Chana dal lentil stew

I love legumes – truly, madly, deeply. I also love soups that can double as a meal. Therefore, this stew is perfect. It is inspired by Indian cuisine, but it’s definitely my own take.

I try to stock our kitchen with a variety of legumes, so we don’t get bored with eating the same beans or lentils all the time. I love to experiment with different varieties – each one has a different flavor and texture. Chana dal is a legume from India that is related to the chickpea and looks a bit like yellow split peas. I really enjoy how it tastes and hope you will give this stew a try.


chana dal lentil stew


1 tbsp. coconut oil
1½ tsp. black onion seed
1 tsp. whole fennel seeds
½ tsp. whole cumin
½ tsp. ground coriander
½ tsp. turmeric powder
½ tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
6 cups vegetable broth or water
1 cup dry chana dal (rinsed and soaked for 3-4 hours)
1 cup dry green lentils (rinsed and soaked for 3-4 hours)
½ cup dry red lentils (rinsed)
2 large carrots
3 potatoes
1 small cauliflower (about 500g)
3 tbsp. tomato puree or paste
1 tbsp. coconut cream
2 tsp. salt
½ tsp. freshly ground white pepper



  1. Rinse and soak chana dal and green lentils.
  2. Peel and chop carrots and potatoes. Cut cauliflower into small florets.
  3. After legumes have soaked for at least 3 hours, drain water and rinse. Rinse red lentils.
  4. Heat coconut oil in soup pot. Add black onion seed, let simmer for a minute, then add fennel seeds, cumin, coriander, turmeric and nutmeg. Let simmer for 30 seconds, and add vegetable broth.
  5. Add chana dal, green lentils, red lentils, chopped carrots, potatoes and cauliflower florets. Bring to a boil and reduce heat.
  6. When vegetables and legumes are almost done, in a small bowl mix a bit of heated broth with the tomato puree and add to the stew. Add coconut cream. Stir.
  7. When everything is done, add salt and pepper in the above amounts or to taste.

Serve on its own or over a dollop of basmati rice.


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