When it’s raining cats and dogs in the middle of summer, the clouds are darkening the sky and you feel like looking for Christmas presents, this vegan lentil and chard stew from Levante comes at just the right time.
I have nothing against dogs and cats. I’m the proud papa of two fantastic dogs and sometimes tick like a psychotic cat inside. Besides, Willi (one of my dogs) is actually a trans cat. It’s okay for me if he suddenly struts on the back of the sofa and lies down right there to lick his paws like a cat. In addition to this behaviour, which is a bit strange for dogs, he is extremely picky about food. If his favourite food is not in the bowl, the bowl remains full and he struts off in a huff – good for the gluttonous Maya. With Ada’s bil hamod, which means “lentils with lemon” or simply “sour lentils” in Arabic, he does take a curious sniff. Luckily, he can’t jump onto the kitchen counter like a cat…
Lentils, chard and lemon
What really makes the lentil and chard stew for me is the freshness of the lemon in it. The stew is already very light, but the fresh lemon juice actually makes it taste really summery. I love the earthy taste of chard – especially in combination with lemon. By the way, you don’t need many ingredients for the stew and you can definitely get them all at your local supermarket. So much for the Levantine cuisine being full of “exotic foods”….
In addition to lentils, chard, potatoes and lemon, you only need onion, garlic and coriander. You season the whole thing with a pinch of cinnamon, salt and pepper. That’s it. And since stews cook themselves, you can watch the bubbling and look forward to warming, yet fresh comfort food.
Recipe for “Adas bil Hamod” – Lebanese lentil and chard stew
- Peel the potatoes and cut into small cubes
- Wash the chard, cut 5cm off the stem and discard. Chop the rest of the chard into small pieces.
- Peel and finely dice the onions and garlic.
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot and fry the onions and garlic over medium heat until translucent.
- Add the potatoes to the onions and fry briefly.
- Add the chard and sauté.
- Add the lentils, fill with water and simmer on medium heat for about 20 minutes.
- Season to taste with salt, pepper and cinnamon.
- Chop and add the coriander and simmer for another 10 minutes.
- Squeeze the lemon and stir in the juice.