mexican lentil stew

May 5, 2010

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

We went to Minneapolis’ amazing May Day Parade on Sunday. It looked a little something like this:

Riding bikes over there, just a touch hungover from the previous nights’ shenanigans, we swung by Mercado Central, our local Latin American marketplace en route to pick up some tacos and some churros. Oh yes. That is how we roll.

I will be recreating the churros soon, but in the mean time…lentils. More lentils. All in the name of cinco.

Mexican Lentil Stew
adapted from Budget Bytes


  • 2 cups dry red lentils
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 3 stalks celery, finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 1/4 to 1/2 jalapeno pepper, finely diced or one adobo chili in its sauce for a more legit Mexican flavour
  • 2 15oz cans diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 lime
  • cilantro


  1. In a medium skillet, bring the 2 cups of lentils and 4 cups of water to a boil. Turn off the heat and let it sit with a lid on for about 20 minutes.
  2. While the lentils are cooking, begin the stew. Cook onions over medium heat in 2 tbsp of olive oil for about 3 minutes, then add garlic to the skillet. Cook for about one minute, then add the celery and jalapeno pepper.
  3. Cook until soft but not brown. Add tomatoes, vegetable broth, turmeric, cumin, and chili powder. Continue to cook over medium heat until hot.
  4. At this point, the lentils should have absorbed the water and become soft. Add the lentils and any remaining water to the soup mixture. Stir well and slightly mash using the back of your spoon. Squeeze the juice of half a lime into the mixture.
  5. Serve, garnished with cilantro and a wedge of lime.

Well, if I’m going to be completely honest (and why wouldn’t I be?), this was definitely also garnished with Mexican beer, quesadillas and tortilla chips. Because it’s Cinco de Mayo and we may not have a piƱata, but we sure as hell have an appetite.

What’s your favourite Mexican food or recipe?
Someone feed me a Chimichanga, quick!

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

insideiamdancing May 5, 2010 at 11:38 am

The parade looks amazing! As does the stew! I've never made anything other than chilli or tacos…in fact, I haven't eaten many Mexican dishes (there are so few places in Scotland serving Mexican food!). Though I had an amazing quesadilla in NY a few years ago…delish.


Erica May 5, 2010 at 1:03 pm

Ok, already book marked!! This looks super tasty and sounds like it has a good amount of kick (which Josh and I love). What a fun festival! Love that bulldog booty ;) Franks looks just like that.

I'm not sure why that booth had those flags?? They were serving crab ;)


Michal May 5, 2010 at 8:53 pm

Happy cinco de mayo!! :)


Holly May 6, 2010 at 9:11 am

OMG. i hope it was a corona with a lime. that would make me really happy. and i love that you saw los campesinos – they were in madtown last week but i did not see them. guff.

love the stew – flagging it fo real. see you this weeeekkkkeeennndddd!


Cara May 7, 2010 at 11:16 pm

I love cooking with lentils since they are so versatile and healthy. This sounds delicious!


whisk-kid May 12, 2010 at 5:00 pm

Mm… This sounds fantastic!

My favorite Mexican recipe is hardly authentic, but it's so good. My mom makes great enchiladas, but they have cream cheese in them. That's probably what makes 'em so tasty :P


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