Thank goodness I was on Twitter at 10:55 on Tuesday morning, else I would have missed this critical tweet by Whole Foods Market: @WholeRecipes: Slow Cooker Chickpea and Lentil Stew bit.ly/XSC1Sh. While it’s true I am a regular browser of the Whole Foods recipes (not been disappointed by one yet), who knows when I may have stumbled across this gem?!
Priority status was instantly assigned when I read the words, “Slow Cooker,” since I rarely use my slow cooker anymore so am always happy to try a recipe that looks promising. And what made this one look so promising?
- Slow Cooker
- Garam Masala
If you get right down to it, there’s not really any combination of these beans and spices that could possibly be bad, and throwing them all in a crockpot to take away my need to hover for an hour makes it a practically perfect option.
Of course I tweaked the recipe immediately because I don’t like olives, and then I just went on a tweaking frenzy as I was putting things together from my cupboard. Chili pepper flakes in place of an actual pepper, green instead of red lentils (because I didn’t want mush, which is what you’ll get if you use red, but don’t get me wrong because red lentils definitely have their place, but I really didn’t want that texture for this dish), fire-roasted tomatoes instead of a puree (Who wants to eat mush? I know I tried to say that by swapping out the lentils, but really Whole Foods recipe creators, no mush, please).
I’ll share my version below, but you’ve got the link above to the original recipe if you want to follow theirs verbatim. What NOT to leave out would be the Garam Masala. If you don’t yet own this staple spice blend of Indian cooking, put it on this week’s grocery list. Where can you find it? I purchased a lovely version at Williams Sonoma, but have also easily found it at Earth Fare, Whole Foods and Fresh Market. I bet you can locate it at your grocery store, or one nearby.
All I can tell you is when I delivered a hot bowl to Jamie she devoured it in moments (so it was probably a good thing her girls were already in bed because I’m not sure she would have wanted them to witness such barbarism) and looked up just long enough to see if I’d brought more. Sorry, Jamie. The next bowl you’ll have to make yourself.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil - 2 T
- Medium Yellow Onion - chopped
- Red Pepper Flakes - 1 tsp, to taste
- Garlic Cloves - 4, chopped
- Garam Masala - 2 tsp
- Unhulled Sesame Seeds - 1/4 cup
- Chickpeas - 2 15oz cans, rinsed & drained
- Dried Green Lentils - 1/2 cup
- Fire Roasted Tomatoes - 1 28oz can
- Water - 2 cups
- Vegetable Better Than Bouillon - 2-3 T
Heat olive oil in a pan and sauté the onions. Add pepper flakes, garlic, garam masala and sesame seeds and cook until onion is translucent. Combine everything in the slow cooker and cook on low 8 to 10 hours, or on high 4 to 5 hours.
This would be fantastic served with naan or another fresh bread!