Rice and Stew (Beef Lentil and Chilli Stew)

Lactose Free

Comfort food, winter warmer.

· Shared by

Trisha Rwagaju

My spur: story

I have known Will and of spur: since spur:'s creation 10 years ago. I was lucky enough to attend the launch party in Bris and I have followed along the journey since. It was the wild year of 2020 that helped me realise and actualise my passion in social impact and change - especially as I became actively engaged with the Black Lives Matter movement here in Australia. Throughout this time Will helped guide and encourage this journey as I navigated this new found territory after spending most of my career in the analytical sciences. I was fortunate enough to join the spur: family earlier this year and I couldn't be more thrilled for this next phase of my life!

This recipe

My mum used to make this dish all the time when I was growing up.  Usually early on in the week because it provided ample left overs! This is my take on my Mum's twist of Nigerian Beef Stew.


No one in my family measures anything when we cook (which is probably why I'm such a chaotic baker)! A habit I've adopted since moving out of my family home.   Spices and other ingredients are usually added by taste, what's available, and how many people you're cooking for! I've eyeballed these amounts as I'm usually cooking this for myself during the week - so please take these quantities with a pinch of salt (or some other amount I don't know..I didn't measure it!)

· 700g diced beef chuck or rump

· 2 brown onions

· 4 to 5 cloves of garlic (I don't believe in quantities less than 4 cloves!)

· 2 tins of diced tomato

· lite soy sauce (~2 tsp each)

· 1 tin of lentils

· whatever veggies you have in the fridge! This version has - 2 zucchinis, 1 large carrot, celery, 2 large flat mushrooms, 1/3 of a leek, 1/2 a red and green capsicum...but feel free to add in anything you like/want (e.g. frozen peas/corn/carrots, silverbeet, eggplant etc)

· basmati or brown rice

· black pepper

· olive oil

· chicken stock cube

· garam masala 

· smoked paprika

· dried chili flakes

· cayenne pepper (hot)

· Portuguese spice mix

· mixed herbs

· pasta tomato sauce (usually red wine and garlic flavoured)


Pre cook meat

  1. Marinade your beef with a splash of soy sauce, approx. 1 tsp of smoked paprika, garam masala, cayenne pepper, smoked paprika and 2 tsp of Portuguese spice mix (I don't actually measure this I just coat the meat in a mix of these spices with artistic flair!) and give it a good mix.
  2. Leave to marinade for as long as you can but I often coat the meat and cook straight away.
  3. Pop approx. 1 tbsp of olive oil in a hot pan and add the marinated meat.
  4. Allow the beef to brown and the spices to start to caramelise slightly and then pop your lid on.
  5. When enough condensation/water has started to bubble in the pan take the lid off and let the water cook off.
  6. Once cooked down turn down your stove heat to approximately half max heat and add in ~1/2 a cup of water, stir the meat and put the lid on, allow the meat to slowly cook in this. It'll slowly bubble and then liquid will evaporate.
  7. When the liquid has evaporated add again some water to the pan and replace the lid.
  8. Repeat this cycle until you can use a spatula to split a piece of beef easily - this is when you know it's tender!


  1. Cook up basmati or brown rice as per packet instructions.  I use a rice cooker so I put the rice on before cooking the rest of the stew.


  1. Add into a relatively deep non stick pot a splash of olive oil and allow to get hot.
  2. Add in your chopped up onions, garlic, carrots, and a splash of soy sauce - let caramelise.
  3. Add in the tins of diced tomato, give it a good stir and bring it to bubbling point.
  4. Add in half a jar of the flavoured tomato pasta sauce and sprinkle in some mixed herbs stir again and bring to bubbling point 
  5. Add in remaining veggies chopped, sliced or diced depending on how chunky you like your veggies.
  6. Melt your stock cube in 3/4 of a cup of boiled water and add to the stew mix.
  7. Crack in some black pepper, give it a good stir and allow it to come back up to bubbling point.
  8. Add in the tin of lentils and previously cooked beef. In the pan you cooked your beef in there is likely to be left over caramelised spices. Put some hot water in the pan and get that goodness to melt and pop that in the stew too.  You can also add in some red wine at this stage too if you have it to give the dish more depth.
  9. Give everything a good mix and sprinkle in some extra chilli flakes for good measure, allow this to come to the light boil bubble.


  1. Pop your rice down in a shallow bowl
  2. Add your stew mix on top 
  3. If you love your heat - add some extra chilli flakes or fresh chilli on the side to eat with this as well.
  4. Enjoy!


If you want your stew to be a bit thicker be sure not to leave the lid on the whole time once your veggies have been incorporated. Add water to thin, or cook without the lid to thicken

Trisha Rwagaju

Recipe shared by

Trisha Rwagaju


Trisha is a strategist at spur:. She’s passionate about social change and the performing arts.

Recipe attributed to

My Mum - Ibironke Lardner

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