Beef & Lentils Stew

Over here, mamak food is a WHOLE CULTURE on its own. Some people live for times when they can socialize around some roti canai (flaky griddle flat bread) & teh tarik (pulled tea). Yes, I can attempt to translate it to English but it’s something you’ve got to see to believe.

Murtabak & Roti Canai

mamak food

As you can see, I like to drown things in curry & dhal. I’ve heard of some people complaining that dhal is too chunky, gritty etc etc. That sounds like an abomination to me.  Complain? About dhal? Crazy!!! I love smothering my roti canai  & rice with dhal. And my principle in life is (well, most parts of my life) if you like to eat it, learn to make it.

I had very very little experience cooking with lentils. Dhal lentils didn’t seem too different from mung beans & I’ve had experience with those. Shouldn’t be too tough! Instead of taking the usual familiar route of roti canai dhal, I wanted to make a meal out of this & turn the whole thing into a warm hearty stew.

This recipe calls for Dhal Lentils, Stewing Beef, Garlic, Onion, Potatoes, Sundried Tomatoes, Tomato Puree, Fresh Tomato, Bay Leaves, Salt, Pepper & Water! Doesn’t seem too overwhelming, right?
Beef & Lentils Stew 1

Always always brown stewing meats. Or so I’ve been told. I do as I’m told.
Beef & Lentils Stew 2

In with everything else!
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I used dhal lentils. You can use any kind of lentils you like! In fact, the recipe I used called for red lentils. Some lentils require overnight soaking, some don’t. So check that out before using, mmkay? For mine, I soaked the lentils for about an hour.
Beef & Lentils Stew 4

Plenty of that tomato. You can just go straight up canned chopped tomatoes, which of course I don’t have because I grabbed the can of puree without even looking at the label. No worries though. I tossed in a chopped fresh tomato & we’re even.
Beef & Lentils Stew 5

In about an hour, you’ll get a pot of luscious, fragrant stew that will warm you inside out!
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Other than the occasional stir, this stew makes itself while you potter about the house or sit around with a cup of pumpkin spiced coffee & a good book. (That’s what I’d do in my perfect imaginary life…)
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I like the tang that sundried tomatoes bring to this very rich stew. It’s like that wildcard relative in a family gathering who livens everything up with stories of  her recent body exam or her neighbour’s strange habit. In a good way. You know you have one of those in your family 😉
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With carbs and protein all mashed into one dish, you will only need something green & crunchy to complete the meal.
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I went for the stirfried lettuce route. Salad would be nice.
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Okay, last picture of the stew.
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Want more carbs in your meal as though the potatoes is not enough? Add bread. Or rice as hubs did. Because everything goes with rice. (His logic)
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What stews have you made this year? Also, any recommendation on lentil recipes?


“It is He that buildeth His stories in the heaven, and hath founded His troop in the earth; He that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The LORD is His name.” {Amos 9:6}

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Beef & Lentils Stew
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Use any types of lentils you prefer. Just make sure to check if the chosen lentils require advance soaking time.
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Fusion
Serves: 4-6
  • 2 tbsp Sunflower Oil
  • 16 oz OR 500g Stewing Beef, cut into 2 inch chunks
  • 2 cups OR 500ml Stock (I used chicken but beef or veal works)
  • 2 Pink Potatoes, washed & cut into large chunks
  • ½ cup Sun-Dried Tomatoes in Olive Oil, drained
  • 1 large Bay Leaf or 3 small ones
  • ¾ cups OR 150g Dhal Split Lentils, soaked briefly
  • 1 cup Tomato Puree
  • 1 Fresh Tomato, chopped
  • Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper
  1. Heat the sunflower oil in a large, heavy-based pan over a MED HIGH heat.
  2. Season beef chunks with salt & pepper then sear in batches if necessary, until golden brown all over. Remove & transfer to a bowl.
  3. Reduce heat to MED & add the potato the dish and let it cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add the lentils, sun-dried tomatoes, bay leaf, tomato puree, chopped tomatoes & beef back to the dish.
  5. Stir well, then add the stock. Bring the stew to the boil. Cover & reduce to a simmer for 60-70 minutes until the beef is tender and the lentils are soft and cooked. Stir occasionally.
  6. Remove from the heat and adjust the seasoning to taste.
  7. Serve with a simple green salad.

Recipe adapted from: Tesco RealFood


  1. A rich stew is just perfect for cold winter! I will need many many bread to dip up all those tasty sauce! I have never made Indian food at home. It sounds a bit intimidating, but you make it look easy! I am craving for Indian food now…. Oh my, I am so hungry!

    • LOL. Thanks Lokness! 🙂 It wasn’t as finicky as I thought cooking lentils would be. 🙂 If I had the foresight, I might have made up some flat breads to go with this.

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