Lentil Bredie (Cape Malay Lentil Stew)

This is one of dishes our mums and aunts cooked for us while growing up. Memories are our mum, grandmother or an aunt giving us, kids, a bowel containing dry lentils to sort.

The process was taking a handful of lentils out of the bowl onto the kitchen table and sorting by hand the good lentils into a new pile, from the bad looking lentils, small stones or little branches. After this, all the good lentils were thoroughly washed a few times through a colander, the cleaned lentils were placed in a large stock pot, then covered with water and cooked for an hour or until the lentils were almost soft or half-cooked.

Only after this lengthy process, would we be ready to cook this dish.

Today however, for all the working mums, all we need to do is purchase a tin or two of lentils, this is pre-cooked, almost soft and ready to go to complete this dish…

Here is a recipe

3-4 Tablespoons Cooking oil, Vegetable or Olive oil
500g Lamb Pieces, one (though for me this is optional, traditionally most will say you cannot leave it out)
2 Finely chopped onions
1 chopped finely tomato or 2 Tablespoons diced Tin Tomatoes
1.5 Teaspoons Jeera Powder
1 Teaspoons Coriander Powder
1 – 2 Chopped Chillies (usually green, however red is fine as well) – optional
2 Cups Brown Lentils or 2 Tins of Brown Lentils
4 Medium Sized Potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon Salt to taste


Dry lentils:
If you are using the dry lentils, place the lentils in a pot covered with water and cook until the lentils are half cooked. Strain and set aside.

Tin lentils:
Strain and set aside.

Cooking Method:
Fry the onions in the oil in a heavy-based saucepan until golden brown.

Then add the meat until the meat is browned, not burned.

Add a little water to cover the onions and reduce the heat to low-medium and simmer until the meat is tender (give or take about half hour to an hour), maintaining water in the pot, so that the meat does not burn.

(For Vegetarians or Vegans, like me leave out the meat and go straight onto the next step).

Add the tomato, lentils, potatoes, and spices, let all this simmer until the potatoes are soft.
You may add water if required.

Serve with fluffy white rice.

This recipe serves 4-6 people