Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Jane Brody's Lentil Potato Stew

Our weather has been unseasonably cold lately, and I find myself craving nice, thick stews to warm myself up. For the past several years, this has been one of my favorite stews. It is thick and hearty and very healthy. We love Indian food, and the way this stew is spiced is very similar, so I either serve it over rice or with Trader Joe's tandoori naan.

Be certain to use brown lentils. The tiny French green lentils are too small (for me, anyway, the mouth-feel is too similar to "grains") and the red lentils fall apart and turn to mush. Brown lentils seem to be "sturdier". I also changed one part of the original recipe to use vegetable broth (the low-sodium variety) instead of water because it tastes better.

And add a dollop of nonfat plain yogurt on top (I would have liked to use minced fresh cilantro, too, but none was to be had).

Okay, now I have to admit that I make a double recipe just for the two of us, we enjoy it so much. There's nothing better for a quick lunch (I make the rice in advance, too) and the stew will keep for several days in the refrigerator, only becoming better as the flavors meld.

* Exported from MasterCook *

Lentil & Potato Stew

Recipe By : Jane Brody
Servings : 6

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
1 cup lentils -- brown lentils, not red or the small green French type
4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
1 large bay leaf
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound white potato
1 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
14 ounces canned diced tomato -- undrained
2 teaspoons garam masala
1 teaspoon sugar

In a medium-sized saucepan, combine the lentils, broth, and bay leaf. Bring the ingredients to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15-30 minutes (depending on how old the lentils are) until they are just tender. Remove from heat, take out and discard the bay leaf, and set aside but do not drain the broth.

In a Dutch oven or large nonstick saucepan, heat the oil briefly and add the potatoes. Cook, stirring often, for 4 minutes.

Add the chopped onion and turmeric and continue to cook for an additional 4 minutes, stirring often. Add the remaining ingredients (cumin through sugar). Season with ground black pepper to taste .Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally. Add more water if stew seems to be too dry.

Serve with dollops of nonfat plain yogurt, if desired.

"Good Food Gourmet"
"8 cups"

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Per serving: 235 Calories (kcal); 3g Total Fat; (10% calories from fat); 18g Protein; 36g Carbohydrate; 0mg Cholesterol; 539mg Sodium
Food Exchanges: 2 Grain(Starch); 1 1/2 Lean Meat; 1/2 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 1/2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates

NOTES : Serve over steamed basmati rice or with naan

Brody also points out that you can make a reasonable facsimile of garam masala by combining equal amounts of cardamon, cumin, cinnamon, coriander with smaller amounts of ground cloves and black pepper. I use Penzey's garam masala.