. Make sure you have a hunk of great bread(gluten free if you need that) to sop up the stew juices or you’ll end up using your fingers! Serve alongside a big salad for a complete meal.
Jamaican Lentil Stew
1 medium onion, minced
Make a thick paste by mashing ginger and garlic together using a pestle and mortar or a small bowl and the heel of a wooden spoon.
Heat vegetable oil over medium heat in a large saucepan, add the onion and saute until transparent.
Add the garlic ginger paste and saute another 2 minutes until fragrant; lower heat and stir constantly to avoid burning the paste. Add the spices and saute for a minute more. This step is delightful really because the smells that waft from the pan are vibrant.
Stir in the coconut milk, stock, lentils, sweet potato and pumpkin puree.
Simmer over medium – low heat for 40 – 50 minutes or until sweet potato is soft and almost melting into the stew. Be sure to stir occasionally. If your stew is getting too thick lower the heat and add ½ cup of water or stock to get things back on track.
Before serving, stir in the red curry paste if you are using it or adjust seasoning with black pepper. I whole heartedly recommend using the Thai curry paste. It adds heat and brings depth to the flavor of the stew. If you are serving kids you may want to pull out a portion of stew for them and them season the remainer. My kids are accustomed to spices, but I increase the amount of spicy heat a little bit every now and then. Sometimes it flies and sometimes it doesn’t. I also find that giving the kids the control of the spices helps. My 4 year old is really adventurous with spice and spiciness. The 8 year old is a bit more conservative, but they both try more than I would have imagined they would.
Want a printable version with nutrition facts? Back in the day, I posted this on Recipezaar (now Food.com) — so, here’s the link to that version.