Origo.hu reports that the consumption of lentil stew at the end of the Old Year and at the beginning of the New Year is a common practice in Hungary to make the following year more successful compared to the previous one. Besides this ancient belief, however, it is also very healthy to eat and easy to prepare, so if you happen to wonder what to prepare for New Year’s Eve, you might find the recipe below very useful.

New Year’s Day cannot pass without the traditional Hungarian lentil stew. According to a long-standing belief, it is the symbol of promotion, success and desired financial prosperity in the New Year.

In fact, the power of the lentil stew can be explained by the small-size lentils that symbolize money and wealth, therefore the more you eat from it, the more prosperous your next year is likely to be.

However, the question might pose: why should it be particularly eaten on New Year’s Day? As the superstition goes, the things people do on this day are going to be their regular practices in the following year, too. So if you happen to eat lentil stew on this day that symbolizes material well-being, financial stability is going to wait for you in the New Year. Of course, lentil can be substituted for rice, bean or any other small-size ingredients, but the real good luck-bringing power is attributed to lentil. 🙂


Ingredients of the lentil stew

  • 250 grams of lentil
  • 250 grams of smoked-cooked trotters
  • 1 finely chopped onion
  • 1 tbs of flour
  • 2 tbs of sunflower oil
  • 1 tbs of sweet Hungarian paprika
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 dl of sour cream
  • 1 tbs of vinegar
  • 1 tbs of mustard


  1. Rinse the lentils and then soak them. If possible, leave them in water for the night in order to make them softer.
  2. Add the smoked-cooked trotters to a pot and fill it with enough water to cover the meat. If they are ready, remove them from the pot and chop them up into smaller pieces, but do not discard the water in the pot as it can be used later on.
  3. Chop the onions into fine pieces, then heat the sunflower oil in a pot and golden the onions.
  4. Then, add the paprika and a bit of water from the one in which the meat was cooked.
  5. Add the lentil and fill the pot with enough water to cover the stew.
  6. Gently stir the lentils and season to taste.
  7. While the lentils are cooked over medium-high heat, prepare the rántás by adding the flour, the sour cream and a small amount of water from the cooked lentils. Then, do not forget to constantly whisk it. If it is ready, add to the stew. Reduce the heat to low until the lentils are cooked, then serve it with sour cream.

Enjoy! 🙂


Source: origo.hu

  1. Hi it seems a really nice recipe. I do it in different way but as much house… However the method to thicken the stew here is called habarás. Rántás is when you brown the flour on the oil in a pan then add it to the stew and there is no sour cream in it. Thank you for the article!

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