Lentil Pomegranate Stew with Beets and Spinach

lentil bean pomegranate stew with beat and spinach

Spring seems to have finally arrived, but soups and stews are enjoyed in our household year round. The birds are chirping, the days are longer and the sun is shining after a rather dismal Canadian winter.

Inspired by Janet's Iraqi Pomegranate Stew (Shorbat Rumman), I came up with my own version of this delightful and nourishing dish. Beets are one of my favorite vegetables and combined with legumes and rice, along with spinach and some spice, this dish is bursting with flavor. Somewhat tangy, sweet and spicy with a hint of salty goodness, this is an ideal dish to serve to eager dinner guests who appreciate ethnic dishes as much as I do. I am thinking cooked red kidney beans would be a good substitute for the lentils if you want a more substantial stew — of course, a few adjustments would be necessary for the recipe. I have in mind my friends overseas who are headed into the winter season.

You may want to serve it with some crusty bread, along with a grain dish and a side salad for a extra dose of healthy goodness.

Lentil Pomegranate Stew with Beets and SpinachLentil Pomegranate Stew with Beets and Spinach
Recipe by
Adapted from The Taste Space
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Published on March 28, 2012

A rich, colorful and nourishing Iraqi stew that packs plenty of tangy, sweet and spicy flavors

Preparation: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 20 to 35 minutes

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  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped or sliced
  • 2 jalapeƱos, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne
  • 1/4 cup green lentils, rinsed
  • 1/4 cup brown lentils, rinsed
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 small beets, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup brown rice, rinsed
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 4 to 5 sun-dried tomatoes
  • juice of 1 lime (2 tablespoons)
  • 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
  • a few handfuls of spinach, trimmed and roughly chopped
  • small handful of fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • 1 heaping tablespoon dried dill
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • fresh cracked black pepper to taste
  • Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. When hot, add the onions and stir until brown around the edges, about 5 minutes. Now add the jalapeƱos and spices, and stir for another minute. Next add the lentils and vegetable stock, cover, and simmer until the lentils are tender, about 40 to 50 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, soak the sun-dried tomatoes in hot water for 20 to 30 minutes, then drain and chop. Set aside.

  • Add the beets and rice to the pan and continue to simmer for another 30 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding water if necessary. Stir in the shallots, sun-dried tomatoes, lime juice, pomegranate molasses, salt and parsley. Simmer for another 10 to 15 minutes.

  • Add the spinach, cover and simmer for a few minutes until the spinach is wilted. Remove from heat and serve, garnished with sprinklings of dill, ground cinnamon and black pepper.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

middle eastern lentil stew with beets

More Middle Eastern Recipes from Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen you are sure to enjoy:
Marinated Sun-Dried Tomato Hummus with Olives
Middle Eastern Chickpea and Olive Salad
Persian Split Pea and Pomegranate Soup
Shakshouka (Tunisian Tomato & Pepper Stew with Eggs)


janet @ the taste space said...

Hey Lisa, So glad to hear you loved it! Not sure how I'd feel about red kidney beans in it, though... although kidney beans are not my favourite so I have a bias against them. ;)

Johanna GGG said...

this looks delicious - will be bookmarking - and would love it with kidney beans but then again you and I have both paired beetroot and kidney beans in a stew very successfully before so we know it works :-)