This stew, heavy with red lentils, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, chickpeas, and coconut milk, may seem like a bit of an "everything but the kitchen sink" type of recipe, and you wouldn't be wrong if you guessed that. One cold evening last winter, I pranced around the kitchen adding this and that to the Instant Pot, letting the ingredients lead the way. It's almost by accident that this stew is what it is, but ever since it's become a favorite at our table.
I am a big fan of Indian Daal, but sometimes wish it had a bit more to it. Extra veggies, or something to chew on. That desire is what lead me to this soup in the first place, I think, which is why I know you'll love it: it's the same spicy, savory flavor of Indian Daal, but with a new age twist incorporating cauliflower, sweet potato, and chickpeas.
Cauliflower & sweet potatoes go with coconut curry like they were made for it. Their starchiness and subtle sweetness are the perfect backdrop for ginger, garlic, and brown mustard seeds. A splash of lime brightens everything. And chickpeas--far and away my favorite legume- make this soup feel more substantial than a regular lentil soup.
Soak your lentils throughout the day (or even overnight) to make them easier to digest. This has the added benefit of making them cook faster too. After just a few minutes in an electric pressure cooker, the lentils are creamy and soft.
P.S., Snow is falling slowly out our window right now. It's barely snowed here this year, despite it already being January, so it feels like a treat. We're going to need a cozy stew to warm us up this evening! This stew is just the thing to bring spoonfuls of cozy to your guests. 💛
For a legume-free recipe inspired by these same flavors, try my Butternut Squash Coconut Curry (it's Paleo-friendly and vegetarian/vegan).
Serves: 8 | Total Time: 15 active minutes
- 2 cup dry red lentils
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3-4 cups cauliflower florets
- 1 green chile pepper, minced (serrano or jalapeño— serrano is the more mild option)
- 2 cups diced sweet potatoes
- 1 14-ounce can chickpeas, strained
- 1 14-ounce can full-fat coconut milk
- 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon ground curry powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1-1/2 teaspoon whole black mustard seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon each salt & ground black pepper, or to taste
- 3-4 cups vegetable broth
- Garnish: lime wedges & minced cilantro
- In the morning, place lentils in a soup pot and cover with water. Place a lid on the pot, and allow lentils to soak for 8-12 hours. Once ready to cook soup, pour lentils through a strainer, discarding the water. Set lentils aside for later use.
- Turn Instant Pot (affiliate link!) to “Sauté” setting and heat coconut oil until it glistens. Add minced ginger, garlic, and diced onion to pot, and sauté until fragrant.
- Add cauliflower, green chile, diced sweet potatoes, lentils, chickpeas, coconut milk, canned tomatoes, curry powder, cumin, mustard seeds, turmeric, salt & pepper to the pot and stir. Pour in enough broth to cover all the ingredients easily (there should be a about 1 inch of liquid over the top of the lentils), and then secure lid on Instant Pot. Turn to “Bean/Chili” setting, and set timer for 5 minutes with the vent in the sealed position.
- When timer goes off, release pressure and stir stew. Ladle into serving bowls and sprinkle with minced cilantro and a lime wedge.