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Christian Vegetarian Association Presents:
Take Heart!

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

Olive oil,

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

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