There are days when you just yearn for a comforting meal. At these times, I experiment with lentils since they work brilliantly in soups and stews. During a grocery shopping spree, I had picked up green puy lentils with the intention of trying to cook some Middle Eastern dishes. Puy lentils have a smooth texture and do not require to be soaked overnight. They absorb seasoning very well and can be paired with different spices. They are little marvels that provide you with a sustaining and comforting meal. Add some veggies, and you get a great stew / soup that pairs well with shortbread or buns. For seasoning, I chose Za’atar (a spice mixture) as it is uniquely Middle Eastern in usage. This was my first time working with this spice and it elevated the stew to another level. To say that the dish was enjoyed would be an understatement!
Recipe Details :
Serves: 2-3 pax
Time: 30 mins
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, diced
- 1 zucchini, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tbsp za’atar
- 1/2 cup puy lentils
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 3 – 4 cups water
- Salt to taste
- Rinse the puy lentils in warm water 2-3 times and set it aside.
- In a pot, take olive oil and sauté the onions, zucchini and carrots with a pinch of salt for around 8 mins.
- Add the finely chopped garlic and sauté it further for another 2 minutes.
- Next, add the Za’atar and mix well. Within a minute, you will smell the amazing fragrance from the spice.
- Now add the rinsed puy lentils and add in the water. Cover the pot with a lid and let it simmer for another 10 mins. The lentils should be tender and should not turn mushy.
- Now add 2 tsp of salt and mix well. Let it simmer for another 10 mins. Switch off the flame.
- Serve this delicious stew with ciabatta bread. I grilled the bread with mozzarella cheese.
- Make sure you sauté the vegetables well – but do not let them burn.
- You may need to check on the stew occasionally to add some water. It will take between 3 – 5 cups to cook the lentils.
- For those staying in Singapore, I bought the puy lentils from Mustafa. I picked up the Ciabatta bread and fresh Mozzarella cheese from Providore Cafe counter at Mandarin Orchard. They have a really good cheese counter with a lot of variety.