I met the sweetest soul, my friend Leone, when I lived in Singapore. She’s one of the kindest humans I have ever known (I’m not exaggerating). It doesn’t hurt that she has the. most. amazing. Aussie accent that comes with the. most. amazing. smile. that comes with the. most. amazing. hugs! My time in Singapore was often met with challenges and spending time with Leone was life to my soul. If ever I needed a pick-me-up, she was my girl. We usually met over a good meal or coffee, as you do in Singapore. Good food shared with good friends is a healing balm.
She shared this recipe with me and it was an instant favorite comfort food dish. In Singapore, finding fresh pumpkin was easy but it’s not so easy in the US outside of the fall/autumn season. I’ll share her recipe below as she has given me permission to do. I’ll add my thoughts and necessary adjustments in ().
I hope you’ll try this. It’s SO easy and INCREDIBLY delicious!
McCormicks Middle Eastern spice blend, (Harissa) but you could use cumin, coriander and or ginger (ground or fresh) if you wish.
2 small diced onions
2 cloves chopped garlic (or more if you’re like me and can never get enough garlic)
Olive Oil (for sauteeing)
2-3 cups chicken stock (vegetable stock if you’re going for vegetarian)
2 cups Red lentils
2 cups fresh cubed pumpkin (can use butternut squash)
2 cups cubed potatoes (can eliminate these and use extra butternut squash)
1 can diced tomatoes (can use chopped fresh tomatoes)
Salt to taste
Basmati rice (or your favorite rice option)
Cilantro/Coriander leaves for garnish
Brown two small chopped onions with 2 cloves garlic (or two teaspoons) in olive oil or spray the pot well with a ‘cooking/oil spray’.
Add two small teaspoons of Middle Eastern spice (Harissa) and some Turmeric or you could add a teaspoon each of cumin, ginger, and coriander. Brown this mix stirring constantly. Do not overcook.
Add two to three cups of stock, it can be vegetable or chicken. If no actual ‘stock’ available, then use water with stock cubes.
At this point, you can transfer this mix to a ‘slow cooker’ or leave it in the stove top pot.
Add 2 cups each of red lentils, diced pumpkin, and diced potato.
Add one can of diced tomatoes. Stir well.
*If using stove top pot, stir gently and often. The lentils may stick to the bottom of the pot if you don’t. You may need to add more water at this stage too.
It will take approx 35 mins of cooking time.
If you have transferred it to a slow cooker, allow about three hours of cooking time, but at least you can go away and leave it. No need to keep stirring!
Serve with chopped fresh coriander, steamed rice, and a garden salad. Delicious!
Hope you and your family enjoy the above recipe, that I have named: Leone’s Lentil Hot Pot
Photo Credit: Leone