Thursday, 21 March 2013

Coconut, Lentil and Spinach Stew

I've been hen doo-ing in the Lake District, a beautiful house full of over excited girls in food fancy dress... My costume was a piece of streaky bacon, a giant one made of foam that made me laugh every time I looked in the mirror, until the early hours when I couldn’t really see in the mirror... There was a fried egg, a giant pea pod, a lobster, a pig (organic obvs) jelly beans, diet coke, a can of Spam, the list goes on... It made for a very entertaining evening fuelled by much wine and a big house to bash around in...  

I had an excellent time, although I still feel tired and a bit emotional, staying up till the early hours doesn't seem to agree with me as well as it used to. I need comfort food in quiet rooms with blankets and nice people....  

I found this recipe on The Traveller's Lunchbox blog originally, I think they adapted it from someone else and I changed it a bit from theirs, so it's origins have changed along the way, but I imagine it has been delicious in every form. They call it a soup, mine is more of a stewy dal type thing I think... A delicious spiced coconut stew full of lentils and soft spinach.

Start with the lentils, 275g of green or puy lentils, rinse them, then add to a pan with 1 litre of chicken stock, a big sprig of thyme and 1½ teaspoons of turmeric. Bring it to the boil and simmer gently with a lid on till the lentils are soft, about 20 minutes, add more stock if needs be...

While the lentils are cooking heat a big knob of butter in a frying pan and sauté 1 large diced onion with a big pinch of salt until it is very soft, for about 12 minutes. Then add 2 cloves of finely chopped garlic, ½ teaspoon of ground cardamom seeds, ¼ teaspoon ground cloves, ¼ teaspoon of ground cinnamon, a pinch of ground nutmeg and fry for another 30 seconds. Then scrape this spicy onion mix into the lentils.

Finally add a whole tin of coconut milk and a small bag of spinach, stirring till it wilts into the warm stew. Simmer for another 10 minutes or so and check if you need salt and pepper as it is cooking.

This will sort you out if you find yourself deep in winter at the end of March or a delicate hen do patient, both of which I am currently inflicted with...


  1. This *does* look like the perfect thing after a night of too much something or other. I love the intense green-ness of it all, and can imagine that the slightly sweet coconut milk plays off it very nicely.

  2. The coconut is delicious! Sorted me right out!

    Anna x

  3. This soup looks so good--creamy and delicious and fresh and green and springy all at once. :)

  4. Thank you! I hadn't thought of it like that but yes, fit for Winter and Spring in one bowl!

    Anna x

  5. Sadly this was really salty using veg oxo cubes, even without adding salt to taste. Recommend low sodium broth

    1. oh no! i've never had that problem, but I havent tried it with oxo before. Perhaps try using less of the cube next time?
      Anna x


Happy cooking! Let me know if you make any of my recipes, send a picture, and let me know any of your own recipes and tips! Anna x