Ají de Lentejas (Bolivian spicy lentil stew)
I have the pleasure of sharing with you a dish that is very dear to
my heart (and my stomach!) since it’s from my home country, Bolivia. Not
only is it delicious but you can substitute the lentils with many other
options (garbanzo beans, seitan, fava beans). If you like spicy, this is
a recipe for you!
Serves 4. Cooking time: 35 minutes.
For the stew
1 teaspoon of dried smoked hot peppers, ground (you may use chipotles
for a very spicy meal, or Chile Ancho for a milder ají. If you have
access to Andean Chilis, choose the yellow variety for spicy and the red
variety for mild)
1 large onion, chopped finely
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 bunch of flat (Italian) parsley, finely chopped
1 cup of dried lentils
Salt, pepper to taste
For Sarsa (sauce you put on top)
One medium tomato, julienned
1/2 onion cut in fine, long pieces
A handful of flat parsley, finely chopped
The juice of 1 lime and salt to taste
Sarsa: Mix ingredients, and set aside--the longer this sits,
the more the lime juice infuses everything with its flavor.
To cook the lentils: place in saucepan, cover with water, add
salt, 1/2 garlic clove and oil. Bring to a boil and then bring the heat
down to medium and cook for 20 minutes or until the lentils are tender.
Drain and remove the garlic. Set aside.
While the lentils are cooking, heat the olive oil in a large
saucepan. Fry the garlic and the parsley at medium heat until the garlic
is golden. Add the chopped onion until the onions become shiny (this
means they're cooked but not yet golden). Add the ground hot pepper and
a splash of water. Let the mix cook for 1 minute. Keep stirring. Add the
chopped tomatoes, 1/4 cup of water, salt and pepper. Cover and cook for
25 minutes at low-medium heat. Add lentils and mix with sauce. Simmer
for 5-10 minutes.
Serve with white rice and top with 1-2 spoons of sarsa.
Your question and comments are welcome