Coconut-Curry Lentil Stew with Quinoa

This recipe is adapted from


  • 1C quinoa
  • 2C water
  • 1/2T salt
  • 1T coconut oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2C water
  • 1.5T molasses
  • 1/2 can (7 oz) coconut milk
  • 1/8C coconut cream powder
  • 2T toasted flaked coconut
  • 1t cinnamon
  • 1T ground coriander
  • 1t cumin
  • 1t lime juice
  • 1C red lentils
  • 1/4C fresh cilantro
  • pinch saffron (optional)


Soak the quinoa in a bowl of cold water for 5 minutes, then drain and rinse with running water.  Drain the quinoa again, then bring 2C of water and 1/2T salt to a boil in a saucepan.  Stir in the quinoa, cover, and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer until the quinoa has absorbed the liquid and is tender, about 15 minutes.  Set it aside and keep it warm.

Melt the coconut oil in a large saucepan over medium heat;  add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 mins.  Stir in the tomatoes and cook for 5 mins more.  Then pour in the water and coconut milk, and add the molasses, coconut cream powder, lime juice, cinnamon, cumin and coriander.  Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, then stir in the lentils and cook until just tender, about 20 minutes.  Stir frequently so that the lentils don’t stick.  Take them off the heat when the lentils are soft but still retain their shape.  season to taste with salt and pepper, stir in the saffron and cilantro, sprinkle the toasted coconut over the top and serve over the quinoa.

To dry the leftovers for the trail, first measure out as many 1/2C servings of the quinoa as you wish onto the solid plastic tray of your dehydrator.  Then ladle out an equivalent number of 1C servings of the lentil mixture onto the solid plastic tray of your dehydrator (no more than ~3C of lentils on one tray, so that you can spread it out thin for quick and even drying). Separate filled trays with an empty one.  Dry both the quinoa and the lentil mixture on the 135o setting of your dehydrator overnight.  In the morning, crumble up the lentil mixture with your fingers.  If it still feels a little moist, put it back in the dehydrator for a few more hours; otherwise, put individual servings of the dried lentil mixture and accompanying quinoa into a zip-loc bag and put away in the fridge or freezer.

At camp, boil water and add enough of it to your pre-measured dehydrated lentil stew serving to make 1.5C. Wrap it in aluminum foil or tuck it into an insulated cozy for 15 minutes and it should be ready to eat!  Enjoy with a piece of naan bread or artisan bread.