Spicy Red Lentil Cauliflower Stew with Chapattis

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This spicy vegetable stew has its origins in Indian cuisine. Lentils are a main player in Indian cuisine, sometimes being served as a side dish. This dish, however, is a one-pot main dish best eaten by scooping up with the whole wheat flatbread, chapatti. Aromatic vegetables, spices, nuts, seeds, and coconut milk come together forming a multi-flavor zing in the mouth. The lentils, cauliflower, and kale are the substantial base to which these flavors are applied. As with many Indian dishes, this stew is satisfyingly warm and filling!


This plant-based stew is packed with anti-inflammatory nutrient-dense ingredients. Red lentils are rich in fiber and protein. They also are rich in iron, magnesium, and potassium, making them a good meat-substitute. Cashews are also high in protein with healthy unsaturated fat and rich in vitamin E. Sesame seeds have a wealth of many minerals and vitamins. Kale has one of the highest levels of antioxidants of any vegetable and like cauliflower fights inflammation in the body which is the source of many diseases including cancer. Tumeric is also an antioxidant and has such a powerful anti-inflammatory component, called curcumin, that some take it as a daily supplement. The list goes on with virtually every ingredient found here to contribute to good health. All this and it tastes good too!

Spicy Red Lentil Cauliflower Stew

4 entrée servings

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1 ½ cup red onions, peeled, roughly chopped

4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

1-inch ginger piece, peeled, roughly chopped (about 3 tablespoons)

1 large serrano chile or 2 small jalapeño chilies, seeds removed

3 tablespoons raw cashews

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

½ cup filtered water

1 tablespoon safflower oil

½ teaspoon cumin seeds

1 cinnamon stick

2 teaspoons turmeric

4 cups cauliflower florets

1 cup red lentils

2 ½ cups filtered water

4 cups Tuscan kale, stems removed, roughly chopped

1 ½ cup coconut milk (add both the liquid and solid portions of 1 can)

cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes (optional)

1 ½ teaspoons sea salt

lemon juice to taste (optional)

¼ cup cilantro leaves or roughly chopped


1.     Blend the onions, garlic, ginger, chilies, cashews, sesame seeds, and one-half cup water in a blender until smooth.

2.     In a large wide sauce pot over medium heat add the oil. When it shimmers add the cumin, cinnamon, and turmeric. Sizzle for thirty seconds or until fragrant.

3.     Add the puréed mixture. Sizzle and stir constantly for five minutes.

4.     Add the cauliflower, lentils, remaining water and sea salt. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for fifteen minutes or until softened and thick, stirring often.

5.     Add the kale, and coconut milk. Taste, Think, Transform with optional cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes if more heat is desired. Continue to simmer until thick and the kale is wilted.

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6.     Taste, Think, Transform with salt and or lemon juice to balance the flavor.

7.     Top with cilantro and serve with warm chapattis for dipping and scooping.

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8 flatbreads


2 cups whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 cup warm filtered water


1.     Sift the flour into a bowl. Mix in the salt. Add the water in a well in the center of the flour. Mix until it comes together into a ball.

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2.     Turn out onto a smooth surface. Knead the dough for eight minutes until smooth. (Can be kneaded with a dough hook in a mixer. It is imperative to knead the entire eight minutes).

3.     Wrap in plastic wrap and allow to sit for at least one hour.

4.     Cut the dough into eight equal balls.

5.     Roll and flip each dough ball until about eight inches in diameter. Each should be very thin

6.     Heat a cast-iron griddle or skillet over medium-high heat.

7.     Place a chapatti on the hot griddle for about fifteen seconds. Flip over and cook for one minute on each side until blistered and cooked through. If it bubbles, hold flat with a spatula. Remove to a clean tea towel to keep soft and warm.

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