Vegan creamy cashew, lentil, and roast cauliflower Moroccan inspired stew is packed full of plant-based nutrition and feel-good spices. The Moroccan inspired flavours are so savoury, tangy, sweet, pleasantly spicy and satisfying. Although if you prefer more heat just pop in more cayenne!
Chickpeas, red lentils, cauliflower, and cashews form a quartet that is surely a plant-based hero line-up or chorus! I just love the appetite stimulating aromas and excited anticipation that is in the air whenever this delicious stew is bubbling away on the stove-top.
The usual suspects of tomatoes, carrot, celery, onion and garlic make up the rest of the tasty ingredients for this Moroccan inspired stew.
This stew makes a welcomed appearance in my household at least every few months with the leftovers usually forming the base of a new tasty meal.
This recipe is perfect for batch prepping and can be happily frozen until required. Or enjoyed on toast for lunch the next day. So yummy!
Replacing cooking oil with veggie stock
This stew is prepared without added oil without any sacrifice to flavours. Vegetable stock is used to initially sauté the vegetables. With cashews providing all the essential healthy fats required in the form of a creamy sauce base.
However, a tablespoon or two of olive oil can be used instead.
I actively reduce my family’s oil consumption but I have not eradicated it completely.
For more information about oils and why people reduce their intake check out what the plant-based Dr Greger has to say.
Vegan Creamy Cashew, Lentil, and Cauliflower Moroccan Stew
- Blender/food processor
- Skillet/ stove-top casserole dish/ deep frying/sauté pan with a lid. Or use a lid borrowed from a different pan or even a heatproof plate.
- Baking tray
For the creamy base
- 140 grams cashews pre-soaked in boiling water a few hours or the day before preparing the recipe.
- 500 ml boiling water
- 150 g red split lentils washed
- 240 g chickpeas 400g/ 14oz can drained leaves around 240g of chickpeas!
- 300 g carrots about 4 medium carrots thin sliced so they will cook quicker.
- 150 g celery 3 stalks, sliced.
- 170 9 onion 1 medium rough chopped.
- 4 cloves garlic fine chopped or minced through a garlic press
- 500 grams passata
- 400 g chopped tomatoes 1 average sized can.
- 750 ml vegetable stock 3 cups
- 4 tsp ras el hanout spice blend. Or a similar Moroccan/North African spice blend
- ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper use more if prefer more spiciness or less if not.
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- 600 g cauliflower 1 large, sliced into medium sized florets.. Keep the best outer leaves, and wash and slice the leaves.
- 2 tsp ras el hanout plus a little salt and pepper
Prepare the cashew creamy base:
- Place the cashews in the boiling water and leave to soak overnight or for a few hours.
- Blend the cashews and water until smooth or as smooth as your blender allows! Don't worry if not completely smooth as it won't affect the finished stew.
Prepare the roast cauliflower:
- Preheat oven to 180 Fan/ 200 Celsius/ 350 Fahrenheit /Gas 4.
- Wash the cauliflower. Shake and drain to dry the cauliflower a little but a little moisture is good as it will help the spice blend adhere. Chop the cauliflower into medium sized florets. Lay out on a baking pan.Any little bits that break off just add to the pan.Sprinkle 2 tsp ras el hanout spice blend over and stir. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper over.
- Roast for 25 minutes until just soft, but still got a nice bite, and tinged golden. If desired turn the cauliflower half way through cooking but its not essential.Set aside until required.
Cook the stew while the cauliflower is roasting:
- Pour 125ml/ half a cup of the vegetable stock into your pan. Add the onions, carrots, celery, and garlic.Bring to a simmer, pop a lid on your pan and cook for about 5 minutes.
- Add the passata, chopped tomatoes, red split lentils, rest of the vegetable stock, ras al hanout, cinnamon and cayenne.Add a sprinkle of salt and some black pepper.Stir.Bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.(While stew is cooking prepare any sides you may have planned)
- Pour and scrape all the cashew cream into the stew.
- Add the cauliflower leaves and chickpeas and simmer for 10 minutes. After 5 minutes add the roast cauliflower. Either mix the cauliflower through or just drop it in.
- Check the seasoning. The sauce may look slightly thin but it will thicken up as it cools.
Optional extras/garnishes: handful of chopped coriander, wedge of lemon or lime, small handful of toasted almond flakes or chopped cashews, couscous prepared to packet instructions, hummus either shop bought or homemade, crusty bread or flatbreads.
- Serve with a garnish of coriander, perhaps a squeeze of lemon or lime juice, and a scattering of toasted almond flakes or chopped cashews.. A dollop of hummus is also tasty. As is a serving of couscous or a wedge of chunky bread.
Recipe Notes And Tips
- This Moroccan inspired stew will keep fresh in the fridge, covered, for up to 3 days. Reheat to piping hot before serving.
- Freeze portions of stew for later. Which is what I frequently do. This recipe is perfect for batch cooking.
- Leftover stew is perfect, reheated until piping hot, for lunch the next day. Serve on toast! It is surprisingly so good!
- Leftover stew can be blended and transformed into a creamy Moroccan inspired soup!
- Serve your stew with a variety of sides for a more substantial meal or as part of special celebration meal. These vegan 3-ingredient flatbreads are particularly tasty dunked into this stew.
- Couscous is a traditional Moroccan accompaniment to stews.
- Use shop-bought vegan sides to save time! I used a packet of lemon and coriander couscous and garnished with chopped coriander. And a tub of Moroccan-inspired hummus and garnished with a few whole chickpeas.
- Instead of cauliflower add some shop-bought or home-made falafels.
- Butterbeans can also replace the cauliflower or chickpeas.
- Add some frozen broad beans in place of chickpeas.
- Or add some crispy tofu bites. Easy recipe here.