Spiced lentils with carrots and purple potatoes

Spiced lentils with carrots and purple potatoes

Wanna hear what I did this weekend?

I worked 16 hours a day for 3 days, I squeezed the work of a week in those hours. It doesn’t sound like a lot of fun, but trust me, I loved it. If you do what you love for a living, you’ll be on vacation all your life.

I am very excited about the result, so let me tell you more…

Cardamom seeds

Last year Sagrario — from the magazine Vainilla y Azafrán — and I chatted about maybe collaborating for one of the editions of the magazine, but we never did agree on anything, and months passed.

A few months ago we chatted again, Sagrario was looking to revamp the magazine, and was looking for help creating a new style for the next edition. She agreed to come here to Punta Cana and our team of three took three days to shoot nearly all the recipes for the next magazine. Oh boy!

Spiced lentils with carrots and purple potatoes

For me it was a challenge, every job is, but this time we also were on a tight schedule, and both trying to absorb as much knowledge from each other as we could.

Exhausted as we were, we chatted, had coffee, cookies, more coffee, and chatted some more. I may be getting old for this, but I still had tons of fun. I am so looking forward to seeing the results. It’ll be some time until the new edition is out, but I will keep you posted.

Chili flakes

So, after 3 days of endless shooting, and trying foods, I needed a break. I needed to eat lighter, but I also wanted to go back to my favorite confort dishes. I don’t know why, but lentils just hit the spot for me.

If you have the suspicion that I have borrowed more than a little inspiration from Indian cuisine, you are right. I have.  I love their spices, so I incorporated some of my favorite ones in this dish. I found some purple potatoes in our local supermarket that was dying to try. The taste and texture is nearly identical to regular-color potatoes, but I loved the unusual color. You can use regular potatoes without loss of flavor.

Aunt Clara
Spiced lentils with carrots and purple potatoes
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Aromatic, comforting, filling, and light. Serve this delicious dish and you are certainly to be making it again soon after.
Serves: 6 servings
  • 2 cups of lentils
  • 6 purple potatoes (or medium-size potatoes of your choice), diced
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 2 large white onions, diced
  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 cup of arugula
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ teaspoon of chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon of coarse salt
  • 12 cardamom seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon of peppercorns
  • 2 cups of vegetable stock
  • ¼ cup of olive oil
  1. Soak the lentils in abundant water overnight (keep in the fridge). Remove from the water and rinse.
  2. Remove the cardamom seeds from the pods.
  3. Mix cardamom seeds, peppercorns, chili flakes and coarse salt. Crush with a mortar and pestle.
  4. Heat half the oil in a large pan over low heat, add garlic, turmeric and cardamom mix.
  5. Cook and stir for 30 seconds, or until the ingredients release their flavor.
  6. Add the onions and cook and stir until the onions turn transparent.
  7. Add potatoes, lentils, bay leaves and carrots. Increase heat to medium and cook and stir until it all well mixed.
  8. Add half the vegetable stock, mix well. Cover and simmer until the liquid has evaporated (stir ever 3 minutes or so).
  9. Add the remaining stock, cover and simmer (stirring frequently) until the carrots are cooked through.
  10. Remove from the heat and mix with the arugula. Drizzle with the remaining oil.
  11. Serve with arroz blanco (white rice).
If you, like me, love spicy food, just add more chili flakes, as much as you want. This recipe produces a very mild spicy dish.
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{ 7 comments… add one }

  • Sahar February 9, 2014, 11:43 PM

    I’m new to lentils and I’ve seen several different types. What kind of lentils should I use?

  • Maria2 March 16, 2013, 10:53 PM

    Yes, please! If I find all the ingredients here, I will be sure to cook this. I hope the hubby likes it (not a fan of spicy food).

  • Suzanne Perazzini March 7, 2013, 6:23 PM

    Purple potatoes in anything add a lovely shot of unexpected colour. Congratulations on the collaboration – it sounds exhausting but a lot of fun and very fulfilling. I wouldn’t be able to wait to see the results.

    • Aunt Clara March 7, 2013, 7:27 PM

      It’s the first time in my life I eat purple potatoes. Frankly, I had no idea what to expect.

      And don’t worry, eventually the pictures will make it into the mag online version. :)

  • Amity March 6, 2013, 6:55 PM

    What a great post. Can’t wait to see the results of this collaboration.

  • sagrario March 6, 2013, 6:37 PM

    It was a great experience, personally I think I´ve never worked this hard in my life (I still can´t feel my feet) Anyway I´m looking forward to repeat it again, you are an extraordinary human being Clara, a person to learn from. The next time I we´ll have to schedule some time to go to the beach and enjoy paradise and alternate with work.

    • Aunt Clara March 7, 2013, 7:20 PM

      Thanks, hon. I am looking forward to having you back.