Modeled on North African stews, this aromatic vegetarian main course can be served over brown rice or steamed spinach.

EatingWell Test Kitchen
Source: EatingWell Magazine, February/March 2006


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Soak chickpeas in enough cold water to cover them by 2 inches for 6 hours or overnight. (Alternatively, use the quick-soak method: Place beans in a large pot with enough water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from heat and let stand for 1 hour.) Drain when ready to use.

  • Combine the soaked chickpeas, squash, carrots, onion, lentils, broth, tomato paste, ginger, cumin, salt, saffron and pepper in a 6-quart slow cooker.

  • Put on the lid and cook on low until the chickpeas are tender and the lentils have begun to break down, 5 to 6 1/2 hours.

  • Stir in lime juice. Serve sprinkled with peanuts and cilantro.


Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month.

Kabocha is a squash with a green-streaked rind and tender, sweet orange flesh. An average kabocha weighs two to three pounds.

Considered the world's most expensive spice, saffron contributes a pungent flavor and intense yellow color. It is sold in threads and powdered form.

For easy cleanup, try a slow-cooker liner. These heat-resistant, disposable liners fit neatly inside the insert and help prevent food from sticking to the bottom and sides of your slow cooker.

Nutrition Facts

283 calories; protein 14.4g; carbohydrates 46.4g; dietary fiber 12.8g; sugars 8.5g; fat 6.3g; saturated fat 0.9g; vitamin a iu 16558.6IU; vitamin c 24.5mg; folate 107.2mcg; calcium 99.9mg; iron 3.7mg; magnesium 76.8mg; potassium 869.8mg; sodium 667.2mg; thiamin 0.2mg; added sugar 1g.

Reviews (54)

Read More Reviews
54 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 8
  • 4 star values: 32
  • 3 star values: 2
  • 2 star values: 8
  • 1 star values: 4
Rating: 4 stars
Delicious and easy! I wasn't sure how much I was going to like this recipe but the combination of flavors was amazing! I put it in the crockpot before work and came home to savory smells and a delicious meal! Even my non-veggie husband loved it! I made it with the kabocha squash but couldn't find any saffron and it was so good! Read More
Rating: 2 stars
nice flavors terrible consistancy Despite how nice this recipe might taste - and it does taste nice (I echo those below who added more ginger I doubled the ginger and still can't really taste it) the consistency is terrible it is baby food I would never cook this dish for anybody. Pros: it's pretty delicious Cons: I feel like I'm eating baby food Read More
Rating: 2 stars
Meh! It's just a one pot meal.... No definitive flavours. I would make it again on a cold day when as a vegetarian I am looking for a bit of comfort food but not that regularly Pros: Easy Cons: Nothing spectacular Read More
Rating: 4 stars
I've made this twice so far and I've gotten great reviews. I'm kind of cheap so I didn't use saffron. I added a bit of chili powder instead for a little heat and more flavor and I'm always generous with other spices in this case cumin pepper and fresh ginger. I also add two minced garlic cloves and I skip the peanuts. This is a very filling and nutritious stew and a great way to use my abundance of butternut squash. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
I wanted to introduce my favorite kabocha to my squash-hating BF so I took this recipe reduced the broth and served it in the guise of "sweet potato casserole". Everyone liked it and The Squash Hater loved it; then the big reveal that it was really Japanese Pumpkin! No more SHs in my life. Thanks for a delish and very healthful way to use my favorite winter vegs. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
This recipe was absolutely delicious!!! I substituted a few things: I used canned chickpeas instead of dried. I used tumeric instead of saffron because it's too expensive. I used garlic and parsley instead of ginger and cilantro. I added garlic and hot sauce and it was very tasty! I used the slow cooker 7 hours on low and served it with naan bread and a salad. Don't skimp on the lime and peanuts at the end - this made it even better. Its's nice to see a crock pot recipe that isn't loaded with salt and canned soup ingredients. My meat-loving husband loved it too! Read More
Rating: 2 stars
not as expected i added more spices as others suggested but even then this dish had very little flavor or depth. really boring dish Pros: healthy Cons: bland and mushy Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Modify This Recipe I did not do this as a slow cooker recipe and I thought the taste was great. Kabocha and lentils both become soft pretty quickly so I am guessing that part of the reason so many reviews say that flavor is lacking is because all of the ingredients kinda' break down in the slow cooker. Mine was GREAT and here were the modifications I made: 1. cooked on stovetop instead of in slow cooker 2. canned chickpeas 3. did not peel kabocha squash - one of the GREAT things about this squash is that you don't have to peel it - when you cook it the peel becomes soft and edible 4. cooked onions and carrots together in coconut oil (instead of olive oil) and then added spices tomato paste and broth. 5. added squash chickpeas and lentils all at the same time and cooked until squash was soft. 5. added lime juice just before serving so that the citrus flavor would be bright It was really good! Pros: Good combination of ingredients easy to prepare delicious Read More
Rating: 5 stars
My new fave Absolutely loved this recipe. I made this in my cast iron on stove top. Came out amazing. I am always on a look out for good vegetarian recipes to introduce to my carnivores and this was a hit. An added bonus was that the dish tasted even better the next day. Pros: easy filling great the next day Read More