With snow mounded in the streets, I’ve been summoning my inner Betty Crocker for ways to make the evenings a little more toasty in my abode. An earlier mission for cooked pumpkin (sans my good friend Libby) left me with some extra and, as a by-product, I came up with this tasty stew recipe.
If you’ve been paying attention, by now you’ve heeded my suggestions and Ma and Pa have put the inaugural care package in the mail. If you missed the memo, or, for those of you who are a little hesitant about indenturing your contact list, here’s an alternative. You can find most of the rare ingredients called for in a sketchy back alley just across from Suwon Station. No, I’m not saying 3 hairs from a Thai ladyboy’s back are the secret garnish. I was referring to the lentils and spice.
After winding through the maze of market streets, if you persevere like Sir Edmund Hillary, on the second floor of a dimly lit building you’ll find the Swoyambhu Restaurant. Run by a transplanted Nepalese family and serving Indian and Nepalese favorites, this place really delivers. As if the luscious butter chicken and delicate samosas weren’t enough of a draw, next to the counter you’ll find a stash of ingredients that will have you feeling light-headed. Curry and lentils are plentiful, and they even have dried chickpeas to boot. The packages are large enough to curb at least a couple months of cravings, and once you taste this recipe you’ll be glad you decided to ration.
Curried Chicken and Pumpkin Lentil Stew
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 Onion, diced
2 Chicken Breasts, cooked and shredded
1 Cup Lentils of any variety (I used green), rinsed
1/2 Can Diced Tomatoes
1 Tbsp. Curry Powder
1/2 tsp Paprika
1/4 tsp Ground Coriander
1/4 tsp Tumeric
2 Chicken Bouillon Cubes
3-4 Cups Hot Water
1 Small Pumpkin, cooked (I sliced the pumkin in half, scooped out the seeds, then cooked in the microwave until soft about 6-8 minutes. Once cooked, I scooped out the cooked flesh and roughly chopped it.)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sautee until translucent. Next, add the chicken, lentils, tomatoes, and spices. Cook just enough for flavors to meld together and to heat through. Dissolve the chicken bouillon in hot water and add to pot. Allow the mixture to come to a boil, then turn down the heat to simmer for about 15 minutes or until lentils are fully cooked. Stir in the pumpkin to finish and season to taste.