In Memory Of Karen Nicole Smith, 1972 - 2016

Easy Caribbean Vegan Stewed Lentils Recipe.

Back in 2010 I shared my version of the classic Caribbean Stewed Lentils, then we had the wicked Hearty Lentil Soup we did, followed by the Quick And Tasty Lentils we did using canned lentils and the Slower Cooker Stewed Lentils, but today it’s all about tradition. This is the lentils from my childhood, a recipe which differs slightly from the original way my great grandmother would make, however the base flavor and texture remains intact.

1 tablespoon veg oil
1 large onion (diced)
1 carrot (diced)
2 stalks celery (diced)
8 cloves garlic (smashed)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
8 sprigs thyme (divided)
1/2 lb pumpkin (sliced or diced)
3/4 tablespoon salt
3 cups green lentils (washed)
1 large tomato (diced)
3 tablespoon golden brown sugar (divided)
12-14 cups of water
1 scotch bonnet pepper (optional)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 scallions (chopped fine)
3 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon grated ginger
2-3 tablespoon coconut cream

Notes! Please follow along with the video below as much more is discussed about the recipe there. I used an entire Scotch Bonnet pepper, but that may be optional or at least use in the amounts you know you can handle. Remember to wear gloves and to wash your hands with soap and water IMMEDIATELY after handling such hot peppers. IMPORTANT! To make this dish fully vegan, LEAVE OUT the Worcestershire sauce.

Heat the olive oil in a deep pot on a medium flame and add the carrot, celery, onion, garlic, 1/2 of the thyme and black pepper. Turn the heat down to med/low and cook gently for 4-5 minutes, then add the pumpkin and salt. Continue cooking for 3 minutes.

Now add the washed lentils along with the diced tomato, stir well.

Turn the heat up, add 12 cups of water and 1 tablespoon of brown sugar. As it comes to a boil, reduce the flame so it simmer for about 45-55 minutes. Here’s when you’ll also add the scotch Bonnet (any spicy pepper you like or can source) as well.

Once the lentils are tender, remove the pot off the heat and set aside. It’s time for the stewing step. Keep an eye on things as it cooks as you may need to add more water so it doesn’t dry-off before getting tender.

Heat another heavy pot on a medium/high flame, add the remaining oil. Go in with the remaining 2 tablespoons of brown sugar and stir. Watch the video for this step. Essentially the sugar will melt, go frothy, then a deep amber in color (if it goes black, STOP – allow the pot to cool completely before you wash it and start over – explained why in the video). It will go smoky in your kitchen! I used a measuring cup with a handle to add the previously boiled lentils to the caramelized sugar. Had I poured it directly from pot to pot, I risked getting burned.

Once you have all of the lentils in the pot, add the scallions, parsley, ginger and coconut cream and stir well. Cook for another 10 minutes to allow all of those flavors to make their magic. Then taste and adjust the salt to your liking.

Keep in mind it will thicken further as it cools, but if you find that it’s too runny, you may crush some of the lentils to naturally thicken things. ENJOY!

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