Ginger-coconut chickpea and lentil stew recipe

For December I decided to take a slight detour from the festive food, that those of us who celebrate Christmas are going to be saturated with for the coming weeks. So here is a lovely warming and softly spicy stew with a base of lentils and chickpeas for a comforting meal on a dark, wintry evening. You can make various toppings for it, the green topping, that you can see in the final dish picture, is called green zhoug and I will post the recipe for that come January. For now, enjoy this topped with toasted coconut flakes, fresh coriander and mustard seed oil. This stew is also vegan and it’s very filling.

This portion will easily feed 4 people. Prep and cooking time is about 1 hour. 

Ingredients -


1 head of garlic - sliced in half

1 inch of fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced

1 medium or 2 small onions, roughly chopped

1.5 tablespoons of coconut oil

2 teaspoons of curry powder

1 teaspoon of chili flakes (more if you so desire)

240g tinned chickpeas, drained

500ml water

240g red lentils

400ml coconut milk

Salt to taste

Fresh coriander


Mustard seed oil:

3 tablespoons of olive oil

2 tablespoons of mustard seeds

Half a teaspoon of turmeric

Pinch of chili flakes

Pinch of salt


Also, for topping of toasted coconut flakes, you can either buy them pre-toasted in most supermarkets or toast a good handful in the oven at 190 degrees for about 6 minutes (check on them though, they go quickly once they feel that heat!) - Locavore stock really good quality coconut flakes.

 How to:

1. Heat the coconut oil up in a large heavy bottomed pot and cook the onions, ginger and garlic (cut side down), stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent and the garlic is getting a golden brown colour.


2. Add the curry powder and the chili flakes, stirring constantly to coat everything in the pot for about a minute, it should smell really fragrant at this point.

3. Add the drained chickpeas and the water at this point, use your spoon to release any bits that might be stuck at the bottom of the pot at this point. The garlic skin might have started to release at this point too, fish out any loose bits if they come to the surface. Season with salt.

4. Bring this to a simmer and let it simmer for about 10 minutes. Skim off any foam that the chickpeas may produce as you go. 

5. Add the lentils and the coconut milk. Season with some salt again, make sure to give it a little taste test though. Let it simmer softly for 30 minutes.

6. While you wait for the stew to finish cooking, you can make the mustard seed oil. Heat the olive oil and mustard seeds in a small saucepan, swirling often, until mustard seeds start to pop. Remove from the heat and stir in the turmeric and pinches of chili flakes and salt.

7. After 30 minutes your stew should be a rich yellow, creamy consistency, give it a taste, does it need more salt? Otherwise, fish out the rest of the garlic skins and serve! Ladle into bowls and let your diners top it with the toasted coconut flakes, the mustard seed oil and fresh coriander.


Sofie is a member at Studio 70 and writes a monthly food blog here. She loves making and sharing food with the people she loves - for her, it is the ultimate expression of kindness and care.

RecipesLaura BartonComment