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Monday, November 19, 2012

Barley, Lentil, Chickpea, Spinach Stew

Four simple powerhouse ingredients - chickpea, lentils, barley and spinach, plus some onions, garlic and tomatoes come together for this flavorful, hearty winter stew.

I cook barley in a rice cooker: 1 part barley to about 3 parts water or stock. I like to stock up on dry beans, soak and pressure cook them in batches and freeze them for later use. so, there is usually about 3 or 4 varieties of cooked beans in the freezer, ready to be used.

Brown or green lentils have a full-bodied flavor and don't get too mushy when pressure cooked, which adds to the texture of the stew.

I like the nutty crunch that the cooked barley adds as well.

Sometimes, I use Kale in addition to (or instead of) spinach in this recipe.

1 cup cooked barley
2 cups cooked brown or green lentils
1 cup cooked chick peas
10 oz frozen chopped spinach
3 cups fresh kale, chopped finely
2 cups vegetable stock or water

3 to 4 dry red chilies
1 medium onion diced
1 cup canned diced tomatoes
1 cup tomato sauce
1 Tbsp chopped garlic

2-inch piece of Indian Cinnamon bark
1 black cardamom
2 medium bay leaves

1 tsp turmeric powder
1 Tbsp paprika powder
1 Tbsp coriander powder (optional)
salt to taste


Combine the ingredients in a pressure cooker and cook till first whistle, turn off and allow to cool and release pressure a bit.

Open the lid when safe and simmer the stew in the pressure cooker for a few minutes till desired consistency.

Adjust flavors, garnish and serve with home-made herb dampers or Indian flatbreads.

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