Friday, 13 April 2012

Purple Pomegranate Stew

What do you do when you don't have any beetroot on hand for an Iraqi Pomegranate Stew.  Use purple carrots and Italian pasta sauce instead.  Of course!  Ok, so it was a crazy idea but it did work! Sometimes you just have to work with what you have on hand.

I made lots of other changes to Janet's recipe, quite a few inspired by Lisa, including the lentils instead of split peas.  I didn't keep a good track of my times because I was too distracted with Sylvia's dinner and bath while cooking this.  So I have given approximate times.  What you want at the end is for the rice, lentils, zucchini and pumpkin to be so soft that they are on the verge of collapse but have enough shape left to identify them.

It may seem odd to name a stew after the pomegranate molasses when it is such a small part of the stew.  Yet the fruity sweetly sour flavour dominated.  It was also an excellent opportunity to use some mint from the garden, which worked wonderfully with a dollop of yoghurt on top of the stew.

My version was not at all traditional but it was delicious.  Just the thing for the onset of cold weather earlier this week.  It is hearty but also healthy.  Which is important after the excesses of Easter.  If you are looking for something different, or just an excellent way to use some purple carrots, I highly recommend this stew.

Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
This time last year: NCR Tricken Rice Soup with Celeriac
This time two years ago: Sappho Bookstore Cafe - for the literati who lunch...
This time three years ago: Wholemeal Chocolate Cake
This time four years ago: The Nut Roast in History

Purple Pomegranate Stew
Adapted from Taste Space and Lisa's Kitchen
Serves 4

200ml tomato sauce (about half this recipe)
1/2 cup puy (brown) lentils
4 cups vegetable stock
2 purple carrots, diced
1 stalk of celery, diced
1/2 cup brown rice
700g pumpkin
1 medium zucchini chopped
1/2 cup spring onions, thinly sliced
2 tbsp lime juice (about 1 lime)
1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
1/8 tsp smoked salt, or to taste
1 shake each of ground chilli and cinnamon
100g baby spinach, chopped
plain yoghurt and chopped fresh mint to serve

Place tomato sauce, vegetable stock, lentils, carrots and celery in a large saucepan and bring to the boil.  Simmer for about 30 minutes until lentils are tender.  Add rice, pumpkin and zucchini and cook for about 30 minutes until vegies are soft.  Add spring onions, lime juice, pomegranate molasses, smoked salt, chilli and cinnamon.  Cook another 15 minutes.  Add spinach and leave for 5 minutes until it wilts.  Serve with a dollop of yoghurt and a scattering of mint leaves.

On the Stereo:
Brooklyn 1976 (bootleg) - Tiny Tim

20 comments:

  1. a great dish for the cooler weather!

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    1. Thanks Lisa - yes it would be great in cooler weather

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  2. As you say, you've just got to work with what you've got and how great that it all worked out deliciously! By the way, thank you for the recipe email! :D

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    1. Thanks Lorraine - always a little risky to leave out a main ingredient but knowing your ingredients helps when substituting

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  3. This looks lovely, Johanna. I adore tangy flavours so know I'd love the pomegranate molasses here :)

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    1. Thanks Hannah - sounds like a good one for you!

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  4. I found purple carrots for the first time this week. It was one of those dancing in the supermarket moments - so very exciting :) This may well be one of the things I make with them! I've never used pomegranate molasses but imagine the flavours would be delicious.

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    1. Thanks Kari - it is always exciting to see purple carrots - look forward to hearing how you use them - i think this is one of the best ways I have found to use pomegranate molasses so highly recommend this as a way to taste it

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  5. That looks satisfyingly delicious and so pretty with the mint leaves scattered on top. It is chilly here so this is very tempting, but I don't have pomegranate molasses and not sure what I could use instead?

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    1. Thanks Jac - I am not sure if there is something that would give you the exact taste of pomegranate molasses - it is a bit sour, a bit sweet and has a depth of flavour - perhaps some balsamic vinegar might give something like the flavour but you may need to adjust the sweetness with some citrus juice??? (if you try it let me know how it taste - I think the rest of ingredients are an excellent combination so might be worth trying some other flavours with it)

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  6. Love the look of that stew and the flavours sound intriguing too. I have never really thought of cooking lentils and rice together, but have seen it around a few times. I am still envious of your purple carrots!

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    1. Thanks Caroline - lentils and rice together is a great combination - I have done it before in soups and highly recommend it, esp in winter

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  7. This dish sounds devine! I have had a bottle of pomegrantae molasses for 2 years unopened in my pantry cupboard.

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    1. Thanks Cakelaw - highly recommend this stew to use your pomegranate molasses - I don't use mine very much either which is one reason I wanted to try this

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  8. Since I'm really not a big beet fan, I'm so excited to see that carrots work here! I'm not sure if I can find the purple variety...but hopefully the regular kind would work just as well!

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    1. Thanks Joanne - oh beetroot is so lovely but if it not your thing then I am sure that it would work with any carrots. If you manage to find purple carrots, then I think it might be a good substitute for beetroot - though I need to experiment more.

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  9. I'm pretty sure I'd love this stew. I've only had pomegranate molasses once, but I was smitten! And the color looks so purty. :)

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    1. Thanks Ricki - I was really pleased with the colour and also with the pomegranate molasses - would be interesting to hear where it stands with your ACD

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  10. Love your version of this recipe. You are always creative in the kitchen. As an aside, the link to my site and recipe don't seem to work but I am flattered that you like my recipe and had some inspiration. Keep in touch.

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    1. Thanks Lisa - I have fixed the links to your blog so hopefully they work now - always useful for people to see where who is inspiring me!

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