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Spicy Red Lentil and Chickpea Stew (Paula's Moroccan Lentil Stew)


Spicy Red Lentil and Chickpea Stew

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Rate this recipe 4.5/5 (14 Votes)


  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 T olive oil (or perhaps a little more, depending on your pan)
  • 1-2 tsp. finely grated fresh ginger (original recipe said 1 tsp, but I used 2 tsp.)
  • 1 T finely minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 3/4 cup celery, finely diced
  • 1 tsp. Garam Masala
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp. ground cayenne pepper (I only used 1/4 tsp. because I'm a wimp for hot foods)
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin (original recipe said 1/2 tsp., but I love cumin)
  • 6 cups chicken, beef, or vegetable stock (I used 4 cups chicken and 2 cups beef stock, because that's what I had. You could also use canned broth)
  • 1 1/2 cups red lentils
  • 1 can (15 oz) chickpeas, rinsed until no more foam appears
  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes (I used petite dice, do not drain tomatoes)
  • cooked brown rice for serving (optional)
  • sour cream or plain yogurt for serving (optional)


Servings 6
Adapted from


Step 1

Makes at least 6-8 servings, depending on whether it's served alone or with brown rice.
Heat olive oil in a heavy pot with a tight-fitting lid. Add onions, ginger, garlic, and turmeric and gently saute, stirring often, for about 7 minutes, or until onions are quite soft but not browned. Add diced celery, garam masala, ground cardamom, cayenne pepper, and ground cumin and saute 3-4 minutes more, until celery barely starts to soften.

Add the stock, red lentils, canned tomatoes, and rinsed chickpeas and bring mixture to a gentle boil. When it starts to bubble, reduce heat to the barest simmer and cover pan with lid. Let mixture simmer, stirring a few times, until lentils are dissolved enough that mixture has thickened into a chunky stew. (The shorter time you cook it, the more chunky it will be. I cooked mine at the barest simmer for about 60 minutes.)

Serve hot, over brown rice and topped with sour cream or plain yogurt if desired. Paula said this is even better after it's been in the fridge, and I'd have to agree that like many stews, the flavors were even better the next day.

This freezes very well, so I'd recommend making the whole batch, even if you're only cooking for a small number of people. However, it's so good it might not make it into the freezer!


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