Warm oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add carrots, celery and onion and cook, stirring often, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in curry powder and sauté until blended and fragrant, about 1 minute. Add rice and stir to coat. Stir in tomatoes and broth. Bring to a simmer, then pour into slow cooker. Stir in lentils and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours. Add chickpeas, cover and cook until lentils and rice are tender, about 1 hour longer. (If stew looks dry when you add chickpeas, add more broth.) Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with parsley, if desired, before serving.
I followed the recipe exactly as provided. The dish DEFINITELY should be cooked one day b4 serving because the flavour improves TREMENDOUSLY the 2nd day. After cooking the dish, I felt like throwing it away due to the sharp taste of the curry powder and tomotoes, but by the 2nd day the seasonings all came together nicely and I ended up eating the entire dish by day 3. I wouldn't say this is an awesome recipe but it a hearty, healthy meal and I will cook this again. I think tofu would do well in this recipe and next time will add it. BTW ... I didn't use the slow cooker. I just cooked it in the one pot where I sauteed the vegetables.
I gave it four stars as it was more time consuming to put together than most slow cooker recipes, but I am trying to use one meatless meal per week and this fit the bill. While it was not an attractive dish (the photo is misleading), the flavor was quite good and it made a hearty meal. I did caramelize the onions to give it more depth of flavor, but otherwise followed the recipe as stated. I served it with a dollop of sour cream and a bit of cilantro on top.
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