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Recipes Around the World International Vegetarian Union
Vegan Indian Recipes - Beans, Pulses, Legumes, Dals
Contributed by Vegetarians and Vegans from around the world

Lentil-Spinach Stew
from: Kate L Pugh - Oxford, UK

This recipe was posted on the Fatfree mailing list by Ruth Hoffman.
This is pretty much as Ruth posted it; I've only made a few changes to the presentation and ingredients, and added measurement conversions.
It's a fairly simple recipe, but really delicious.
Serves 5.

  • 1 medium onion
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 175g (6oz, 1 cup) split red lentils
  • 1 (400g, 14oz) can chopped tomatoes (with juice)
  • 4 tsp stock powder (or equivalent stock cube)
  • 1 tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce, or dark soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp ground fennel seed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 250g (9oz) fresh or frozen chopped spinach
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar
1. Chop the onion.
Sauté in vegetable stock until soft but not browned.
(See Kate's sauté directions for this).

2. Meanwhile, chop the garlic and rinse the lentils.
When the onion is soft, add the garlic, lentils, tomatoes, stock powder, Worcestershire / soy sauce, salt, thyme, fennel and bay leaf to the pan, along with 900ml (32 fl oz, 4 cups) water.

3. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover pan, and simmer for about 20 minutes, until the lentils have started to break up. Stir occasionally.

4. Meanwhile, peel the carrots and chop into 1cm (1/4 inch) cubes.
If using fresh spinach, wash, remove large stalks and chop roughly.

5. Add the carrots and spinach to the pan.
Stir until mixed, and until frozen spinach has defrosted.
Cover and simmer a further 15 minutes, or until lentils and vegetables are cooked.
Remove bay leaf and stir in vinegar.

This ends up tasting fairly tomato-ey.
Use only 1/2 can if you're not too fussed on tomato flavour.

It also ends up fairly soupy - if you want it thicker, leave it until the next day to thicken, or use less water, or remove the lid for the last 10 minutes to allow water to evaporate.

Using frozen chopped spinach gives a more homogeneous texture - fresh spinach will be in larger pieces.
I sometimes like a mixture of the two.

For more see: Kate's Indian Recipes