Instant Pot Moroccan Lentils with Sweet Potatoes – Gratitude Day 5

Tonight – and every night that we eat it – I’m super-grateful for this recipe for Moroccan Lentils.

vegan-moroccan-lentils
If you want pretty pictures, visit the other website. 🙂

The version we make is based on a recipe by Gena Hamshaw from her book Power Plates. Her version is available online at acouplecooks.com. Ours is adjusted according to our tastes and to be oil-free.

We were introduced to this by a dear friend of ours, who served it to Sean on a solo visit once, pre-Covid (remember those times?). He was excited because she had made it compliant with the whole-foods-plant-based lifestyle. And she made it in the Instant Pot, which is easy. He sent me a picture and raved about it. I was like, “Hmm, sounds nice.”

Little did I know.

It is basically our favourite meal. It is JUST DELICIOUS. And simple to make. AND INCREDIBLY TASTY. And filling. And smells fantastic while cooking. I don’t know if you will feel the same way, but honestly… I literally eat this and then the leftovers for three or four days straight sometimes, and I don’t get tired of it. (Not for every meal… but you get the idea.) It’s also very, very nutritious.

Also, I like it because Sean makes basically the whole thing… and then I make the sauce. And we both feel like we’ve accomplished something.

This takes about an hour to be ready, but most of that time is waiting for it to cook – in other words, reading Reddit (if you’re Sean) or playing Wordscapes or maybe blogging (if you’re me).

Ingredients:

Sweet potatoes

1 C red lentils

1 C green lentils

2 C water

1 28-oz. can diced tomatoes

1 med/large onion, diced

1 tsp paprika

2 tsp ground ginger

2 tsp cumin

2 tsp chili powder*

1/2 tsp cinnamon

6 cloves minced fresh garlic – or 2T jarred minced garlic

1 tsp salt

baby spinach

tahini

lemon juice

cilantro (optional)

*I was today years old when I found out that chili powder and chile powder are two different things!!! **mindblown** So what we have in our spice drawer is chili powder, and it actually has paprika and salt and other things in it! Take from that what you will. (I actually don’t think chile powder is that easy to find around here.)

Instructions:

Wash some sweet potatoes and stab them with a fork, then bake them in the oven at 425. We usually make two or three big ones and they take about an hour, but if you have smaller ones they will be done sooner. You’ll know they’re done when a fork easily goes into the potato. (Also when they start spewing caramelized sugar from their fork-holes it’s a pretty good indication.)

Throw the first twelve ingredients (through salt) into the Instant Pot, stir them around, and set it to pressure cook for 27 minutes. If you don’t have an Instant Pot, you can still make this in a pot on the stove – you will probably need about twice the water, and you will need to watch it more carefully and stir it sometimes.

Let the pressure naturally release for at least ten minutes when the time is up. When you’re ready to serve, stir a few (or several) handfuls of baby spinach into the lentils.

We like to put half a sweet potato in a bowl, chop it into chunks, and pour the lentils on top.

For the sauce:

Your proportions are a matter of taste here. I usually put about 1/4 C of tahini in a bowl and add 1-1/5 Tbsp lemon juice. Then I mix it with a fork – it strangely becomes thicker – and then keep mixing as I add water about 1 Tbsp at a time until it’s a nice drizzling consistency. Then I add salt, garlic powder and/or onion powder to taste. (Or lately I just add Herbamare.)

Then drizzle with gusto, decorate with cilantro to taste, and dig in! Get those lentils in ya. YES and YUM.

***

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4 Comments

  1. “it strangely becomes thicker” — the acid in the lemon juice denatures the protein in the tahini.

    Sounds very interesting. I wonder if someone who doesn’t care for sweet potatoes would like it…? You think? Or do you think it might work with something different in the bottom of the bowl — like regular potatoes? Anyway, thanks for sharing — I’m going to copy into a different place and maybe try it. I need to use my Instant Pot more!

    1. Thanks for the science knowledge! Although I don’t quite know what “denatures” means, molecularly speaking…

      I would say the sweet potatoes could be replaced by anything, if you don’t like that option – regular potatoes would be delicious, or toast or rice or whatever! I think the sweetness is a really nice counterpoint, but I’ve eaten the lentils alone many a time.

  2. Sounds delicious, but how would I make it without an Instant Pot (or a pressure cooker, which I believe is the culinary precursor to the trendy Instant Pot)?

    1. My belief is that you could put all these things in a regular pot on med-high heat, and achieve the same effect, as long as you stirred it occasionally. Red and green lentils both cook up pretty quickly even without pressure.

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