Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Slow Cooker South Indian Lentil Stew with Golden Coconut Rice

One of my favorite part of the postpartum period is the meal deliveries. That and being able to
bend over again. Not only is it awesome to have a vacation from cooking when you have a newborn, but it's also a great way to expand your repertoire as others introduce you to new and exciting dishes that might not have had it into your rotation otherwise. 
Apparently I am an intimidating person to bring meals to. Or so I've been told. I like to cook AND I'm a dietitian which means the food has to be uber fancy and absolutely and completely healthy. Because I never eat anything that comes together in less than 23 steps. And I have never let an unhealthy morsel pass through my lips. Ummm, NOT. For those who have actually dined with me even once, it is a known fact that I just love food and that dessert is an absolute must for me, especially when it comes a la mode!
Anyhow, I'm SO glad people overcame whatever ridiculous notions they had about me and food and gifted us with meals after each new addition to our family. These meal deliveries were such a gift to a tired mom and sometimes I seriously consider having more babies just to have another month or two of meal love. I'm KIDDING people!!!! Mostly.
We were introduced to this amazing meatless meal after our son was born and it has joined the ranks in our regular rotation. My colleague, a fellow dietitian, brought us this stew and I asked for the recipe that very night. It was so flavorful and tasted just like something we would order at an Indian restaurant. I shocked and thrilled to learn that it was made in the slow cooker!! After many-a-failed attempt at easing the dinner hour chaos by slow cooking, I was about ready to throw the appliance out the window. Everything I made tasted the same - like meat in meat broth. BORING! But this, this was different, besides the obvious factor of it being meatless of course. Oh and the coconut rice with turmeric and cinnamon! I forget that rice can become so much more than just a plain side with a few yummy spices.
I literally threw the stew ingredients together in 5 minutes before running out the door. I was using a rather large slow cooker so next time I will double the stew recipe and freezer any leftovers. You can add more spinach if you like - my coworker says she adds 10 ounces of frozen spinach at the beginning and then stirs in some fresh spinach at the end right before serving. The stew is amazing served with the Golden Coconut Rice alone, but if you find yourself with extra time, make a batch of Garlic Naan too. You certainly won't regret it.
Slow Cooker South Indian Lentil Stew

2 cups red lentils
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 onion, chopped
10 oz spinach (fresh or frozen)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced ginger
4 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth if you want it to be truly vegetarian)
1 tablespoon curry powder
½ teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoons sugar
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Golden Coconut Rice (recipe below)

Combine all the ingredients in a slow cooker and cook on high for 3 hours. Turn slow cooker down to low and cook an additional 6 hours.

Golden Coconut Rice

4 cups water
1 can of light coconut milk

1 teaspoon turmeric
2 cinnamon sticks
2 cups medium or short grain brown rice

Combine the water, coconut milk, turmeric and cinnamon sticks in a large saucepan and bring them to a boil. Stir in rice, turn down heat to a low simmer and cover. Allow to cook until water is absorbed, about 40 to 50 minutes. Alternatively, add all ingredients to a rice cooker.

Serves 6


  1. yum! Going to make this one soon. It kills me how everyone is scared to cook for me since I love to cook....but being cooked for is actually my "love language" and why I love cooking for other people. I always try to convince people that I am SO happy anytime anyone cooks anything for me, but no one believes it. (also comes from having a hubby who never ever cooks) Loving your blog Kelsie, your recipes are awesome! ps. have you made fennel slaw? This is my new fav recipe....http://kaleandkumquats.blogspot.com/2013/04/fennel-slaw.html

    1. Thanks Kari - glad you are enjoying the blog! I'm having a blast doing it and hope to find more time for it once we get moved and settled. I haven't tried fennel slaw yet but we really enjoy fennel so I'm going to have to give your recipe a try. Thanks for sending it!


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