This is one of my favorite curries. Its delicious and warming and incredibly healthy. If you put enough veggies it it it will not only go a long way towards your five a day but also has fibre and omega three, folic acid and a host of vitamins and minerals. I like mine pretty spicy but leave out the finger chillis if you want it with less kick.
Chilli Sabzi Dhal
4-6 Indian green finger chillies- slit them down the side but leave them whole
40 gms ginger cut into matchstick sized pieces
20-30 fresh curry leaves
1 cinnamon stick
1 head of garlic –peeled and grated on a parmesan grater
2 medium ripe tomatoes roughly chopped
100ml veggie oil (rapeseed if possible as its very low in saturates and has omega 3 and 6)
Knob of butter
2 cups red lentils
1 Lg onion sliced
150 gm chestnut mushrooms quartered
1.5 tbl spoon coriander seed
1 tbl spoon cumin seed
½ tablespoon fenugreek seed
½ tablespoon mustard seed (brown if possible)
6 star anise
2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1ltr veggie stock
Handful of coriander – roughly chopped
5 gram palm sugar or raw brown sugar
Get all your ingredients together and ready to go – things happen quickly once you start.
Firstly toast the coriander seed, cumin seed, fenugreek mustard seed and star anise in a dry frying pan until the mustard seeds pop and the fenugreek goes a shade darker – allow to cool and grind to a fine powder in a mortar and pestle or coffee grinder– set aside
Heat the oil in a large heavy based saucepan
Once the oil is frying hot add the curry leaves, ginger and cinnamon stick – the curry leaves should pop and sizzle. Cook on a high heat for 2-3 mins until the ginger is withered but not browned.
Add the onions and knob of butter and stir fry for 4 or 5 mins until the onion is soft and beginning to go translucent.
Add all the spices and garlic and stir fry for a further 5 mins – it should be smelling pretty good by this point. Turn the heat down if it is catching the bottom of the pan or looking like its going to burn and add a ½ a cup of water
Add the tomatoes, mushrooms and lentils and stir in. Add the stock and cook until the lentils are tender but not completely broken down (about 25-35 mins)
*At this point you can add all sorts of veg. My favourite veggies are spinach, okra, courgette, corn on the cob (sliced into 2cm rounds) and green beans. You can however use just about anything. Just make sure you add things like spinach, green beans and broccoli just before serving so that they don’t get over cooked.* Add the palm sugar coriander and salt and pepper to taste. Serve with steamed basmati and garlic naan.