Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Hungarian Lentil Stew

Hungarian Lentil Stew

Published: February 10, 2009
Adapted from Renata Olah

For Dinner (and Fast), the Taste of Home (February 11, 2009)

Time: 1 hour, plus optional overnight soaking

1 1-pound bag brown lentils
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons sweet Hungarian paprika
3 bay leaves
2 cups whole-fat sour cream
3 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon salt, or as needed
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
2 tablespoons brown mustard, or as needed
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, or as needed.
1. If desired, place lentils in a bowl with water to cover, and soak overnight; this step may be skipped, but makes lentils more digestible.

2. Place a large (5- to 6-quart) saucepan over medium-low heat, and add oil and onion. Sauté until tender, 1 to 2 minutes. Add garlic and paprika, and sauté until garlic is fragrant, 1 minute more. Add lentils, 8 cups water and bay leaves. Increase heat to bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until lentils are tender, about 50 minutes; add water as needed if mixture seems too thick.

3. When lentils are tender, in a small bowl stir together sour cream, flour and milk. Add to lentils and simmer 2 to 3 minutes. Add salt, brown sugar, mustard and lemon juice, adjusting amounts as needed for a slightly piquant flavor. If desired, remove and discard bay leaves. Serve hot.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings.


  1. I cut this recipe out of the NYTimes and made it today. It needs about 4 more tablespoons of salt and mustard. Without adding more of those two ingredients, it smells great, but tastes like nothing.

  2. that's good to know! I imagine lemon juice could help kick it up too.

  3. Mustard and lemon juice are optional I think,
    bay leaves+garlic+the cream give it its real authentic taste. Personally I always make it like that (without the other fancy ingredients)
    Btw soaking lentils for a few hours prior to cooking is a "must".

    (Gabor from Hungary)