I’ve been thinking a lot about lentils lately and how they’re so undervalued, they’re a staple in my kitchen and can be used in so many dishes. I think most vegans or health conscious people feel this way about the humble lentil. They taste bland on their own, but they’re full of goodness and very filling. Where they shine are in curries and soups but there’s so much you can do with these little gems.
I enjoy trying “world foods” and this kind of comes under that category as I took influence from African peanut stew and Indonesian curries. It might remind you of a traditional dhal as well.
The idea behind this recipe is using what you have left in your cupboards and making something cheap, yet delicious. It’s about using what you’ve got when you’ve not got much, or are on a budget.
I’ve had a lot of people say how good this looked when I made it recently so I would love to see you cooking it up yourself. Tag #vblrecipes on Instagram so I can see what you guys have made. You can also check out my other recipes here.
250gfrozen mixed peppersYou can use 2x fresh if you like
500mlveg stockI added a bit extra to thin if got too thick
800gfresh lentilsYou can use 2x tins
400g white ricequinoa, any rice including cauli could be used too.
First, you'll want to cook up your lentils (unless you're using tinned. If using tinned start on step 2.)
Put your lentils in a sieve/colander and rinse under cool water.
Then bring 58 fl oz/1700 ml of water to the boil.
Add the lentils to the pot and give them a stir. Then bring them back to a boil.
Cover the pot and turn the temperature down to simmer and cook for about 20 more minutes or until the lentils are tender.
Heat vegetable oil over medium heat, add the onion & 3 cloves of minced garlic - sauté for 3-5 minutes. Add 1/2 a tsp of salt and 1/2 a tsp of each spice (cumin, turmeric, cayenne & chinese 5 spice) and fry for another 2-3 minutes.
Next add your drained lentils, 1/4 cup tomato paste, and your frozen (or fresh) peppers. Stir well & simmer 2-3 mins.
You can also start cooking the rice according to pack instructions at this point.
Now add your nut butters and veg stock to the onions and peppers. Stir well until the peanut butter is evenly dissolved.
Let the the curry simmer for another 25-35 mins depending on how much time (or self control) that you have. Curries are great when you've got time to gently cook them so all the flavours to really come together. This would be great in a slow cooker too.
You can stir in some corriander when the curry is cooked or just serve some on top, as I know not everyone loves it like I do.
Serve with rice and whatever toppings and sundries you like. Pop any leftovers in the fridge for a couple of days (if there's any left). I always find leftover curry so much better than when its freshly made. You could probably freeze as well if you wanted to.
Using tinned lentils and microwave rice means you can whip up a quick and easy dinner for 4 in no time - Great cheats for something that's still homemade. Would be fab in a slow cooker as well.