For a year like 2020, this stew recipe meets all targets. It is a one pot dish, so not time consuming. It uses vegetables and lentil, so it is nourishing. Immunity boosters like cinnamon and turmeric are the flavouring spices. Olive oil, rather less of it is the medium of cooking which makes it less fattening helping us home inmates stay fit because we cannot hit the gyms. Most importantly it is delicious managing to create a comforting feel good sense of fulfillment which is our much needed manna of the hour.
My food word for this recipe would be all encompassing.
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The recipe would be;
Soak four tbsp of lentil for an hour. Take a medium size aubergine and cut it into equal sized chunks. Scrape one large ridge gourd, cut through the centre longitudinally and cut to get half crescent shapes. Finely chop one red onion and crush six pods of garlic. Chunkily chop one large tomato.
In a warm wok, pour two tsp olive oil, season the oil with salt and pepper and pop in the aubergine pieces. Stir gently for a minute, reduce the heat and lid the wok. For eight minutes or so the aubergine will soften to come to a perfect semi cooked texture. Take them out and pile on a plate to keep it aside
In the same wok, add the onions, garlic, tomatoes and gourd pieces. Throw way the water and pour in the red wet lentil. Stir fry. Add a dash of salt, a tsp pepper, half tsp cinnamon powder, half tsp turmeric powder and half tsp smoked paprika. Fold the spices in. Lid the wok for four minutes as the gourd cooks pretty soon.
Add back the aubergine. Now drop four roughly chopped deseeded dates. Keep the pieces long and broad. Bring them all together with a spatula. Add a cup and half of warm water, when it simmers, spoon in a tbsp ketchup.
It will take around two or three minutes of simmering for the broth to thicken. Sprinkle lemon juice and finely chopped dill and parsley. Enjoy piping hot stew.