This is a recipe update, an old post getting a make over. I have a better camera now and in the last few years I've made a few changes to how I made the recipe itself. It's a traditional Moroccan stew popular during Ramadan, made with lentils, garbanzo beans, and tomatoes. What else you add to it differs from family to family.
Orzo is most commonly used, I just prefer the brown rice. Lamb is also traditional, but not very economical. When I first wrote this post I hated lamb, I thought it was awful. I've since been introduced to several recipes that I have really enjoyed. Maybe some day I will try this version with the meat. But not today, today is about this delicious dish that can be made with stuff commonly found in my pantry. Would fresh tomatoes and lemon juice be good here? Yes, but I doubt they would make a difference. The only thing that is a must is the cilantro, dried cilantro is never the answer.
I am leaving my original picture there at the bottom, it reflects everything I hoped to do through blogging. Improve.
I love the vibrant spices in the dish together like this. The bright red paprika against the golden turmeric are so fun to see.
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 celery stalk, chopped
2 Tbsp flour (optional)
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 (28 oz.) can tomatoes, undrained
1- 2 cup garbanzo beans, cooked
3/4 cup brown lentils
¾ cup brown rice
6 cups water
Vegetable bouillon sufficient for 6 cups (varies by brand)
2 tsp. Garlic powder
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp. each turmeric, ground ginger, ground coriander
1/2 tsp. each paprika, smoked paprika, ground nutmeg, black pepper
1/8 tsp. each ground cloves, and allspice
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
My original instructions for this were very simple. And they worked, so if you are in a hurry totally go for it. I just liked to layer the flavors and cooking a little. Originally I sauteed the onion in the oil, added the rest of the ingredients, and simmered everything until it was done, the flour is a recent addition and totally optional. Otherwise follow the new instructions, they are still pretty simple.
Heat the olive oil in a large pot. Add the celery and cook until slightly softened. Add the onions and keep cooking until both are just cooked but not overly soft.
Stir in the flour and cook 2 minutes more before adding in the tomato paste and continuing to saute. Add the can of tomatoes and simmer for 5 minutes.
Now we are back to adding everything. Add everything except 1 Tbsp of the lemon juice and the fresh herbs. Simmer until the lentils and rice are tender.
Then add the cilantro and parsley. Taste and add the remaining lemon juice as needed.