Total Time
1hr 5mins
Prep 20 mins
Cook 45 mins

Borrowing the layering of flavors and spice combinations from North Africa, this vegetarian stew is simple, economical and delicious. Partially cooking the lentils ahead gives them an extra flavor base making it well worth the effort.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Place lentils, water, tumeric, ginger and nutmeg in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer and cook uncovered for 20 minutes. At the end of 20 minutes your lentils will be still firm and
  2. you will have very little water left in the pot, the lentils finish cooking with the stew.
  3. At the point your lentils have been cooking 15 minutes, place olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, celery and fennel. Cook for 5 minutes until vegetables begin to soften. Add garlic and cook another 30 seconds.
  4. Mix the lentils into the vegetables in the larger pot and stir well.
  5. Add the remaining ingredients, stir again and simmer for 20-30 minutes.
  6. If the stew seems dry, add additional vegetable stock or water.
  7. When ready to serve, season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle chopped fennel fronds on top.
  8. Serve hot on couscous or rice.
Most Helpful

Pretty good! I love fennel, so I just wish I could've tasted it more in this dish. Maybe it'd be best to go and throw in the whole fennel bulb next time. I like that you don't really need rice with this, as the potatoes are enough.

rpgaymer June 03, 2013

Excellent recipe. This is a great way to try fennel for the first time. I'll admit I started at step 2 and then I just added everything to the pot and cooked it 40 minutes. I didn't have the patience to cook in stages. :) And I used red pepper flakes. Yummy!

DriveThruDodger October 03, 2007

I loved this, as I do most dahl recipes - it was hearty but left me feeling like I was eating something good for me. I added the enitre bulb of fennel and a few more cloves of garlic and it was perfect. A very picky vegan friend of mine tried it and loved it, as well.

merron-iru kami April 12, 2007