20 minute Lentil, Walnut & Pomegranate Stew
by Gileen Caughey
This vegan stew is rich, sweet and tangy and very comforting on these cold nights. Beautiful served with fluffy white rice and crunchy celery. The pomegranate molasses adds a tang, cinnamon and turmeric some warmth. The walnuts are toasted and ground to thicken the stew. It takes about 275g of unshelled walnuts to get 1 cup of shelled walnuts. Grating the vegetables allows them to break down into a sauce faster.
1 cup of walnuts
2 T olive oil
1 med onion, grated
1 large carrot, grated
2 sticks celery, 1 grated, 1 finely sliced to serve
1 bay leaf
2-2.5 cups vegetable stock or water
4 T pomegranate molasses
2.5 cm turmeric root grated
1 level t cinnamon powder
¼ level t black pepper
1 x 410g can lentils
Toast the walnuts at 180C for about 5 mins, watch them carefully so they don’t burn. Reserve about 8 halves for garnish. Grind the remaining walnuts to a fine meal in a food processor, its Ok if they turn into walnut butter.
Sauté the grated onion, carrot and celery in the olive oil over a medium heat for 5 mins or until vegetables have softened and golden. Add the pomegranate molasses, cinnamon, turmeric, bay leaf, pepper and 2 cups of stock/water to the pot, cook for 5 minutes to blend the flavours.
Drain and rinse the lentils. Add the lentils to the pot and cook for another 5 mins.
Add the ground walnuts and season with salt. Cook for 5 min. It should form a saucy stew, add more stock/water if it has thickened too much. Check seasoning and remove the bay leaf.
Serve decorated with the reserved walnuts and finely sliced celery.
This recipe works with uncooked lentils, but it takes an extra 30-40 mins cooking time. Use 1 cup of brown lentils and an extra 2.5 cups of stock. Add the lentils after you have sautéed the vegetables and cook until the lentils are just soft.
Pomegranate molasses adds some zing to roasted beetroot. Try tossing cubed beetroot into a mix of 1:1 pomegranate molasses and olive oil, season with salt, then roast the beetroot until tender.