Along with my famous Chilli Con Carne (the recipe that finally got my parents eating spicy food), this was a regular spicy staple from my Uni days. It’s developed a little over the years – the veg are optional and until recently this was the only surviving recipe where I used shop-bought curry paste instead of the chilli, coriander, cumin and methi.
The veg make this into an interesting yet substantial meal. It’s also nice with some cooked chicken thrown in (you may need to reduce the Chilli/Ginger to get the best out of this).
If you want a hotter dish, add more ginger, not chilli.
Real comfort food for those cold winter evenings.
Cooking Time – approx 50 minutes
- 3 tbsp Vegetable Oil
- 2 medium Onions, chopped
- 3 cloves Garlic, crushed
- 2-3 tbsp grated Ginger root
- 1/2 red Chilli, deseeded & finely chopped
- 2 tsp Cumin, ground
- 4 tsp Coriander, ground
- 2 tsp dried Methi (fenugreek leaves), ground
- 1 Carrot,diced
- some Celeriac (or 1-2 sticks Celery), diced
- 1 Red Pepper, diced
- 1 ltr Boiling water or salt-free vegetable stock
- 175g Red Lentils
- 2 Bay Leaves
- Salt or Vegetable Stock Powder to taste
- 1 tbsp Tomato Puree
- Black Pepper to taste
- 1 handful Coriander Leaves, chopped
- 2 tsp Lemon Juice
- Heat the oil in a pan and fry off the onions until they start to caramelise. Add garlic, chilli and ginger and cook for 1 minute
- Stir in ground spices and cook through for 1-2 minutes
- Add veg and sweat off gently for 5 minutes, stirring occassionally.
- Add lentils, water and bay leaves and bring to the boil. Simmer gently for 10-15 minutes
- Add the salt or stock powder to taste, tomato puree and black pepper. Simmer for another 10 minutes
- Stir in coriander leaves and lemon juice. Check seasoning and serve with fresh granary bread