Lentil Stew with Corn is subtly sweet and has deep, rich savory flavors from fresh curry leaves and the spices used. It’s a gorgeous bowl of vegan comfort food!Have you ever seen an ingredient in the market and wondered what it was? And how to use it?
It happens to me often, and I am a culinary school graduate.
Inspiration for Lentil Stew with Corn
One of the wonderful things about cooking and food is that there’s always a new discovery to be made.
By stepping a little outside our comfort zones, we can find amazing delicious new ingredients. It’s fun and leads to all sorts of new recipes.
Recently I was given a tour of L.A.’s Little India district.
Indian cuisine fascinates me as it’s so varied and is full of unbelievable flavors!
I came home from my Little India tour with many interesting ingredients to use including curry leaves.
What’s in this Lentil Stew Recipe
- grapeseed oil
- fresh curry leaves
- dried chilies
- sweet potato
- coconut milk
- vegetable broth
- fresh basil
What are curry leaves?
- Curry leaves grow on curry trees, native to India.
- Although curry powder may once have included curry leaves among its ingredients, there is no relation between the two.
- They have a slight citrus flavor with hints of basil. In recipes, the taste of curry leaves is not dominant — however, their subtle flavor can make a meal richer and heartier.
- Curry leaves are used to flavor rice, chutney, soup, stew and dal. They’re perfect for this Corn Lentil Stew.
Where to Find Fresh Curry Leaves
You’re likely to find fresh curry leaves in Asian and Indian markets. You can also order them here.
Slow Cooking Lentil Stew with Corn
Did you know slow cooking isn’t just for meat?!
Like meat, vegetables are sometimes cooked at a low temperature for hours. This creates incredible, intense flavors and melt-in-your-mouth textures, as you will find in this Corn Lentil Stew!
I hope you love this recipe as much as I do.
Recipe Tips and Substitutions
- Large chunks of the corn cob are used in this recipe — however, you can remove the kernels from the cob before (or after) the cooking process if you’d like. I find it’s extra delicious on the cob. The flavors seep into each kernel and seem to be held in place there by the core.
- Instead of whole dried chilies, you can use chili flakes.
- A substitute for curry leaves is lime zest. For this recipe you about will need about 1 tablespoon of it.
More recipes with corn and lentils:
- Sheet Pan Chicken with Corn Salsa
- Vegan Creamed Corn with Jalapeños
- Smoky Corn Chowder Recipe with Peppers
Corn Lentil Stew is subtly sweet and has deep, rich savory flavors from curry leaves and the spices used. It's a gorgeous bowl of vegan comfort food!
- ¼ cup grsapeseed oil
- about 1 ½ dozen fresh curry leaves, washed and dried, removed from stems
- 1½ cups yellow onion, cut into a medium dice
- 1½ teaspoons fresh ginger, finely grated
- 1½ teaspoons fresh garlic, finely grated
- ¾ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¾ teaspoon ground turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 dried chilies, crushed
- 3 cups sweet potato, peeled and cut into a large dice
- 1 generous cup dried yellow lentils
- 3 ears fresh corn, cut into approximately 1 to 2 inch rounds
- 1⅛ cup coconut milk
- 3¾ cup vegetable broth
- a handful of basil leaves (about 2 dozen), washed and dried
Preheat the oven to 250°F.
Coat a large oven safe pot, fitted with a lid (a Dutch oven is perfect) with the grapeseed oil. Warm the oil over medium-high heat. Then add the curry leaves and let them sizzle for about 30 seconds. Use a slotted spoon to remove the leaves, making sure to let all of the excess oil drain off the spoon and back into the pot. (The leaves can be discarded.)
Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the onion to the pot. Cook until it's soft, about 5 minutes. Then add the ginger, garlic and spices. Cook until this becomes very aromatic, about 3 minutes.
Add the sweet potato, lentils and corn to the pot. Stir to combine.
Mix the coconut milk with the vegetable broth and then add it to the pot. It should just about cover the vegetables. Cover the pot and place it in the preheated oven for about 3 hours. When it's done, the lentils should be tender and the potatoes should look almost pureed. Gently stir the stew about every 45 minutes or so.
Remove from the oven, add the basil leaves, and season to taste with sea salt if necessary.
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