One-Pot Wonders

Peruvian Lentils Stew

September  4, 2013
5 Ratings
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

A simple, filling and satisfying dish that is a favorite of my husband Raul, it's a sort of comfort food, especially good after a long day's work, a vacation full of rich cuisine or a cool autumn afternoon. Brown or yellow lentils are used, along with potatoes, with a touch of aji amarillo to give it a little spice. This is one of those dishes that taste even better the next day, and can be easily frozen for lunch later. I use the left-overs as a base for a soup for lunch the next day by adding a can of okra/tomatoes/corn and sliced onion. Peruvians love this stew served with a separate bowl of steamed rice and garnished with chopped cilantro or hot sauce. A friend told me she thought that cooking lentils was difficult, but I told her this is an easy, cheap dinner that cooks up in less than an hour. You can use a little less water if you want a thicker stew, but be sure and stir more often and watch the pot because they will stick to the bottom and burn if you're not careful. You can also add crumbled bacon or shredded pork for the meat lovers, though we like it best as the original vegetarian, filling and simple meal it was meant to be. —BeijingRose

What You'll Need
  • 1 pound bag of brown or yellow lentils
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 package chicken bouillon (leave this out for a Vegetarian version)
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 6-8 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 1 tablespoon aji amarillo (Peruvian yellow pepper paste)
  • 5 potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • chopped cilantro for garnish
  1. Heat the oil in the bottom of the soup pot and toss in the sliced garlic and chopped onion, and cook until slightly softened, about 5 minutes, on medium heat.
  2. Put the lentils in a colander and wash them well to remove any grit or sand. Pour them into the soup pot then add 3 quarts water, salt and pepper, cumin, oregano and chicken bouillon. Bring to a boil and cover the pot. Let it simmer on medium heat for 20 minutes.
  3. Wash and peel the potatoes then cut into cubes and add them to the pot with the aji amarillo, Bring the pot back to a boil, then cover and turn down to medium again, cover and let cook for about 30 minutes. Serve with chopped cilantro and hot sauce on the side, and steamed white r ice.
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2 Reviews

Sofía C. August 22, 2023
This is the real Peruvian deal
BeijingRose September 6, 2013
I didn't like this dish when my husband first made it for me years ago, then watched how he prepared it and realized he used almost no seasoning. He's a good cook, actually, so this surprised me at first. For him, the simplest version of this is what he likes for 'comfort food', but when I fix it, I use an expanded version from various Peruvian sites, adding my own flavor to it and spicing it up with a good hot sauce. I've also made it in a more complex way by adding more onion, carrots, tomatoes, and it comes out as richer in flavor, and therefore, to me, even better!