Astonishingly good lentil stew

Sometimes, the things you make up turn out the best!

I promised to start posting more recipes, photos or not. This started as some kind of dal tadka, but I had bits and dabs in the fridge to use up. The recipe sounds complicated but it came together so easily. The ingredients in bold are local!

  • 1 chicken carcass
  • salt, pepper, fresh ginger, fresh garlic
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes (or 2 fresh tomatoes)
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 cups mixed lentils (red lentils, yellow split peas, brown lentils, puy lentils, urad dal, whatever you have)
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into little cubes (or carrots, celery, turnips, celery root, any root veg)
  • 1 small bunch of Swiss Chard (or any fresh greens)
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp each ground cumin and coriander
  • 1 small onion or 1 bunch green onions
  • 2 tbl butter or ghee

Take a chicken carcass after you’ve eaten most of the meat off. Put it in a crockpot right after dinner with just enough water to cover, 2 tsp good salt and a good amount of pepper. If you have it, add a couple slices of fresh ginger and a couple of cloves of garlic, smashed. Let cook on low overnight.

In the morning, strain the chicken broth and set aside the meat & bones. Put the strained broth and the meat & bones in the fridge.

When you get home from work, take out the broth. Skim off any hard fat. Measure the broth into a soup pot and add enough water to make 6 cups. Add can of diced tomatoes or chopped tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Add the lentils and stir. Bring back to a full boil, then turn down to a simmer and cover. Cook for 30 minutes.

Now uncover, stir, and add your root veggies. Cover again and cook for another 30 minutes. While it’s cooking, take the reserved chicken carcass. Carefully take the remaining meat off the bones and shred.

Chop the onions or green onions. Melt butter or ghee in a small saute pan or heavy bottomed sauce pan on medium. Add powdered spices and garlic, cook until the spices smell cooked, just a couple of minutes. Add onions/green onions and cook until softened. Immediately scrape this mixture into the soup pot and stir in. Then add any greens. Turn the fire off and cover. Let sit for 10 minutes. Taste and adjust salt and pepper.

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