Quick & Easy Lentil, Chickpea, Coconut & Curry Stew/Dip

I was recently in the hospital for surgery, and as a result, our meals are mainly liquid (or at least smooth) at the moment as I can’t swallow anything more solid!  This situation has led to my discovering new ways to make soup tasty, healthy and keep it from getting boring.  The following recipe came out of my soup pan yesterday, so I thought I’d share it with you!

It turned out delicious, and is just as tasty cold as it is hot; in fact, this comes out so thick as a puree that it could be served as a dip with crackers or crudité.  As I keep both chopped frozen coriander & onions on hand, this literally took 3 minutes to toss together… quick & easy is my favourite method!

Lentil,Chickpea,Coconut Curry Stew & Dip

Lentil, Chickpea, Coconut & Curry Stew

1 tin lentils

1 large tin chickpeas (or 2 smaller tins)

1 tin coconut milk (2, if you want it soupier)

1 handful fresh or frozen coriander

1 onion, finely chopped

curry spice to taste

1 tsp. each of ginger paste, lemon grass paste, and garlic paste (or amount to taste in whichever form you have available)

Tumeric, salt and pepper to taste


Toss it all into a pan, bring to a boil.  For those who want it smooth, puree the mixture before serving.

Serve with bread or crackers, or Naan bread.  Serves 4-6.


Apple & Date Chicken Curry

This is a lovely dish with vibrant colours and a great combination of sweet and savoury.  You can either make this the traditional way – cooking on the stove, or as I did, in the crockpot / slow cooker; this latter method allows me to throw it together and get on with the appetizer and dessert, then take a break from the kitchen and get to work on my next novel.  The side dish of rice is made just before serving, and the whole meal will be hot and ready by the time the guests arrive.

As a complete menu idea, I served this dish with the following:  As the appetizer, Salted Stuffed Dates with Feta Cheese; as the side dish, smoked (or normal) Basmati rice; for dessert, the Apple Tiramisu.  The latter is a “multi-culti” jump; if you prefer to stay Middle Eastern / Indian, you could perhaps serve it with the Moroccan Pineapple and Banana Pudding or the East African Sweet Potato Pudding, though I tried to stay with the date and apple theme of the meal, so it worked very well together!

Apple & Date Chicken CurryApple & Date Chicken Curry

800g Chicken Meat, diced

3 Apples, peeled, cored & diced

Lemon Juice, to taste

~100 gr. white raisins

~ 200g Dates, pitted & halved

1 bundle Spring Onions, finely chopped

A dash of Garlic Oil

Curry Sauce:

In a bowl, mix together:

½ tsp. Cumin

½ tsp. Turmeric

½ tsp. Paprika

½ tsp. Salt

½ tsp. Ground Pepper

½ tsp. Ground Coriander

¼ tsp. Ground Mace

½ tsp. Ginger, finely diced

2 Cloves Garlic, smashed & finely diced

1 Tbs. Curry Powder

1 can Coconut Milk

1-2 C. Chicken Broth

Stove-Top Method:

Sauté onion, ginger, garlic & spices together.  Add meat, cook until no longer pink; add in apples, cook til almost soft, then throw in the dates.  Pour in the liquids and simmer until warm through. Spice t.t.

Crockpot Method:

Stir all ingredients together thoroughly to combine; make sure that the meat is covered by the liquid (pressed down into the coconut milk & broth).  Cook on Low for 4-6 hours.

Serve with Basmati rice.

Serves 4-6

Swahili Mchuzi wa Biringani (Aubergine Curry)

Biringani is the Swahili word for “aubergine”, also known as Eggplant (North America), Guinea Squash, Garden Egg, or Brinjal (India).  Originally native to Asia, it’s been a long-time staple part of the diet in Asia, the Middle East, the Mediterranean and Africa.  This dish is a common dish along the eastern coast of Africa.

Swahili Mchuzi wa Biringani (Aubergine Curry)

Swahili Mchuzi wa Biringani - Aubergine Curry Watermarkedcooking oil (amount and kind to taste; I use virgin coconut oil)
1-2 onions, chopped
1-2 tsp. Curry powder
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. Grated ginger
1-2 hot chili peppers, cleaned and chopped (optional; if you don’t wish to handle fresh hot peppers, add your favourite substitute)
1-2 large aubergines, or several small ones; chopped, lightly salted, and squeezed to partially remove moisture
3-4 potatoes, chopped (these add a silky texture)
2-3 tomatoes, peeled and chopped (fresh & blanched, or tinned)
1-2 finger-lengths of tomato paste (optional)
salt, black pepper (to taste)
1 C. Milk, coconut milk, or yoghurt

Heat oil in a large pot. Sauté onions for a few minutes, then add curry powder, garlic, ginger, and chili pepper. Continue frying over high heat for a few more minutes, stirring continuously.

Add aubergine and potatoes. Stir and fry until the aubergine begins to brown. Reduce heat. Simmer for ten minutes.
Stir in tomatoes and tomato paste. Adjust seasoning. Simmer until sauce is thickened and everything is tender.
Stir in milk, coconut milk, or yoghurt just before serving.

Serve with Chapati or Rice.