Persian Lentil Stew
Commonly eaten for breakfast, this dish made with green lentils, onions and spices is often described as a soup by Persians. I personally consider it is closer to the dal recipes from the Indian sub-continent but to compromise between the two I have called it a stew.
I cook this the day before I want to eat it as the flavours intensify overnight. The recipe below yields a big batch (up to 8 people) and lasts up to 5 days if refridgerated, so it is a great dish to make and dip in and out of for various meals during a working week.
I love eating this with some type of flatbread such as Persian Noon-e-Sangak or naan, alongside some eggs (poached, boiled or fried) and some fresh herbs as set out in the picture above. It can also be served with rice (chelo or kateh) for a heartier meal.
Adasi is a wholesome vegan dish and cubed potatoes can be added as a variation to the recipe. I prefer it without potatoes so my recipe excludes them. I also add cumin and a little ginger in my version which adds further aromatic notes to the traditional turmeric and cinnamon. Feel free to add some spicier notes with chilli should you like a little heat. Otherwise this dish is a family friendly dish and loved by children (even the fussiest).
For the Adasi
- 400 g dried green lentils (washed and soaked in water for 2 hours)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large brown onion (finely diced)
- 1 tbsp garlic and ginger paste
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tbsp tomato purée
- 1.2 litres vegetable stock
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1 bay leaf
- Salt and pepper (to taste)
For the Garnish
- 1 large brown onion (finely sliced)
- Vegetable oil (to fry the onions)
- Ground golpar (Persian hogweed - optional)
- Olive oil (to drizzle on top)
- Place a large saucepan over a medium-high heat. Add olive oil and heat until it glistens. Then add onions and cook, stirring regularly until they start to turn golden.
- Add garlic and ginger paste, followed by turmeric, ground cumin, cinnamon and stir until evenly distributed into the onion mixture. Then stir in tomato purée.
- Drain and add in pre-soaked lentils and stir until evenly mixed with the onion mixture.
- Pour in the stock, lime juice and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Then turn heat down, put the lid of the saucepan on and let the Adasi simmer for approximately an hour or until the lentils are tender.
- Whilst the Adasi is cooking fry finely sliced onion in vegetable oil over a high-medium heat until crispy.
- When the Adasi is cooked take a stick blender and blitz some of the lentil mixture to thicken (about 1/3). Taste and season as required with salt and pepper (stock usually has salt in it so further salt may not be necessary). Squeeze some more lime juice if desired. Then ladle into a bowl, top with the crispy onions, a sprinkling of ground golpar and a drizzle of olive oil.