This stew has a lot of flavors going on, with the sweet golden raisins and spicy-hot chilies, not to mention the spices and other savory flavors galore. I know it might sound weird to put raisins in a stew, but for me they really make the dish!
(Yield: 6-8 servings)
½ lb beef, cubed
1 TB olive oil
2 medium-large onions, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 small chilies, minced (optional)
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp curry
¼ tsp black pepper
2 bouillon cubes
1 bay leaf
5 c water
1 (28 oz) can petit diced tomatoes (with the juice)
2 large carrots, diced
2 c chopped kale (slightly packed)
½ c red lentils
½ c brown lentils
1 (15 oz) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
½ c golden raisins
¼ c fresh chopped parsley or cilantro (for garnish)
Brown the beef in the olive oil in a large pot over high heat; add the onion, garlic, chilies (if using), and spices and sauté until the onion is softened a little. Add the black pepper, bouillon cubes, bay leaf, and water; cover the pot, bring it to a boil, and allow to simmer for an hour (or until the beef is tender). Add the tomatoes, carrots, kale, red and brown lentils, and raisins; bring up to a boil, cover the pot, and allow to simmer for 30 minutes. Stir in the chick peas and turn off the heat. Serve with fresh chopped parsley on top.
Serving Suggestions: This stew is great by itself, but if you want to serve it with an accoutrement I recommend couscous (in true Moroccan style) or basmati rice.
Substitutions for the Beef: You can use any number of things in place of the beef. Boneless, skinless chicken breast would be excellent – just brown the chicken, reduce the water to 4 cups, and add the veggies, there’s no need to simmer the chicken for an hour. I think shrimp would be delicious – just reduce the water to 4 cups add the shrimp at the same time you add the chickpeas. If you want a vegetarian stew you could leave out meat entirely, since the lentils and beans are good sources of protein.
Indian Stew: Omit the raisins and paprika, add 1” of fresh grated ginger (sauté it with the garlic), increase the curry to 1 tsp, add 1 tsp turmeric, and add 1 TB lemon juice.