Embracing the plant-based lifestyle in Malaysia

Lentil Tomato Barley Stew

Lentil Tomato Barley Stew

This recipe means a lot to me, because it was part of my first-ever public cooking demo!

I was invited by Dataran Pahlawan Megamall in Melaka to do the demo as well as a talk about my plant-based journey.  What made my day was not just that my talk and food were both well-received by the public, but I was also supported by my mother, who made the trip down to her beloved hometown.
AND… I watched by some relatives, Ah Yee and Uncle Ong, whom I haven’t seen in over 10 years! (My cousin Elaine was working with the mall and coordinating the event.)
AND… a vegan friend Katya, whom I’ve only met once in passing in Penang, came all the way down, with her beautiful husband Fadzil, BY MOTORBIKE to support me! That’s 8 hours of road time.

I was floored. What a blessed life this is.

I chose to make soup for the demo, because it’s the least intimidating thing anyone can make in their kitchen. ANYONE can make soup. There are no rules and no special skills required. Just dump everything in and wait! I wanted to make demonstrate that was not only tasty but also could be eaten as a complete meal.

Thank you Dataran Pahlawan for this great opportunity to share my story and my passion with your customers!

This stew gives me so much energy, and it’s super easy to digest. It’s perfect to have before a workout, and if you can’t finish all of it, keep it in the fridge to eat the next day… the leftovers can taste even better than freshly-made stew!


May 9, 2017
: 8-10
: 50 min
: 30 min
: 1 hr 20 min
: Eas y - Moderate

A satisfying stew with the protein and fibre benefits of lentils and barley.


  • 1.5 L purified water
  • 1/2 cup Lentils
  • 1/4 cup dry pearl barley
  • 1/4 cup brown rice
  • 1 cup tomato puree (or 1 small can that weighs around 200g)
  • 1 cup fresh coconut milk
  • 1 large onion
  • 4-5 cloves garlic
  • 1 medium-sized carrot, diced
  • 1 large stalk of celery, diced
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 2 1/2 tsp salt
  • 8 dates, seeds removed and roughly chopped
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 tsp ginger powder
  • 1/2 tsp liquid smoke
  • Dash of black pepper
  • Step 1 Boil barley in 1 separate litre of water for 45 minutes. Strain and leave aside. This can be done the day before.
  • Step 2 Put lentils, rice, onion, garlic, ginger powder, salt and cinnamon stick in a pot of 1.5l water and boil for 30 minutes, or until lentils and rice soften, whichever comes first.
  • Step 3 About 10 minutes in, put in dates.
  • Step 4 About 20 minutes in, put in tomato, carrot, celery and cooked barley.
  • Step 5 About 25 minutes in, put in tomato puree, coconut milk, liquid smoke and pepper and stir frequently.


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