Mexican lentils and fruit is a recipe that is an everything but the kitchen sink kind of dish. This stew is so full of flavor thanks to all of the different flavors and textures.
This recipe is a traditional dish from the region of Oaxaca Mexico. If you are not familiar with that area of Mexico, it is one of the Mexican states all the way down toward the bottom of Mexico.
Oaxaca has lots of wonderful history and lots of great food that is rich in flavors and textures. This lentil stew is a great example of that. It is meant to be a stew and not a soup and can be served with a side of tortillas, rice or bread.
This recipe has sweet elements from the fruit, salty elements from the chorizo and meat and a bit of an umami flavor from the smoked pork and bacon. It is one delicious and hearty meal.
The unexpected items in this dish are the plantains and pineapples. You may have heard of plantains in Mexican cooking and that is not a big deal but adding it to a stew is definitely a great use that is not common.
Adding to the uniqueness of this Mexican lentils with fruit recipe, is the pineapples in this dish. These pineapples lend a very light sweet bite to what would otherwise be an all around salty dish. The flavor is a great compliment to the stew.
I really love that this lentil stew is so well rounded and full of so many different ingredients. There is no need for any side dish with this meal either. If you are keeping track of your fruit and vegetable intake, this dish checks off many of those boxes.
When serving this dish, you can serve it with a side of warm corn tortillas or some really good crusty bread (although not as traditional).
Mexican Lentils with Fruit
- 2 cups dried green lentils
- 8 cups of water
- 2 strips of bacon cut into small bite sized pieces
- 1 package or 4-5 links of Mexican chorizo sliced or cut into 1 inch chunks
- 1 chopped onion
- 2 cloves of garlic minced
- 1 small can of pineapple chunks in their juice not syrup drained and rinsed well
- 1 plantain cut into 1 inch slices
- 1 tsp of salt and more to taste
- 1 tsp of freshly ground black pepper
- 6 green onions chopped both white and green parts
- 2 tbsp of olive oil
- 4 smoked pork chops (you can usually find this in the section of your store that has ham steaks)
- Place your lentils and water into a large pot and bring to a boil.
- Once the water is boiling reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 40 minutes until the lentils are almost cooked but not fully.
- Once done, drain your lentils over a large bowl to save the liquid and put both the lentils and the bowl of liquid aside. Rinse out the pot you cooked your lentils in and put it back on the stove.
- Pre-heat your pot over medium heat and add your bacon pieces and cook for 3 minutes.
- Now add your chorizo to the pot and cook for 3-4 minutes.
- Now add your onion (not scallions) and garlic to the pot and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Add your salt and pepper and mix well.
- Now you are going to add your lentils back into your pot along with 2 cups of the reserved cooking liquid. Mix well.
- The consistency should be more like a stew than a soup. If it is too dry add a little more liquid.
- Now, add your plantains, pineapples and green onions and cover with a lid and simmer on low heat for 20 minutes.
- While your lentils are simmering, grab a saute pan and heat it over medium heat.
- Add your olive oil and smoked pork chops to the pan and cook for about 3 minutes per side.
- When done, transfer to your pot of lentils and cook for another 5 minutes covered.
- Taste for any additional salt or pepper to your taste;To serve: You can ladle the stew into bowls and serve with tortillas, rice or bread on the side.