Lentil stews are my go-to weeknight dinner when I want something healthy and hearty. The lentils work beautifully on their own mopped up with crusty bread, or pair well with roast vegetables; cauliflower or squash are my favourite combinations, or even a side of fresh greens or salad. Braised green beans in a tomato base are another traditional Turkish dish, here I've combined the two dishes as they work beautifully together by cooking the beans with the lentils. The dish is finished with a creamy harissa yoghurt and tangy lemon. I like to use a plant based Greek yoghurt variety as it has a good acidity to it.
Harissa is a great to have on hand to spice up any meal, it can be bought as a jarred paste from most grocery stores but taste before you use as the chilli levels can vary. If you want to make your own, my homemade harissa recipe can be found here: https://www.cheftaliayilmaz.com/post/harissa-paste which is a great to make in a big batch as it stores really well and is so versatile.
Serves 2 as a main or 4 as a side with veg.
2 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, finely diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
½ tsp ras el hanout
½ tsp paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
225g / 1 cup black lentils (beluga or other)
100g green beans, trimmed
1 can diced tomatoes
725ml / 1.5 cups veg stock
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 tbsp harissa paste
½ tsp salt
150g plant-based yoghurt
1. Heat a separate frying pan with the olive oil over a low/medium heat. Cook the onion and garlic with a pinch of salt, until soft, about 5 minutes.
2. Turn up the heat and add the dried spices and fry for 1 minute, then add the lentils, stirring to coat in the spices.
3. Add the can of chopped tomatoes and veg stock, bring everything to a simmer and partially cover with a lid.
4. After 25 mins, add the green beans, recover with the lid and cook for another 10 mins until the beans are cooked and the lentils are tender but still holding their shape. Add a splash of water if they are too dry, you want them to have a creamy, porridge like consistency. Add the lemon zest and juice, then taste and season with salt and pepper.
6. In a small bowl, mix the harissa paste with the yoghurt and salt.
7. Drizzle all over the top of the lentils and use a spoon to gently swirl through.