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  • Writer's pictureThalien Colenbrander

A HEALING KITCHEN RECIPE - sriracha, what else?

Updated: Dec 29, 2022

With The Healing Habits Retreat coming up (21-26 January in Andalusia, Spain - you can still join!), I’ve lately been more acutely aware of my own healing habits. There are many, and I can’t wait to share some of them with you, so stay tuned for a blog on that very soon. But for now, I’d just love to share this recipe. It’s a red lentil veggie stew I started making back in autumn 2020 when I was travelling through Scandinavia in my camper.

Most days the sky was a deep stone grey and the nights just above freezing. As I didn’t have a heater, I was relying on warm clothes/blankets, physical activity, cold water plunges and ingesting warm and/or spicy food and beverages to stay comfy - which worked! This stew is a killer and high on my healing (kitchen) habits list, especially this time of year. It's vegan too and free of the major food allergens.

I have a regular edition and a Christmas edition, pick ‘n choose which ones tickles your fancy.


  • 250 gram (9 ounces) dried red lentils

  • 2 large carrots

  • 1 medium-sized white onion

  • 2 tablespoons grated garlic

  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil (or sunflower oil if coconut isn't your jam)

  • 2-4 tablespoons ras el hanout or garam masala. These are both pre-blended spices. They’re very different, but both delicious in this dish. If you love intricate, aromatic, tastes-like-Christmas Indian flavours, go for garam masala. If a savoury blend appeals more, then go for North Africa’s slamming powerhouse ras el hanout.

  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder (leave this out if you’re on team garam masala)

  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika powder (leave this out if you’re on team garam masala)

  • ½ cube veggie broth fresh coriander (team garam masala) or sriracha sauce (team ras el hanout): these are totally optional - I’ll explain why later, if it isn’t obvious already

Chop the carrots into disks of about ½ cm (0.2 inch) thick. Set aside.

Boil the red lentils for 20 minutes with the veggie broth. Make sure the lentils on top are submerged in water, but no deeper than 1 cm (0.4 inch) throughout the cooking process. If needed, add water as you go along.

While the lentils boil, chop and fry the onion with the grated garlic and ginger in the oil of your choosing. Fry for 5 minutes on medium heat. Then add 2-4 tablespoons (depending on how hooked you are on spices) of garam masala OR ras el hanout. If you chose ras el hanout, also add cumin and smoked paprika powder. Fry for another 5 minutes on low heat.

Add this zesty concoction and your chopped carrots to your pan with boiling red lentils. Leave to simmer for another 20 minutes. Add water as needed, making sure the stew is easy to stir in the pan - you don’t want it to clump together but definitely not watery either. You’re looking for a porridge-like consistency. What will make your soul groan with delight is not just the spiced flavour and wholesome ingredients, but also the heavy texture. Like somebody relaxing their full weight on top of you. Your partner, your child, your pet. So satisfying. When the cooking time is done, turn off the heat. Now, before feasting, let the stew settle in the pan with a lid on it for at least 5 minutes. Like a little lentil pre-match power huddle.

When serving, option to add freshly chopped coriander and/or a few drops or generous dose of sriracha sauce. Do the latter only if you crave to be woken up like a foghorn. Or stay warm in Sweden in October without a heater. Yes pah-lease.

Note that, as with other stew-like dishes, this gem tastes even better the day (or 2) after. I love to make a big batch, so I can eat from it for several days. Yum. This is definitely my number 1 (healthy, ha!) comfort meal. Give it a good whirl and lemme know what you think.

And speaking of good whirls…how about starting off your 2023 with a good one by joining me on The Healing Habits Retreat 21-26 January in sunny Spain? It’s the perfect time to assess, align and adopt or ditch habits in accordance with your intentions for the new year. A delicious and intelligent potion of insightful dharma talks, powerful brain hacks, yoga, sound healing, massage, crazy good food and so much more!

Oh and the €100 discount is still valid till the end of December 2022. Get in there :-)

Click here for more info.

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