Layered with curry spices, garama masala, kale, tomato and sesame, this is a simple, slowcooked dish with rich flavour and texture. This makes 2 large bowls, or 4 small ones.
For the lentils
2T curry powder
1/2t dried red chilis (or to taste)
1/4 cup scallions, finely chopped
1T fresh garlic, minced
1t fresh ginger, minced
1t turmeric (or to taste)
1 cup lentils
1 cup boiling water
1 ‘sprig’ dried kombu, about 1″
1/2t coarse sea salt (or to taste)
2 cups vegetable stock
2 cups cremini mushrooms, stemmed and quartered
2 cups potoato, 1/2″ dice (I use organic russets for this)
2 cups green curly kale, coarsely chopped
Coarse sea salt and black pepper or chili to taste
For the seitan
1/2 cup vital wheat gluten
1/3 – 1/2 cup cold water
For the garnish
1T garam masala
1 scallion, finely sliced on an angle
1/4 cup passata
1T sesame seed butter
1t lemon juice
1/2t fresh garlic, minced
1T cold water
A pinch sea salt
Optional: Use freshly ground spices for more flavour. You can also prepare this is a large, wide bottomed pan with a lid on the stove — just be sure to adjust the cooking time. A couple tablespoons cooking oil will add flavour and mouthfeel. Replace the passata with diced tomato if you prefer and the sesame with a little coconut milk to keep it simple. Replace the seitan with extra firm tofu if you prefer, but add it with the lentils. Add some cilantro, mint or both for garnish for some additional bright green flavour.
Warm the slowcooker on high heat. Add the curry spices and toast until fragrant (about 2 – 3 minutes). Add the scallions, garlic, ginger and turmeric. Let cook 3 – 5 minutes, stirring periodically.
Add the lentils, water and kombu. Cover and cook for about 30 minutes on high heat.Add the stock, sea salt, and mushrooms. Cover and cook on low for at least 4 hours and up to 8.
When the lentils are ready, increase heat to high. Remove the kombu. Mix the water and wheat gluten for the seitan. Add as little water as necessary to form a dough. Knead for 3 minutes. Cut into 1/4″ to 1/3″ cubes. Add the seitan to the slowcooker. Cover and cook for about 30 minutes. Add the potatoes and cook for about an hour until the potatoes are fork tender.
When the stew is ready, add the kale and stir to combine. Turn off the slowcooker. Whisk the sesame seed butter, lemon juice, garlic and water. Season to taste. Warm a small pan on medium. In a small pan over medium heat, toast the garam masala until fragrant and set aside. Season the stew to taste.
Ladle out. Garnish with a sprinkle of garama masala, 2 tablespoons tomato passata, and 1/2 tablespoon sesame mixture. Sprinkle with sliced scallions and serve.