Sunday, May 13, 2018

Simple Persian (Adassi) Lentil Stew for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

When I was looking for Middle Eastern recipes to pair with my book review earlier in the week, I went to Sirocco: Fabulous Flavors from the Middle East by Sabrina Ghayour.  I ended up making her Sweet-Spiced Roasted Nuts, but I tagged several other recipes to try. Having a hankering for curry and a half-package of Puy lentils, I decided to make her Persian "Adassi" Lentil Stew for my soup this week. 

Ghayour notes that they usually enjoy this soup in the cold winter months--which we don't get here anyway and remarks on the amount of flavor from so few ingredients. She also notes that it gets better and better the longer it keeps and the flavors intensify--perfect since I eat my soup batches throughout the week. You can make this one thinner like a soup or thicker like a stew or dal. I kept mine in the middle and I added a can of coconut milk at the end, as I was craving that too. My small changes to the recipe are in red below.

One interesting thing about this stew to me is the way that the lentils are cooked somewhat like risotto, with ladlefuls of the hot liquid stirred in and absorbed before more liquid is added. I'm not sure of the purpose of that--other than maybe they cook more evenly?--but I tried it that way.  

Persian (Adassi) Lentil Stew 
Slightly Adapted from Sirocco by Sabrina Ghayour
(Serves 4)

3 Tbsp vegetable oil (I used coconut oil)
1 large onion, finely diced
1 1/3 cups Puy lentils
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 heaping Tbsp medium curry powder
flaky sea salt
1 1/2 quarts or so hot water from a kettle
(I added I can coconut milk)
(I added 1/2 tsp Aleppo pepper)

Heat a saucepan over medium-low heat (or medium heat, if you are cooking on an electric stove). add the oil and fry the onion until translucent. Add the lentils and stir for 1 minutes. then stir in the tomato paste and curry powder, season with salt, and add a couple of tablespoons of water to hydrate the mixture (spices absorb moisture quickly). Stir well for about a minute, until the ingredients are evenly mixed in. 

Then, in stages, stir in a few ladlefuls of hot water at a time, stirring well and allowing each ladleful of water to be thoroughly absorbed by the lentils before adding the next. Once all the water has been absorbed, taste the lentils to check you are happy with the texture and that they are cooked thoroughly. If not, add another 1-2 ladlefuls of water until you are satisfied. (At this point I stirred in a can of coconut milk and seasoned with a bit of extra salt and some Aleppo pepper.)

Notes/Results: A simple soup, but great flavor from the curry and another demonstration of why Puy lentils are my favorite for soups. I love the texture and body they give it--staying firm rather than melting into the liquid or getting mushy, like other lentils do. I really didn't notice what gradually adding the liquid to the lentils did or didn't do for the soup--I'll have to look into it more. Since there are few ingredients and a good amount of curry, use a curry you really like for it as the flavor stands out. They one I use the most is on the milder side of medium, so I added a bit of Aleppo pepper for a little kick. At the end, I liked it as it was but felt it would be even better with coconut milk added to make it creamy. I thought it made it even better, but you can certainly leave it out. I served my soup with a prantha--Indian flatbread I stock in my freezer but think it would pair well with any bread or flatbread or rice, I would happily make it again.

We have two great dishes in the Souper Sundays kitchen--let's take a look!

Quilt Lady of Chasing My Life Wherever It Leads Me shared her Mexican Cobb Salad with Jalapeño Ranch Dressing. The salad is a combination of chicken, tomato, avocado, cheese and chiles on a bed of lettuce and she recommends whipping up the creamy dressing that tops it, the night before you serve it.

Tina of Squirrel Head Manor shared Conch Chowder and said, "It's getting very hot here in north Florida and so what do we have for dinner?  Hot chowder! Why not. It's a nice light meal after a hearty lunch so we were satisfied. This chowder was prepared in Marathon Florida. ... While I can't take credit for making this chowder I think I would be willing to do so in the future. It's packed with fresh conch, roma tomatoes, celery, potatoes, carrots, bell pepper, broth, sherry, turmeric  and a healthy dose of red pepper. Gives it the kick that Chardonnay soothes after a few spoonfuls."

Thanks for joinin me at Souper Sundays this week!

About Souper Sundays:

Souper Sundays is back with a new format of a picture link each week where anyone interested can post their soups, salads, or sandwiches any time during the week and I post a recap of the entries the following week.)

(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.

If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...

To join in this week's Souper Sunday's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:

  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you. Also please see below for what to do on the post you link up to be included.

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • Mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and link back to this post. (Not to be a pain but it's polite and only fair to link back to events you link up at--so if you link a post up here without linking back on your post, it will be removed.)
  • You are welcome to add the Souper Sundays logo to your post and/or blog (optional).

Have a happy, healthy week!


  1. Sounds and looks good, perfect for a chilly day!

  2. Lentils are so versatile. I make lentil soup about 5 different ways. I've never added coco nut milk - might give that a try


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