My favourite lentils

This recipe is from Nina Olsson and her recipe book Bowls of Goodness (they sure are!). The photo is my own and it’s become a firm favourite. I’ll be honest my kids don’t relish it, but it’s all about repeat exposure! If you cook this 24 hours in advance the flavours really develop overnight!

You can find it on her website, but I have also copied it here for you.

The Loyal Lentil Chilli

Don’t be discouraged by the long list of ingredients, it’s mostly spices that you will already have in your spice rack.

serves 4

250 puy or beluga lentils
1 tablespoon coconut or olive oil
5–7 shallots, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped to a
paste with 1 teaspoon salt
11/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 red pepper, halved, deseeded and
finely chopped
1-2 red chillies, deseeded and
finely chopped
2 tomatoes, finely chopped
400g butternut squash, cooked
and chopped into small pieces
400ml coconut milk
1 tablespoon tahini
1 tablespoons honey or agave syrup
juice of 1 lime
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

simple yogurt sauce:
200g yogurt or vegan yogurt
(soygurt or coconut yogurt)
1 teaspoon honey or agave syrup
drizzle of extra virgin olive oil

quickest cucumber salad:
1/2 cucumber, shaved into ribbons
4 tablespoons rice vinegar

to serve:
fresh coriander
hot sauce, like sriracha
cooked brown rice
lime wedges

Cook the lentils according to the packet instructions, rinse, drain and set aside. Heat a frying pan over a medium–high heat. Add the oil and gently fry the shallots until transparent. Add the garlic, spices, pepper, chilli and tomatoes and fry for a few minutes over a medium–low heat. Stir in the lentils, squash, tahini and honey. Pour in the coconut milk and stir, then let the chilli simmer over a medium–low heat for 5 minutes, adding a little water if needed and stirring regularly. Add the lime juice and soy, then let it simmer for a further few minutes while stirring. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat. Mix the ingredients for the yogurt sauce. Make the cucumber salad by combining the shaved cucumber and rice vinegar. Drizzle the chilli with extra virgin olive oil, top with freshly chopped coriander and serve with the cool yogurt sauce and salad. Serve with a hot sauce, rice and lime as extras on the table.

The recipe is suitable for vegans. Opt for agave and vegan yogurt.
Make it gluten free: Opt for tamari sauce instead of soy sauce.

Ruth Harvey