Lentil stew or menestra de lentejas

En español

Arroz con menestra de lentejas is a traditional Ecuadorian lentil stew simmered with onion, pepper, tomato, garlic, cumin, and cilantro. Menestra is served with rice and thin grilled steaks or carne asada. Arroz con menestra or simply menestra is a very popular dish in Ecuador, and you can find it almost everywhere, though the Coastal region has the strongest claim on this dish. A menestra is usually made with lentils, but there are also versions made with bean or porotos. The lentils are simmered in a broth with onion, pepper, tomato, garlic, cumin and cilantro. While this lentil stew or menestra is usually served with grilled or fried meat, you can also ask for it to be served with chicken and if you’re near the coast, then also fish. I remember my mom, during a period when she was trying to be vegetarian and make us vegetarians, would always ask for a fried egg instead of the meat. Even though I wasn’t too happy about that at the time, and was very jealous of the people around us that got the meat,  I now love arroz con menestra with a fried egg. To adapt this recipe for a vegetarian diet replace the meat with a fried egg. Other side dishes, in addition to the must-have rice and protein, include avocado slices, ripe fried plantains or patacones (green fried plantains), and a small salad or curtido.

Side dishes for menestra de lentejas or Ecuadorian lentil stew:

Recipe for Ecuadorian style rice

Recipe for carne asada

Recipe for fried ripe plantains

Recipe for patacones or tostones

Recipe for tomato and onion curtido

Lentil stew with rice - Arroz con menestra de lentejas

Yield: For 6-8 people

Lentil stew with rice - Arroz con menestra de lentejas

Arroz con menestra de lentejas is a traditional Ecuadorian lentil stew simmered with onion, pepper, tomato, garlic, cumin, and cilantro. Menestra is usually served with rice and thin grilled steaks or carne asada.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil on medium heat in a large sauce pan or cooking pot.
  2. Add the onion, bell pepper, tomato, garlic, cumin, salt, achiote and 2 tablespoons of the cilantro to make a refrito for the stew.
  3. Cook, stirring occasionally, until all the ingredients have softened, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the water and increase heat to bring water to boil.
  5. Add the lentils and reduce the heat to medium low, cover partially and cook until the lentils are tender. Taste and add salt if needed, stir in the remaining 2 tbs of cilantro, and remove from the heat.
  6. Serve with Ecuadorian style cooked rice, carne asada o carne frita (fried thin beef steaks), fried ripe plantains or fried green plantains, and a small salad or avocado slices.
http://laylita.com/recipes/2008/01/11/arroz-con-menestra-lentil-stew-with-rice/

Lentil stew with rice Lentil stew with rice

Ecuadorian arroz con menestra or lentil stew recipe

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